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real or scam?

real or scam?

real or scam?

(OP)
ok wise people -

I've been contacted by a firm that coordinates forensic engineers for insurance companies. Basically, they would call me when there's a structural claim in my area and I would go out and do my standard investigation, and write up a report with general recommendations. I've heard of such companies but this is my first contact with one, and I want to make sure I'm not getting sucked over to the dark side.

Do any of you do investigation work for companies like this? What do you charge? They'd be my client and they're basically a passthrough to the insurance companies.

cheers for any thoughts.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

Wasn't there a similar thread a number of months back? In the end, the company sounded like ambulance chasers to me.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: real or scam?

(OP)
That's what I was looking for but can't find it now. It sounds intriguing but like I said, I want to be sure it's aboveboard...

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

(OP)
ah. Found that thread - this case is different in that there's no "training" and no use of their name. They would just send me projects and I'd send them my report.

http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=413034

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

Quote (SLTA)

They would just send me projects and I'd send them my report.
Who sends the checks?

RE: real or scam?

(OP)
The coordinating firm does, and then they bill the insurance company with a markup.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

(OP)
JAE, I think those are different ideas completely.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

It sounds like a reasonable concept. Do your due diligence. Research the history and reputation of the company and ask for references, people who have done work for them that you can talk to. Then check that these references are real. They should be PE's so that should be easy and reliable.

RE: real or scam?

SLTA - perhaps so but both do this:
1. Find licensed engineers "out there".
2. Provide a mechanism where the engineer can simply do engineering and not mess with the work involved in building and managing a firm as well as marketing.
3. Use the engineer's services to make money.
4. Pay the engineer a reduced fee to "pay" for their management and marketing.



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RE: real or scam?

The company could be an "ambulance chaser" or the insurance company is doing "due diligence" to make sure they are getting a fair picture of the firms and standards.

Dick

Engineer and international traveler interested in construction techniques, problems and proper design.

RE: real or scam?

JedClampett, I immediately thought of that thread as well.

EDMS Australia

RE: real or scam?

Could be this company is trying to be the one-stop shop for the insurance companies in your area, or possibly a much wider area depending on their size. Helps the insurance company be lazy by not having to deal with multiple smaller shops that could come and go over time.

RE: real or scam?

Quote (JAE)

1. Find licensed engineers "out there".
2. Provide a mechanism where the engineer can simply do engineering and not mess with the work involved in building and managing a firm as well as marketing.
3. Use the engineer's services to make money.
4. Pay the engineer a reduced fee to "pay" for their management and marketing.

How is this any different than an engineer working in any situation other than a one-man shop?

RE: real or scam?

I didn't say it was different than a firm -- only that my links and the situation the OP was discussing were similar.

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RE: real or scam?

SLTA...we've been contacted by similar groups. One was a clear scam as the old thread noted. The other was legit, but we couldn't work for the rates they allowed for the task. They offered several projects in our area to be done on a lump sum. We would have allowed 6 to 8 hours to do the work properly, but their allowance would have resulted in either having half the time to do the job or we cut our rates to half the norm. We are not willing to do either for one-off jobs that have short fuses and quick turnaround.

Is the group that contacted you from Michigan?

RE: real or scam?

(OP)
Thanks, Ron. They let me set my own rates, and I'd do my forensic fee because they'd need fast turnaround. This group is from PA.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: real or scam?

Try getting paid in a timely manner. The insurance companies are worst for not paying invoices.

RE: real or scam?

Some years ago I used to work exclusively with insurance companies. If I got paid in 90 days that was " Prompt" .
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

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