Pricing quotes for insurance companies

Sherry Lee

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 25, 2002
Phoenix, Az.
I have a customer that lost half of their home due to a fire. Also damaged was "wood block art work that had big frames". The customer is working on getting replacement costs for the art work and has asked me to go out and see the damaged frames and quote that.

I suspect she is planning on giving this quote to the insurance company so to obtain the monies for these damaged frames. How do I charge for this? There is travel, time, research and writing up the quote involved. I assume the bill for doing the quote would go to the customer, not the insurance company.

Anyone with experience in this, I'd be grateful for your input.

Thank you!
$60/hour including travel time.

Don't assume you're going to get any frmaing out of this, so make sure your time is paid for.
Thanks Ron........that's exactly why I raised the question. In this case, I doubt that she would have framing done, and even if she did, it would be at least a year away.
I've never seen framing from doing these quotes from insurance companies. I've only done about 3 in the past seven years, but I never see the customer come back in and actually get the items reframed/repaired.

So if you are spending any significant time on this you might charge the client separately for your time.
Do any of you know if the insurance company reimburses the customer for the cost of the quote? I'm just curious how it works.
Yes, evaluations and appraisals are chargable against homeowners.

I have working arrangements with several fire and water damage companies. My job success rate is much better as a result (70-80%). The projects are dropped off at my shop and I quote to clean/replace whatever is necessary. On things that are obviously more costly to repair than the value prior to the loss, I note as "cash out" without spending unnecessary time on my part. If they want an actual appraisal, I charge my regular appraisal service fees.

The quote to repair is done at no charge as with anything else brought into the shop. If more effort and detailed letters/reports are required, the appraisal format is brought up. This includes any request to place a value of any sort to any portion of a frame job......before loss value, after repair value, etc etc.

Unless I am contacted by the insurance company directly, I hold the owner of the items responsible for all payment. No third party billing without prior authorization in writing, period!!!
I charge a flat ten percent of the total quote. If I get the job, the ten percent becomes part of the payment to wards the job. I have spent up to several days quoting home and building fires, it's the only way of recovering your time.

Even walk ins with a broken glass, if all they want is a written quote, same price, ten percent. They want an invoice, I do not get them for free, neither is my time with them. It is rare when they actually come back with the project.

3 jobs in the last 5 years, we got the work on 1.

$75 per hour if I have to go into a burned house.
$65 if they bring to the shop.

BTW: I don't know about other states, but Oregon considers the burned glass, frame, backing etc to be toxic waste and to be disposed as such. So we charge for that too.
I don't know about most insurance companies, but I had a fire in my home and was pleasantly surprised by the performance of my company. My aquarium pump shorted out and started a fire behind the aquarium in my kitchen in the middle of the night. I smelled smoke, ran downstairs and watched the flames shoot up behind the aquarium. Suddenly this rather large aquarium exploded and I was amidst flopping fish standing
bare foot on a wet floor in an electrical fire! I wasn't dead yet so I ran and killed the circuit breaker panel. The volunteer township fire department came about 15 minutes later and I had to meet them at the door so that they wouldn't bash down the door with the axes they had in their hands. The fire was out before they got there.


Some $ 40,000+ damage (mostly smoke damage).

The insurance company paid all claims within ten days including:

1.) Repainting the entire inside of the house.
2.) Cleaning all surfaces.
3.) Replacing the wood floor that buckled from
the water in the kitchen.
4.) They paid for the aquarium and the fish.
5.) The drycleaning bill for all the blankets,
drapes, clothing, bedspreads, etc. in the


6.) They had me get an independent appraisal
on an oil painting painted by my great uncle
which hung above the aquarium. They paid the
$ 150.00 cost of the appraisal, $ 5000.00 for
the painting and about $ 600.00 for the
frame. They also paid me directly for
cleaning two other paintings that were in
the kitchen!

This painting was not even listed as a separate
item on my insurance policy! They suggested I list my artwork and collectibles as they wouldn't pay a second casualty loss if I didn't get them listed.

WOW... I was impressed.

The insurance company was CHUBB and even though I've had several quotes from agents 10-15% lower, I'll never switch from someone who takes care of a customer like that.

All claims paid WITHIN 10 DAYS!!!

They never requested my great uncles still life back, but it was beyond restoration.

No, none of my family works for CHUBB and I have no other reason to mention them except that they really impressed me compared to the BS other insurance companies have put people through.

Dave Makielski
Dave, WOW I'm impressed too.

As I recall, my insurance company, Allstate, told me I had to carry separate policies on my art and camera gear if I wanted anything near their worth after a loss. The regular home owner's policy is seriously limited.