Maximizing Efficiency Through Collaboration
By: Darin Bradley

As we navigate the facets of complex insurance loss claims, the importance of collaboration with contractors cannot be overstated. By working together, we can ensure that our processes are efficient, our settlements are fair, and our outcomes are consistently optimal. Deft leverages collaboration with contractors to keep mitigation scope in check and prevent disputes over the scope and pricing of restoration work. 

Keeping Mitigation Scope in Check 

Effective mitigation is crucial in minimizing further damage and setting the stage for successful restoration; however, unchecked mitigation can lead to unnecessary costs and delays. It’s paramount that we work with contractors to manage this critical stage: 

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels: Regular and transparent communication with contractors is vital. Ensure you have a mutual understanding of the damage assessment and the necessary mitigation steps. This clarity helps prevent over-scoping and aligns expectations. 

2. Conduct Joint Assessments: Leverage your construction knowledge and policy expertise by conducting joint damage assessments with contractors early and often. This collaboration ensures a comprehensive and accurate evaluation, allowing for a balanced mitigation plan that addresses all needs without excess. 

3. Monitor Mitigation Equipment Use: Ensure that the deployment and continued use of mitigation equipment makes financial sense. Avoid situations where the cost of mitigation equipment exceeds the cost of repairing or replacing the materials being mitigated. Regularly review and assess the necessity and effectiveness of the equipment in use. 

4. Implement Cost Monitoring Protocols: Regularly review and monitor the efficacy and financial advantage of mitigation methods. By keeping a close watch on mitigation results and expenses, you can ensure that the project progresses in a financially advantageous manner, facilitating a faster and more efficient settlement process. 

Preventing Disputes Over Scope and Pricing of Restoration 

Disagreements over restoration scope and pricing can hinder progress and create friction. The first step is obvious, but must be stated, keep the disputes at bay through efficient collaboration: 

1. Focus on Detailed Documentation: Ensure that both you and the contractors meticulously document every aspect of the damage assessment and restoration plan; lean into your advanced imagery equipment here. Detailed records support clear communication and provide a solid foundation for any necessary negotiations. 

2. Advocate for Transparent Estimates: Encourage contractors to provide detailed and transparent estimates based on a mutually agreed-upon scope. While it's essential to align on the scope first, don't wait for contractors to prepare their estimates before proceeding. By providing an undisputed payment recommendation to the carrier client promptly based on what is known, you enable the initial funds necessary to buy the good faith of both the contractor and the policyholder in turn. 

3. Utilize Expertise for Negotiations: In instances where disagreements do arise, use your documentation coupled with construction knowledge and policy expertise in negotiations. This combined approach ensures that you can effectively address the technical aspects and necessary costs of restoration while adhering to policy terms. 

4. Align on Shared Objectives: Remember that both adjusters and contractors share the common goal of restoring properties efficiently and cost-effectively. Emphasize this shared objective to foster cooperation and resolve conflicts amicably. 

The Importance of Collaboration During Catastrophic Events 

In the event of catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, the need for effective collaboration becomes even more critical. These situations often result in widespread damage and an influx of claims that can overwhelm all parties involved. Collaboration makes an even more significant difference during these times: 

1. Coordinated Response: A coordinated response between adjusters and contractors ensures that resources are deployed efficiently, and that critical mitigation and restoration efforts begin promptly. 

2. Prioritization of Tasks: Collaborating with contractors helps in prioritizing tasks based on severity and urgency, ensuring that the most critical issues are addressed first, preventing further damage and reducing overall recovery time. 

3. Enhanced Flexibility: During catastrophic events, flexibility in approach and decision-making is crucial. Strong relationships with contractors allow for quick adjustments to plans as new information becomes available and conditions change. 

4. Support and Resources: Leveraging the combined resources and expertise of both adjusters and contractors ensures a more robust and effective response, ultimately leading to better outcomes for policyholders during challenging times. Leaning into the relationship with the carrier client by placing them in a position of strength to make justified payments keeps contractor resources allocated to the overarching cause; swiftly making the policyholder whole. 

Deft's Initiatives to Promote Collaboration 

To ensure that you, our valued adjusters, can effectively collaborate with contractors, Deft is committed to the following initiatives: 

1. Developing Contractor Relationships: We are establishing strong relationships with reputable contractors through various forms of networking programs. These programs include, protocol development, and regular meetings to review best practices and address ongoing issues. 

2. Investing in Technology: Deft continues to invest in advanced technology platforms that facilitate seamless communication and documentation between adjusters and contractors. These tools streamline workflows, enhance transparency, and improve overall efficiency. 

3. Leveraging Advanced Imagery Technology: Deft continues to lean into advanced imagery technology to document damage comprehensively. This technology places all stakeholders in a position of strength, particularly in the event of disputed damage, by providing clear, indisputable visual evidence. 

4. Fostering a Collaborative Culture: We actively promote a culture of collaboration within the Deft team. By encouraging a team-oriented approach, we aim to shift the perspective of seeing contractors as partners rather than adversaries, thus fostering more effective collaboration. 


For Deft, the path to efficient and fair settlements is paved with collaboration. By working closely with contractors, we can keep the mitigation scope in check, prevent disputes over restoration scope and pricing, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for all stakeholders. We explore our team to embrace this collaborative approach to maintain Deft’s reputation while continuing to enhance efficiency, and effectiveness in the ever-evolving landscape of complex risk management. 

Let’s set a new standard of excellence in the industry. 

-Darin Bradley 

Keep Up or Get Out of the Way: AI is Here to Stay
By: Jeremiah Kiefer