[00:00:00] All right, we are back and we've got Dan and Jamie with Morgan Cohen and Bach. We're going to discuss some recovery invoicing situations writing invoices, trying to collect and the red flags that some towers, invoices throw up and maybe causing them some issues and, and vice versa. The you know, there's, there's, we've all had run-ins with insurance adjusters and, and things like that.
[00:00:25] And sometimes these guys need to get involved and play the middleman and get things hammered out smoothly. So Dan and Jamie would you like to introduce yourselves and give us a quick rundown who you are and what you guys are trying to accomplish here?
[00:00:37] Sure. So my name is Dan Olivieri. I'm the CEO and senior partner here at Morgan, Cohen & Bach. And. Yeah, Morgan, Cohen & Bach is a commercial mitigation firm. So we have over 173 of the finest creditor rights attorneys that you can pretty much find a spread across the country. Our sister company is a company called Ridgeline investigations.
[00:00:58] We have 300 commercial private investigators that are spread across the country as well, and, and a team of mediators. So what we do is we have a system called aim and it is essentially a process that brings attorneys, investigators, and mediators together to deal with Mick mitigating and mediating as well as litigating claims.
[00:01:17] So, and I'd like to, to add on to that as well. So we do have our own group of attorneys tell clients you know, we've learned through experience for the most part, have their own attorneys, almost have to have an attorney of your own on retainer. So we also work very well in aligning ourselves.
[00:01:36] If a client has their own attorney, so we're able to a vet down or resolve a significant amount of claims. So you're not overwhelming your attorney with claims that don't actually need a, their attention. And then the other thing is, is that the information that our team finds through the process with regards to the mediators and the private investigators.
[00:02:00] That information can be passed along to your attorney. Therefore you can identify assets and things that you would need if it does actually make it all the way through court. And you're left with a piece of paper saying someone owes you money. We always find it that it's in everybody's best interest to actually know how to liquidate that judgment into recovery and the debt that's owed to you.
[00:02:23] So when you and I first spoke, you were kind of in a different role than what you guys have kind of set the scene here. Jeff, how did you even get in this? Okay, so relationship here. We, we had, this was unique all the way around from the recovery to the invoice to meeting these guys. We had, we had a, just a catastrophic truck fire filled with chicken, raw nasty chicken.
[00:02:58] It was barbecue chicken by the time. Oh, yes, yes. But w what made this unique was it happened the day after tornadoes destroyed our, the lower half of our city. So can you imagine the day after a tornado having to find excavators, dumpsters, and all that other good stuff? It was impossible. So when I, we had to turn to subcontract.
[00:03:26] Far outside of our area, which obviously increased those fees, the delivery phase, the time fees, everything. And, you know I'm probably not unique where I just, I just take the information that we logged during the call and enter those times and items and quantities into our system. And it spits out the total at the end.
[00:03:48] And so, you know, there's really, we don't everything. We do everything we, we bill on this invoice is the same way build the previous customer on that invoice. So there's no, in my mind, there's like really no wiggling going on. You know, we just simply put in the facts the times, the quantities that spits out and this ended up being a larger invoice than I typically see at the end.
[00:04:13] And I said, oh gosh. So I started thinking about it and I said, I'm probably going to have to explain this. So I'll go ahead and put it in the narrative to try and explain it the best I could. But I mean the, the mini excavators and the dumpsters, they, they had to come from a place almost a hundred miles away.
[00:04:32] So that, that kind of, I don't want to say inflated this bill, but obviously that contributed to the final fate and yo, I'm looking at it. I'm going, oh gosh, this, this, this one's definitely going to be questioned. And. Then I got a phone call from Jamie. And I'll tell you when I get, when I get a phone call, when I'm dealing with any kind of recovery invoice and I get a a phone, my, my staff is very well-trained.
[00:05:02] They they're always supposed to get who you're with and what you're calling for. Right. So I got the name, Googled it. Oh no, well, what's this conversation going to go like, and, and it actually went very well. And I definitely appreciated that. And, and the reason I'm, I feel that it went so well is a, you guys came and, and again, I'm going to get into why this was even more unique, but right off the bat, I felt like I was dealing with reasonable people that understood the situation.
[00:05:38] Okay. And I'm not used to that when, when a third party gets involved there's, there's one guy and he's probably been, been around the longest. And all you get when you answer the phone is your bill is too high. Your bill is too high. Well, why is my bill too high? I can have a conversation. We can discuss it.
[00:05:53] And I have made mistakes on my invoices before that. I, I quickly, you know fix. And I didn't, I didn't get that here. So there was no like confrontation right off the bat or anything like that. It was just a discussion and say, this is where we're at, but what made this unique was the fees. Weren't really the issue, right?
[00:06:13] I mean, it was. Multiple insurance companies involved. And Jamie actually did a lot of leg work to get all of that aligned, to get the invoice paid by the people in the amounts that they should have been held accountable for. So it was, it was really nice. And the whole time we're dealing with each other for a couple of weeks, I'm thinking to myself, this, this might be the guy to have on the show.
[00:06:41] And but I didn't want to say anything until we were done, everything was resolved. Right. And so I waited until a Copart got everything off the yard, everything was taken care of. And that's when I reached out to you. Jamie. So but now you were, I guess, working on behalf of one of the insurance companies at that point.
[00:07:00] Yes. So why don't you tell us what you guys are up to now? So this journey started a long time ago, so and I have actually experienced in the tow industry, which is, I think the only reason I could have ever stepped into the job. And I think that that's why communication for the most part. When we're at the cereal with tow companies, it didn't turn over.
[00:07:24] It never turned out adversarial because I understand the billing and understand the equipment that's out there that needs to be used. Right. So one thing that Morgan Columbine never did was say, Hey, the bills. If I noticed identifiers or, or things that would seem like red flags. And we, we worked through them, right, Jeff and, and I think as we were identifying them, you were like, well, as a honest, hardworking tow company, that's just trying to build correct and get paid for the work I do.
[00:07:56] What are those identifiers, but what brought this invoice to your attention? So we started talking about this and it's kind of interesting, cause everything works in waves right. In, in life. And, and you're, you kind of have better understandings of things. And during that timeframe, I was reaching out to Dan and I'm saying, something's shifting in the industry.
[00:08:21] More insurance policies are kept people. Aren't getting policies that actually reflect what the average recovery is. Right? So if, if I have a five and five or 10 and 10 cap on my tractor trailer, and I know that an average recovery is going around 30,000 in specific locations in the United States, that can be double that I'm under insured.
[00:08:46] So we started taking this journey and Dan is a. A man of his word. And he said, well, look, if, if this is a true shift, then we'll shift how we're handling it. Because we, we went through a couple of states, Wyoming, and, and and Virginia that have to be the, the two main reasons that I think the whole industry shifted.
[00:09:12] It's unfortunate that a couple of states and a handful of bad actors in the industry can then change to another industry to the point that it has. But I kind of look at it like the radar gun, radar detector scenario, right. Where you're talking about a group of people that, sorry, I did not meet my phone.
[00:09:34] So we might have to note that time down. Right. If you can, let's turn it off right now. I got it. Okay.
[00:09:54] Anyway, so as this, as the shift started happening and the fact that I was in the industry, I still have a family in it. One of my best friends here in in Tucson owns a tow company. So, you know, I'm always. Feedback and what I was hearing just didn't seem correct. Right. And the insurance company, people, I don't think really understand, but they're, they're not only premiums they're investors and there's a pool of money that they're their adjusters paid to mitigate against.
[00:10:28] Right. Well then the underwriter underwriting started to follow to make that adjuster's job easy. If all I got to do is cut you a $5,000 check. It doesn't matter the length of time, the work that you did, any of these circumstances, like in the case of the recovery that you and I had discussed they, they're not reflected in, in what their reasoning or thought is when they're trying to reduce this invoice.
[00:10:56] They're not reflecting on the S the regulations within the states. There's certain states North Carolina being one of the tougher regulated states where if they're on rotation, they have 90 minutes from the time the call comes in till the time that the roadway needs to be cleared. Well, that, that means the tow companies focusing on clearing the roadway, not recovering.
[00:11:24] And insurance adjusters don't compute that. Right? So from a safety standpoint to the state, it's important because how often do you drive through an accident scene? And there's a secondary, a third or fourth incident that occur while people are on looking at the recovery going on. So from a state's perspective, this is a safety issue.
[00:11:46] It's a safety matter. I would look to see legislation maybe start to come around in that very shape or form, right? Because you have a liability policy that's mandated at a million dollars, but then you have a 5,000 total recovery cap. Those numbers don't add up. So the more we started digging into it and the more honest tow companies like yourself started to come back and say, Hey, Jamie, like I understand there's a red flag, but why is it every is getting contested?
[00:12:17] We started to look into it more. Well, one of the thought processes behind this was that the industry expenses hadn't changed and that it was just this big move from the 10 to 20,000 that they had seen, you know, five, seven years ago up to these 30, 50, you know, now you have environmental cleanup bills that can reflect the entire total recovery all on their own.
[00:12:44] Right. And then. Accounting for new regulations, states needing something that is different compared to the truck driver compared to the, the tow company. Cause they, they have their own agenda. They have their own safety, they have their own rules and regulations that they have to abide by, by the citizens of each area that they're representing.
[00:13:05] So we started to dig into it. Well, it turns out costs haven't stayed the same as a matter of fact, costs are on a astronomical clip, even compared to our own inflation, which is on a pretty fast pace, right? So they found out that the tele industry is beating inflation by two to three times that inflation amount in 2016 it was the tow industries costs had increased by 7.2, 5%.
[00:13:35] You're running into issues where you're operators for the equipment as the equipment starts to become heavier, more complicated, more certifications, more expensive. Well that driver expects to be paid more. Right. And then we're also talking about an industry where employees are expected to work 24 7 rain, snow, sleet, shine, whatever the situations.
[00:14:01] I started to look into this and I started to talk to ownership about the changes and the fact that I felt like, Hey, we, we might actually be representing the wrong. 10% of tow company doing bad doesn't amount to 80% of the industry changing the way that they're writing these policies. And that's actually the effect that it's had, and it's not right or fair to the companies that are operating with morality and they're just billing, correct.
[00:14:30] And trying to get paid for the work that they do. So we started pulling numbers. Dan is a number person. He said, you show me the statistics, show me that we're on the wrong side and we'll change sides. Well, I put in about eight months worth of work numbers, statistics looking into the policies, all the different things, the nuances that have changed in the underwriting.
[00:14:56] Because I, I have a team of people that had the luxury of knowing the inner workings of these policies, right? And it turns out that the situation has turned and it's not fair any longer to the teleconference. And you can't expect people that are on call 24 7, putting their lives at risk. These roadways are obviously dangerous.
[00:15:18] We're talking about secondary incidents due to the recovery. Well, how about your crew? That's out on the scene in traffic working at, right? So the things just didn't line up and then now it's become. More about maybe the two industries having better understanding for each other or that's my personal feeling is like a come to Jesus moment between insurance and until just so that all parties can understand what the actions of one side does, how it affects the other, because now we're running into situations that we've picked up a lot of tow companies as clients, and we're representing them not only as the cost increased, but the number of recoveries that they do that go unpaid have increased partial payments have increased.
[00:16:09] And then the fact of the matter is that if you don't want to litigate every time you're out on an accident, you're almost guaranteed that you got to reduce the bill for the work you did. So that's kind of the basis to why we changed our perspective. And that was from just a, an honest look into the industry and realized, okay, well, things didn't change that drastically.
[00:16:33] And there is a chain where you can see the reflection on the increase of invoicing over the years and the cost that it is to do business and the tow industry. It's not, nothing's changed just the bill got higher. And I feel like from an insurance perspective, they think costs haven't changed that much over five years.
[00:16:57] And so that bill can be as high as it is. And it's just not a reality. And there's a, there's a lot. And there's this, you know, when it gets into, when you get into the insurance industry, you know, I, my, my entire career I've represented insurance companies pretty much for at least the last 16, 16 years or so now.
[00:17:13] So besides the fact that, you know, what, what an adjuster sees is different from that mid-level manager different from the VP different from the shareholders, right? And they S they oftentimes are making sweeping decisions and they're not communicating with each other. And unfortunately the vendors that kind of employ these that the insurance companies are employee and of getting, you know, the brunt of it.
[00:17:34] So an adjuster might look at an invoice and that adjuster may have spent the last, you know, three years, you know, being an adjuster. And last job was, you know working at a, you know, a hotel room and they see a tow invoice and they couldn't even imagine why something would even be $40,000. So then all of a sudden, because they can't imagine it because they can't see it.
[00:17:55] Well, then the invoice is big. It's too high. Right. So you get a lot of that. And I just wanted to kind of add to, to Jamie is, you know, one thing that's really big for us as integrity. It, it, it has been since the beginning and in this fight with tow on, on the, you know, this nonconsensual toe, which is primarily where you know, we started cutting our teeth in it's, it's always been a concept of.
[00:18:17] Obviously, we're not a nonprofit, so we're going to may, you know, we're into like everybody else to make a profit, but at the same time, we understand that it's short-lived if you're not operating with integrity, eventually they'll catch up to you. So when we first started in this fight, going back to the beginning, even before Jamie was here, you know, the way we kind of got into this was, was interesting.
[00:18:36] We were representing brokers and we are representing carriers in and you know, that part of the transportation world. And we are trying to figure out ways to help. Primarily we had some pretty big brokers, ch Robinson was one of them. We were dealing with another big company gen pro, which deals with refrigerated freight.
[00:18:55] And they were asking us to basically go after carriers that messed up a load in one way or another, whether it's during an accident or the, the load gets denied or whatever the case may be. So, you know, we started going through that process. You know, we had the attorneys, we had the mediators, we had the investigators, we were able to go in and find these carriers, you know, collect their money, litigated if we needed to do it and all that good stuff.
[00:19:17] Well, after a period of time, we kind of came to the conclusion that rather than going after a carrier, Haftar, you know, you get a, you get an owner operator, that's driving down the road and they're they're, you know their reefer goes out or changes, temper, whatever it gets denied at the location.
[00:19:35] You know, and they got a load of $90,000 cherries. This guy doesn't have the money to cut $90,000 check to anybody. Right. So when we started looking at it, we're like, you know, we got to figure out a way to try to get in front of this stuff. So what we, what we did was we geared up a salvage team and that's actually how we got, got into nonconsensual toast.
[00:19:53] So we went out and we geared up a salvage team. So when these loads would get messed up, the insurance company would reach out to us or the, or the broker reach out to us say, Hey, the load just went sour. Can you get in contact with the insurance company? Can you try to get in front of it? So that way we can make sure that this claim doesn't get denied.
[00:20:10] And of course, we've been dealing with the insurance company, you know, like I said, I've been representing insurance companies forever. So I knew the ins and outs and ins and out of it. And I knew how to get an adjuster to pay a claim quickly and, and all of that. So we went through and we geared up the salvage team and a survey team with the idea that when the accident happened, we were going to send our own people out there immediately.
[00:20:31] So we would gather and create the report. And then by the time he got to the adjuster's desk, we already had a nice and pretty report that they could look at and, and they could start to make their decisions there. So it helped us get a more accurate narrative of what happened in the accident or whatever the issue was.
[00:20:48] And then all of a sudden you know, if we, if we had a situation where we could salvage it out to try to mitigate the claim, we would go ahead and salvage what wasn't long before we had a load in a, in a, in a truck. And, you know, I get a call. I, I all, I, I remember it like yesterday, I got a call late at night.
[00:21:04] I was like, I mean, this must have been six years ago, seven years ago, reached out and said, Hey we got this guy coming out to pick up the salvage load. And the tow company is not releasing anything. And I'm like, okay, well tell him to release the cargo. Cause I mean, they, you know, obviously they have the truck and the trailer, but you know, and, and they're like, now they're not releasing anything.
[00:21:25] Right. So in the middle of this salvage, you know, the next day I come in and, and call a tow company and have a conversation, just try to have a reasonable conversation. Hey, you know, reaching out about, you know, this low try to get it released. And so we can salvage it out. I mean, if you guys want to deal with the truck trailer and the insurance company and all that good stuff, go ahead.
[00:21:43] But I need to get that load out. And the tow owner very smartly was like, I'm not letting it go. Right. And if I was, if I was in his shoes, I would have done the same thing. You need every leverage point because you know what happens when you release that load, right? As soon as you release it, now you gotta play the game at the invoice.
[00:22:01] So you guys, at that time, you know, going back into that moment, even though I didn't feel this way, that time, cause I was in the middle of a salvage, I didn't really want to deal with it. But the reality is, is. You know, you guys are trying to feed your families as well, and you got to protect your family.
[00:22:14] You got to protect your business, you've got to protect your revenue, and you've got to do what you guys got to do to, to make sure that you guys you know, of course can get that invoice paid. So we end up in this fight and I ended up in his bar fight pretty much with this tow guy, this toner. And it wasn't, it didn't, we didn't mean to have it, but ultimately he released it and, and you know, we ended up going, well, the insurance company reaches out to us and says, well, how'd you do that?
[00:22:36] You know? And I'm like, well, you know, we're just trying to get the salvage done. Didn't think anything of it. Well, before you know it we start running into this all the time. And so as we start running into it, I'm sitting there talking to the partners and, and. Said, Hey, we're going to have to come up.
[00:22:53] If we're going to play in this space, we're going to have to come up with a team of people that understand tow, because I don't understand this, this tow process. I don't understand this billing launched in any of it. And our attorneys don't really understand it either. Right. And that's how we ended up with, with Jamie.
[00:23:08] So we were like, all right, so we bring Jamie in and he gears up a nonconsensual tow team. So basically his team reconstructs the bill as if they were on this, you know, on the scene. So Jamie super knowledgeable and his team's super knowledgeable and all of that. And we start going down this fight of, you know you know, going against tow companies really is where it started that were, that we felt were inflating bills.
[00:23:28] But since the beginning, you know, a big thing for us was integrity because early on, we started to see that insurance adjusters started calling us not because they thought the bill was inflated, but they were trying to just get a reduction just to get a reduction. And this happened really early on.
[00:23:43] We started seeing it probably in the first year where we would get a call on like a $15,000 invoice. And it was like, Hey, we need this reduced, oh, what's the issue with it? What's the issue. We don't see an issue with it. What's the issue that you. Well, it's just too high. Right? And so we, we, we made a policy across the board that, Hey, we're not going to get into the business of starting to try to strong arm tow companies.
[00:24:07] It's not going to, it's not a good way to operate. It's not a good way to do business. I mean, it's not operating with integrity and ultimately you do that long enough. It's going to catch up to you, something's going to happen. Right. So we made that rule early on and as the years progressed, it became, it became more and more of the norm, you know, until we got to this point where Jamie's like, you know, Hey man, I, I think there's an issue here.
[00:24:30] I think that the insurance companies are now writing these policies in a way, and they're teaching their team in a way that's pretty much calling every invoice into question. And he's like, I'm getting more and more of it. More and more invoices coming across the desk that we shouldn't even be involved in.
[00:24:48] And we're wasting our time and we're, we're having to send it back to them. And then what we started to see was a lot of times the insurance company was getting pissed off at us because they were like, you know, this is your job. Your job is to go out and fight the tow company. And we're like, no, our job is to mitigate legitimate claims.
[00:25:04] I mean, we're not in the business of again strong-arming and so, so yeah, just to add that to Jamie, you know, Jamie's been, you know, he's a, he's a real love game to death and you know, we've known each other for a long time, but he's, he has a good heart and, and we're just not interested in. Playing those types of games.
[00:25:20] And I think that he saw it early on way earlier than I did, because I mean, he'd been asking me and talking to me about it for a while and I'm like, I don't know. And then when he came to me with all of his information, I'm like, all right, it's pretty undeniable. So let's go to, let's go to and see how the skin works.
[00:25:34] So, so when we talk about holding cargo, I'm guessing those laws differ greatly from state to state. Absolutely. You know, here in here in Georgia, we, we do not a certain time period has to go by before anything, truck cargo, anything is even considered abandoned, right. Just because it's on your yard, doesn't doesn't are, are, is, is weak.
[00:26:03] As our protections are here, they don't even kick in for a certain amount of time. So we've got that. We've got like a 30 day window where it's a real touchy subject and we, we always, you know, you find yourself trying to call their bluff by saying, no, I'm not going to release this stuff. Yeah. Luckily, luckily, if they push it and take it to court generally, and I'm just talking local knowledge around here, generally the, the, the judge will say, okay, they're going to give you your food or whatever is on, on that that truck.
[00:26:39] But you're going to put up a bond for the amount of that invoice. By that point y'all if you got to produce that by that point, it's, it's probably easier just to pay the bill and get your cargo and your, and your property. Are there, are there states that that do let that lien kick into effect immediately, including cargo?
[00:27:01] Are there states where they, they do JLR legally? Oh yeah, there, there there's a lot of states Colorado probably being the strictest of Colorado, actually in the legislation states that the, any aspect of recovery can be held onto until the entire recovery is satisfied. California is another state that allows that.
[00:27:23] And then you have a whole handful of states that don't. So what states really like to do at legislation, especially when you're talking about tow. And I know that this, because we worked with the state of Wyoming for five years and they're not actually passing legislation. They're going to have a tow advisory board with the insurance rep and the tow industry rep, just so that they didn't have to pass controversial, controversial legislation.
[00:27:52] So what you're going to find with most legislation is it's very open. And you can take that wording whatever way you would like, right. So whatever specific situation fits your need. And then it's up to somebody to challenge it in court. Well, I I've personally only seen a few lawsuits go all the way to fruition.
[00:28:16] At some point in time, three, four or five years down the road when legal fees are in the a hundred, $120,000 a party chooses to, to mitigate the loss and not move on any further and they settle out, right? So the, the whole system's broken and the fact that you don't get the changes that you need because the systems met in a way that if the legislation is not clear, somebody takes something through port and forces, the judge to write an opinion based on the outcome of the hearing, right?
[00:28:51] You don't have that very often. And if you've ever had to be involved in a lawsuit dealing in the tow industry, there they're complicated beyond belief. There's always more than one insurance party that's involved. So that means that there's attorneys from all sides, they, you know, do what attorneys do.
[00:29:09] They file counterclaims. And they just keep tacking up that law bill until somebody breaks weak and insurance companies have more money. Then most tow companies are going to have, but insurance companies also don't want it to go through and then become legislation that might not fit the narrative that they want.
[00:29:30] So they'll, they can push a lawsuit high, but very, very few of them go all the way through it. So when you're, and then the other that's all right. The other caveat to it is as well is when you're talking about cargo claims or cargo situations with releases that that's not the tow company and the insurance company's argument, even though that's a broker that broker it out you know, $40,000 shipment for Anheuser Busch.
[00:30:03] And if the shipment gets delayed, then they're on the hook for Anheuser-Busch. And it's regardless of if the insurance company decides to pay it out. So that's another interesting thing that you're involved in an industry that there's so many actors that I think a lot of times the contention becomes between the two parties that don't even really have any contention other than the fact that they're involved in this and the other parties aren't getting to the ground and getting the payment out quick enough.
[00:30:36] You do you, it always seems funny to me. We, we really have zero regulation on our fees here in Georgia. You don't seem to hear. Georgia as a trouble spot for, for recovery and voices. And then you hear a state that is regulated and it sounds like those towers are having quite a time getting their bills paid.
[00:30:59] It just seems so backwards to me. Do you have, do you have any idea or any input on that you create, you create the it's almost like you pre-frame, that there's going to be an issue as soon as you start regulating, right? So when you start regulating the, the tow company will then the insurance company starts to totally hear that there's regulation in that state.
[00:31:17] So the insurance company right away thinks that there might be a problem because if they're being regulated, they must all be doing something wrong. Right. And then the tow company oftentimes has to, based on the regulation has to then start to structure their invoicing in a certain way. The regulation is typically being pressed by people that don't really understand the tow industry.
[00:31:36] Right? So the tow company is trying to fit into this maze of how to actually bill correctly. So it doesn't become an issue. And then the next thing you know, the insurance company is, is starting to question these certain things that are just, it's kind of like, you know, it's just, it reminds me almost of like a if you just let the tow company, just bill, like they would normally.
[00:32:00] It would be, there would be a lot less of these red flags because they're just going to bill it to, you know, they're just going to bill it straight up. They're not going to try to create a, you know, put, you know, try to figure out what square to fit in the billing based on the regulation and all that other stuff.
[00:32:13] So it's just, I think that it pre-frames that there's going to be a problem and it puts everybody up on this high, like I think the tow companies expecting to get called in question and the insurance company is expecting the tow company to inflate the bill. And so they start the relationship that way.
[00:32:29] When you talk to an insurance adjuster, even if they don't really understand the laws, if they're in a specific region or a specific area, like you call someone in Wyoming that deals with Wyoming, every adjuster in Wyoming is going to say, well, this is the wild, wild west out here. These guys build whatever they want and they're they're this or that.
[00:32:46] And what happens is they get into these, they kind of pre-frame themselves and they kind of start hyping themselves up with, for the fight, if you will. So then as soon as the conversation happens, it just almost every single one of them go sideways for no reason. I mean, I don't know if you guys are married to have relationships, even with your kids or, or even anything it's like, if you walk into the conversation with the pretense, that there's going to be a problem, there's going to be a problem every time.
[00:33:10] Yeah. So, so we had some of the things that I think that created issues like here in here in Georgia or in oh seven, I believe we adopted the quarter coalitions open roads policy. And really anybody that jumped on board with that and signed off on the state's open road policy towers, police departments, you know, whoever might be involved in this stuff.
[00:33:38] They it was kind of like you're adopting a new mindset and opening the roadway and restoring traffic flow for tens of thousands of motorists is more important than allowing that trucking company to shop around for the cheapest guy to come work, their rec, all right, that, that created some issues in the beginning because now we had to, we had to switch from, you know, it was in our, in our heads for so long.
[00:34:06] We had to do everything to not create additional damage to the, to the trucking company's property. We had to make every attempt to save the load. Otherwise they wanted us to pay for the load and now adopting this open roads policy, it completely flipped that and said, no, that trucking company they're supposed to be insured for this.
[00:34:27] They know this is a risk running this stuff up and down the road. Everybody's sitting in that traffic jam that can't get to work on time. Can't get to their kid's ball game. Can't get to the, you know, they've got rights. They paid the taxes, they have the roads, they want to be able to use it. It took several years for the insurance adjusters around here to realize that things were changing.
[00:34:50] And then we actually started hearing. Rumors that these large trucking companies were putting out memos to their drivers. And I actually back probably about eight years ago, saw Qualcomm messages that people had taken pictures of in a tractor trailer, from their dispatcher that said, this is routing you through Atlanta, whatever you do, don't reckon Atlanta, because now in 2008, we had the trip program, the quick clearance program, and that changed things again, go forward to, I believe it was 2012 the food safety modernization act where pretty much all of a sudden, if any container has any kind of damage and it's got a food product in it, it's going in the landfill.
[00:35:39] Right? So all of a sudden, no longer was the need to try and save every last little can of chicken soup. That changed things quite a bit, even, even in Georgia's own policy, our department of agriculture, if it was a food product load, and it had to be disposed of they'd send one rep out that rep would photograph everything being put into the dumpsters and then ride in that roll off truck to the landfill and photograph this roll off, being dumped into the landfill, ride back.
[00:36:12] Now the second truck could do it. So that was creating all these additional expenses because it was just, it was drawing. A four-hour recovery now out to 10 or 12 hours. And if the landfill closed now, you brought it into the following day and there's more hours because somebody has got to sit on scene and it just there's, there's definitely a learning, a learning lag time when these changes occur on our end, we're well aware of these things, but then we're talking to the insurance companies and they don't understand this.
[00:36:41] And it seems to take probably two to three years for them to start understanding that. And you have a, and you have amaze when you're dealing with an insurance company. So again, it goes, anytime you're dealing with insurance, there's so many moving parts. You know, I think a lot of times people forget how dynamic and insurance company really is.
[00:37:00] I mean, it's not just the agent you're talking to, but you got your underwriters. You have all the algorithms that they're running off of all of the decision, making all the bureaucracy, right? So if a change like that happens, although the adjusters might hear it for years, usually your adjuster is going to have a disconnect with their ability to take that information up the chain to actually create a new action.
[00:37:22] Right. So what happens is the adjuster may hear it may know it. They may even be talking to their floor supervisor about it, but that mid-level manager that can take it up the chain either doesn't hear about it for a long time or when they hear about it. It's just not their biggest. I mean, they just have bigger issues.
[00:37:39] They have other things that they're trying to deal with. So in their mind, yeah, the, you know, that policy change, you know, whatever, you know, that's just not, that's not a big deal. We'll get back to it. Right. Well, a lot of times, and this is what, in my relationship with insurance companies, especially when we're representing them, you know, cause I would talk to all levels.
[00:37:57] I've talked to the adjusters, I've talked to the VPs. I would go all the way up. Jamie would do the same thing. You know, we try to a lot of times explain to them that when you're brushing something like this off, it costs everybody in the long run, right. It cost the tow company. It makes the tow company have to increase the, increase the cost.
[00:38:16] Then, then you get more exposure, which then makes you have to raise the premium, which hits the trucking company. I mean, it's not like it, you know, the, the negligence and this isn't like, it's just, it's just a little issue. It's like most of these little issues turn into multi-million dollar problems.
[00:38:31] Right. So yeah, that's, I mean, I th that totally makes sense. And you're going to see that in so many areas where again, it's like, it's like they there's that long lag and it's just a bureaucracy. You can't move it up the ladder fast enough. And in no one on the bottom can make a decision. And then if you don't mind me jumping in here, cause it's interesting, you brought that particular subject up, but I think it'll shed some light on, on tell owners of how complicated every situation is when you're talking about the insurance industry.
[00:39:02] The underwriting took a year and a half to catch up. So the federal government did it for safety reasons. We're going to, you're going to notice, right? That same thing with the difference in state regulations, everything. But from a safety standpoint, the federal government was like, look, if containment's been reached on food products, we can't ensure that that product has not been tampered with, and it will no longer go on shelves to the store, fine and dandy.
[00:39:30] Well, then we start managing toes underwriting in the claim specifically states that cargo has to be damaged by an outside source and a tow company goes and clips the band because they got to unload the cargo to upright a tractor trailer that's rolled over on the side of the road. That insurance policy cannot cover the cargo because it wasn't damaged by an outside source.
[00:39:57] So that government regulation took a year and a half for underwriting the catch-up. But here's a really interesting point. And I can't name the name, but I know several insurance companies, one in particular that pays out $4 billion in claims a month. If underwriting takes a year and a half to catch up, what is the bottom line dollar value to them?
[00:40:25] After a year and a half, if 40% of those claims went on paid because underwriting didn't include the new legislation from the federal government. That's huge. And most people don't realize that. I mean, $4 billion a month, that's unreal, the kind of numbers. So when you're talking about mitigating damage, when you're talking about you know, third-party companies coming in to try to get the tow bill reduced, that just it's astronomical when you're talking about that kind of bottom line on a monthly basis.
[00:41:00] And again, it goes back to that maze of an insurance company, you know, it's like not even the adjuster really oftentimes understands what's really going on. So like not, not necessarily on the toe itself, but what's happening in the background with an insurance company I've been in, I've been, you know, I've spoken to insurance companies, done insurance conferences, you know, have done the lunches and dinners and all that.
[00:41:21] I mean, it's like the insurance industry is an industry that is, I mean, they are, it's a tech company. I mean, these guys are running algorithms. Do you guys have their analysts through the wahoo? I mean, these guys, when they write a policy, they can forecast human behavior so far out. That it, it would blow your mind.
[00:41:45] It would blow your mind what they're measuring, what they're looking at, how they're taking analytics, how they're, how they're packaging, and then how they're writing it, how much legal work is going into it to write that policy. Because when that policy is written up, it's set up to make sure the insurance company is highly profitable.
[00:42:04] It's built that way. And, and it's, and it's, and th the adjuster doesn't understand it. A lot of times the mid-level managers don't understand it. Their job is to just go in there and, you know, they do the work. So when you, so when a tow company is sitting there fighting with the, with the adjuster, the adjuster is being given a policy, doing what they can to try to try to work through it.
[00:42:23] And, but they oftentimes don't even understand how deep this really is. And that's one of the things that we do when we're representing tow companies is, you know, oftentimes we're, you know, we're, we're sending the policy to the attorneys that we have that specialize in this, they're dissecting it, and we're fighting fire with fire, and I'm not talking, we're not talking to an adjuster.
[00:42:46] I'm not having a conversation with a mid-level supervisor. I'm talking to a regional manager. That's wondering why we're even calling them about a claim and, and we're going to have a conversation at that level. So again, it's just yeah, just to kind of piggyback off that. It's it's really yeah, it's, it's, it's very interesting for sure.
[00:43:03] So it's funny. How complicated things can be right from the start. And one of those issues I see very often is a lot of these insurance companies, they'll just dump one of these huge recovery claims on an adjuster. That's used to work in fender benders between a Hyundai and a Kia, right. And all of a sudden this guy has no knowledge of anything.
[00:43:29] They look at these invoices and immediately they look at it. And I, I completely understand the reaction from people when they hear about typical recovery invoices, simply because I get, they have no idea that what goes into this. If, if you pull up in an $800,000 rotator and ask just some basic person on the side of the road, what do you think this truck costs, you're going to get a hundred, hundred and 50,000.
[00:43:58] I'll try 800,000. Yeah. And they look at you like they honestly do not believe you if they think you're full of it. Right. So I appreciate it when an adjuster comes to the yard and I, and it's an independent guy hired who understands this stuff. Sure. Do you think there's any, any truth to, we often joke in our industry that the first first person we deal with women from an insurance company is going to have just enough training and knowledge to say.
[00:44:30] Yeah, well, no, that's the, that is the, the game of insurance. I mean, again, it's, you know, the, the strategy has always, I mean, if you even go back to the origins of how insurance was even created, I mean, if you go all the way back to it, I mean, insurance has always been, you know, basically hedging risk and, and making, making money off people's fears.
[00:44:52] Right. And the idea is obviously get the premiums in the door, get people afraid enough to pay them, pass as much legislation or lobbyists, as much as you can to create policies that ensure that people have to have insurance and then get your insurance adjusters to pay as little as possible on every single claim.
[00:45:10] And that's, that's, that's it as easy as possible, you know, as, as simple as you can make it. And I've dealt with insurance, everything from, you know, obviously commercial insurance claims all the way to auto claims all the way to fidelity where there's insurance policies on, on criminal cases. I mean, and it's all the same.
[00:45:27] I, there's not a piece of insurance that I have not represented at this point. And it's that, that is what it is. I mean, the adjuster's automatic response is no. And you prove to me why it should be yes. And then we'll, and then we'll go through that, that, that process. And it kind of also Adds fuel to this whole fire because, because that's kind of how it works.
[00:45:47] Eventually the tow company, you start to realize every time I have a conversation and they just say no anyway, so you, and it goes back to getting ready for the fight and this person's getting ready for this. Person's ready to say no, and this person's ready to explain why. And it just, it's why this thing, this fire just continues to grow and grow and grow.
[00:46:04] So back in the adjusters, I was just going to add one other piece. Adjusters is just the same thing with state regulations. Not all states even require an adjuster to be a licensed insurance adjustment. So, and then we're in a timeframe where remote working is become popular, right? So where do you think the focus of these new hire adjusters are coming out of?
[00:46:33] We're noticing a lot of of companies that have commercials with flow in it that all of a sudden all their adjusters are coming out of Illinois. Well, interestingly enough, in the state of Illinois, you don't have to be licensed in the insurance industry or even know what you're discussing. And that's an immediate roadblock right there.
[00:46:53] You can't have a conversation or, or even, you know, mitigate anything when the person that you're dealing with doesn't understand the rules and regulations of the industry that they're working in. So they don't even. A lot of times, I don't even know right off the bat, whether their, their customer has the proper coverage in what makes me say that is we've had situations where the truck owner, he believes he's covered and he's not.
[00:47:29] And what happened with one, one insurance company in particular? A really big one. They were allowing people to go online, sign up for a policy and it would suggest the policy with all the boxes checked. And because there was no agent involved to be able to steer that customer, they're just going down unclick and boxes of coverages.
[00:47:53] They don't think they need. Yeah, well it's and even if there was an adjuster, it doesn't matter because, or even if there was insurance agent, it doesn't matter because what basically is happening is they're trying to lower that premium, the premium keeps going up. Right. So for the trucking, just like, if you go to the trucking side, then you hear their stories.
[00:48:11] I represented carriers and brokers for a long time as well. And their costs going up, right? So they're seeing the insurance hike up. They, you know, they're just trying to make a living. They're trying to eke out a profit at the best they can. And they know insurance companies are typically selling them a bunch of stuff that they don't want to sell, or they don't want to buy.
[00:48:26] So what they'll do is they'll go in there and say, Hey, get me the loan. You know, what's the lowest rate and the insurance agent doesn't care and the underwriting, they don't care if they, if they give them that lower rate, because they understand that if you're a carrier and you're going to be on the road and you're going to be doing this for 5, 10, 15 years, there's going to be accidents.
[00:48:46] And as those accidents happen, when I start hedging the risk here, I'm okay with you paying a little bit less on that premium. If I can cap this insurance rate at $10,000. And the other thing is that that comes into this is like, there's a lot of escalation happening too within the insurance company that I don't think you guys are really, maybe, maybe don't really know, but like a couple years ago there was kind of a, there was kind of a going theme where adjusters had the ability to stroke a check for somewhere between 20 to 30 grand, depending on how, what their level was, right.
[00:49:18] Without any approval. So they could stroke the check and they didn't need to go up. And any of that stuff, right? Well, it's still 20 or $30,000. So when you guys, so as the, as the towing, as Jamie demonstrated to me as your guys' costs are going up, which is driving your invoicing up, you're, you're passing that threshold almost every job.
[00:49:40] So what's happening is every time you pass it, you're triggering this red flag that then. So then automatically there's a delayed process. And then the further away you get from the claim. So when you go from, so you're onsite your onsite, adjuster's going to be the most knowledgeable, right? It's going to be your local guy.
[00:49:57] He's probably has a relationship with you. You probably know a couple of them right now that you know, very good. You know, you guys have a relationship, you guys have dealt with each other. Often. The next person is the one in the office, right? And that's another level of, of removal. So that person's further removed from the claim.
[00:50:13] Well, if the invoice starts to get red flagged and moved into that next layer of management, you're so far away from the claim that manager may not even specialize in that state. And now you have somebody looking at the claim and going, well, this is not $30,000. It's 32057 cents. So it's too high. And then boom.
[00:50:33] And then it goes all the way down the chain again. And now the adjuster has to call you and say, Hey, it's too high or whatever. And then they're trying to figure out, cause they, you know, they feel uncomfortable with it too. I can't tell you how many adjusted I've talked to. They don't want to call you and tell you to pay, to pay less on the bill.
[00:50:47] It's uncomfortable for them. So they get on there and then they start rambling, right? Where it's like, well, you know what? I've seen invoices before and this one looks high and then it pisses you guys off. Cause you're like, are you kidding me, man? You have no idea what you're talking about. And you know, they're, they're just pulling stuff out of their ass.
[00:51:04] And as you're talking to them, you can, you start picking apart. And again, it just continues to make that it's just that fire just keeps going. What I'm hearing is, is some of the problem here is being caused by a preset cost threshold, right. Just because it's over this, it must be too high, which couldn't be further from the truth.
[00:51:29] I mean, there's, there's invoices telling you that the guy that makes the, the guy that makes the call on that, you know, that VP that's making the call or the person that's in underwriting. He hasn't been adjusted for about 25 years. So it's too high because I was an adjuster and I was good at what I did.
[00:51:48] And now I'm here and I'm, I'm there and I've moved up and all this stuff. And you know, this is just tow companies doing tow company stuff, and then it creates a culture of it. So we're going to take a quick break and all right, we're back. We kinda led into this conversation, but we're gonna, we're gonna take off with it and run here.
[00:52:06] So the red flags have been mentioned a couple of times. Is it more of a threshold amount that automatically the whole bills are red flag or is it a combination of, you know, specific line items and, and verbiage, maybe that raises red flags. Okay. So one of the things, and this is kind of how my team was breaking down invoices as well, right?
[00:52:28] So you're going to have red flags that are based on what the cost is. If they have to get manager approval automatically, then they have to look at the end, right? And then you have certain things that stick out like sore thumbs, cause an adjuster's actual productivity is based on whether they're paying the claim amount and whether it's accurate.
[00:52:50] So you have to understand from an adjuster's perspective, this is somebody's job on the line. It's how well they're doing it. Like in these claims all get reviewed. They have a system that allows them to be able to identify the average claim across the company for similar circumstances. Obviously you would know from your perspective that there is no circumstance, that's the same, but still for their own measures, they, they have that available to them.
[00:53:19] Right? Headsets, admin, bees, straps chains, binders, all like those are instantaneous because especially if a job goes on for any time, I can't tell you how many invoices I've seen, where they could have bought 18 brand new headsets from what was built off of one incident. Well, that doesn't reflect that that's what's actually going on.
[00:53:46] Right? You have companies trying to show, tell owners how they can bill to increase their margin because. The, this whole industry is getting a little choppy, right? If you're not getting paid on it, every invoice, you need to be able to recover the ones you're not getting paid on somehow, but some of those costs and that are getting incorporated to, to make your margin a little higher, they don't make sense to a normal human being.
[00:54:16] So if I'm an adjuster and I'm looking and I'm like, wow, you know, $3,500 for headsets, I go down to the store right now and buy new ones. Like why, why is that charged there? Right. It must be inflated. It must be inflated exactly. A a hundred thousand dollars with that supervisor was telling me in that training session, I went to that one time for 30 minutes and then same thing with the admin, right?
[00:54:40] Like if you get above a $30,000 invoice, then there's, they're going to be like, well, what in the world is admin doing, you know, 10% on a a hundred thousand dollars bill that's 10, $10,000. Did they pay everybody in admin for three months? Like, you know what I mean? They're not looking at margins and costs.
[00:55:00] And, and the fact that these these line items are built into the invoice so that you can be a profitable company. They're looking at it from a perspective of like, like I said, I could go into Walmart and buy that stuff right there. You know, what is the admin doing for me for $10,000? So. There, those are the little things and, and there's enough of them there.
[00:55:23] And unfortunately enough, there's plenty of states that actually have those charges incorporated into their legislation, but that isn't going to stop them from looking at the bill and automatically going well, what in the world is going on? And then the other huge, huge thing that is have nothing to do with the tow company or owners themselves, is that every insurance adjuster knows that on any recovery that half the equipment that they're getting billed for is probably sitting idle while they're doing a different part of the recovery.
[00:55:59] And you can't avoid that, but it doesn't mean that it's not a point of contention. So I'll give you a, for instance, you got on a recovery, you got a rotator, a heavy or two rotators and a heavy because it's a layover. But the trailer's full and before you can operate it, that cargo has to come out. Well, they, insurance adjuster knows the eight hours that the cargo was getting re palliated moved loaded onto another truck that the two rotators and heavy wrecker were standing idle.
[00:56:31] It's hard to bridge that gap mentally for them that that's a legitimate line item. They're going to try to ping you on that. Yeah. And the business perspective of it, which is how else would you. So if you're the adjuster. Okay. So adjuster, let's put on your business hat for a second. Now you own a token, but how do you do it?
[00:56:49] Do you just send them out piece by piece and you just call for the next piece while the traffic is backed up, how do, how would you do it? And for them, of course, that hat doesn't get put on. So again, it just becomes a disconnect. It's just not fair. Right. And then it's like, well, but, but we're not going all the way through the dynamic that has to happen here.
[00:57:12] And again, it's like yeah, so anyway, yeah, I've, I've had that discussion probably as many times as anything else trying to explain why those trucks are being billed, even though they're not actively being used. And one of the questions that I get asked a lot as well, why did you have that rotator operator offloading pallets while that truck's sitting on the side of the road?
[00:57:38] Not being music well, who else is going to do it right? You don't hire, you don't hire pallet removal, technicians. Just sit around. Wait. Yeah. Yeah. Right. And like the, and what is there and what would the rotator, what would he do? He would, he would show up and then leave for lunch. And then you guys would call them, you'd go home with a family.
[00:57:59] I mean, what, what does he do? Sit on the side of the road and then do I, do I, not bill, but. I mean, how, what do you want me to, what is it that you want me to do? And this is, you know, Jamie's really good about when he's talking to, when he was talking to insurance, clients is really, again, making sure that, Hey guys, we gotta, we gotta be in the world of reality here in, in some of this stuff we can't be, you know, just so he was always really good about those kinds of conversations, for sure, because ultimately if we're going to sustain our, our, our business and, and, you know, people, people like to label the company or a corporation as being some mindless entity, right.
[00:58:48] That that's not true. My, my big, bad overcharging tow company provides 30 people with a, with a decent living for them in their families, right? It's not just this evil company trying to make as much, you know, grab as much money as they can, every chance they've got. I mean, w th these, these guys are being paid.
[00:59:11] That they've my gosh. They deserve to make a really good living for what they do out in the weather, the dangers, the roadway, you know, it's, it's, it's crazy to me, but it's, it's really hard to explain that to people 10, it was lack a lack of empathy, which is a common thing. Yeah. I mean, it goes around. I mean, it's everywhere now.
[00:59:31] I mean, just lack of empathy, just people miss the, you know, you can't put yourself in someone else's shoes, can't, you can't, you know, just unwilling to don't want to too lazy to and it's easier just to hang onto your belief system, your thought process or whatever, and then just go with it and run with it.
[00:59:48] Oh, it's the same people that'll spend $12 a month for door dash, but they don't want to pay your, they think that you should tow their Tesla for, for $40. Right. It's just an unreal pricing expectation that talked about this before. I don't know how we got to this point, but it sucks. Yeah. You know, the, and I'll, I'll bring up, this is some interesting information because I don't, and it kind of reflects right back to what I was saying right there.
[01:00:17] Just the has to be a come to Jesus moment. Like there's, there's so much miscommunication and understanding that it doesn't seem right. But you think about like a light duty driver. But when I, when I was helping out my family and stuff that you get paid, like for doing Copart or whatever, it's like 35 or $45 for a car.
[01:00:39] Okay. Well, I can make a lot more on Uber because obviously I'm not getting paid $35. A car, the company's getting paid $35 to go tell a car and you'd need to tell 300 of them a, an hour to compete with going and working for DoorDash and delivering people food. Right. So the, the industry's thoughts on like the billing and the charges are what the real misconception is, and you, you can't have the rules and regulations of the state tightening on you and the rules and regulations of the insurance companies, tight, non tightening in, on you and be a profitable business if you're in the middle.
[01:01:22] Yeah. So, so when that, when that happens, you know, people scream for legis legislation and regulations on our, on our fees and everything. But in almost every circumstance where I see a state or, you know, even, even a town, you know, small, local municipality start tightening regulations while the tower in the end still has to make a certain amount of money on these jobs.
[01:01:51] So I think that's when you start seeing certain states, when you see photos or video from a large truck recovery, you're seeing 12 flatbeds out there, right? Eight heavies, a land dollar too because they're having to figure out how to work under those. Very restrictive regulations and still make enough money to make payroll at the end of the week.
[01:02:15] And not to mention you, like you see, you'd mentioned equipment before, you know, having to buy the equipment. I mean, having to even buy the equipment to have the capability to do the job. Right. So it's like, it's like, I mean, you talk about really playing a game of chess every day. I mean, you're trying to figure out, you know, of course, I mean, look there, I don't believe in me and Jamie's had this conversation before.
[01:02:36] I don't think there's a tow company owner in the, in the country that wants to spend the next five hours dealing with an adjuster, an attorney going back and forth about a bill. So, I mean, you guys are trying the best you can to get it as low as you possibly can. I think for the most part. And, and then in addition to that, you're trying to also make sure that you abide with regulation and then also try to make sure that you could pay for the equipment while also trying to figure out how to love your employees and take care of them.
[01:03:00] Because again, if you, if you're not taking care of them and they go find another job, and then here you go, you gotta go try to find another person. And, and, and I'm sure that just like any business, it's hard to find good people. So it's, it's definitely a definitely amaze. It's definitely a chess game for sure.
[01:03:17] The bad part is, you know, we've briefly touched on this, but we can charge fair or we can charge unfair. No matter what, there's still no protection that we're going to get paid. No guarantee, no, you know, no protection there at all in Ohio. That's something that our legislative towing association is looking at an avenue to try and tackle.
[01:03:40] I don't know how we do that, but do you have data or do you have any idea on how many events go on paid in our industry? Or what percentage go on paid or vice versa? How would he get paid? Yeah, I don't have any hard numbers. What I would just say is you know, there's a lot of different things that, that you can, that you can do to try to get paid as far as you know, of course we're, we're covering the red flags and the stuff to try to keep it under the radar.
[01:04:07] But once you get into a scenario where you're dealing with an insurance company, or even if you're dealing with an under-insured motorist or, or someone that has no insurance I know that pops up here and there. It gets, you know, like even in our office and I'll let Jamie speak to what, what our team looks like.
[01:04:24] But, you know, we put in when we get a tow invoice, so you guys send us an invoice to go and recover on your behalf. I mean, we have a mediator, we have a mediator, which has also claimed specialists in most cases. An attorney probably looking at the, the, the underwriting of it in the circumstances in general, and then a PI that's usually locating all the people that all the players in the game in order to make sure that we know where every, where everybody's at on the, on the board.
[01:04:46] So that way we can, we can apply the pressures that we need to and have the conversations we need to have. I think that a big, what I would probably say is that,
[01:05:02] you know, I would probably start off with checking your guys's heart, right? So like, if you know, you're doing the right thing, then you're doing that. I mean, if you're, I mean, and that's probably the first part and if you are doing the right thing, then it's, it's worth fighting for and it's worth kind of taking that stance and, and standing that ground.
[01:05:24] I think that a lot of, a lot of people do the right thing and because it's getting contested, it's just easier for them to just take the settlement, take the short pay, just, just take what I can get. And, you know, it's just easier that way. But then what happens to start to set precedents and, and you start to teach that, that you're going to roll over in that way.
[01:05:44] And so if you're on a nonconsensual, tow or rotation list, you're going to be dealing with the same insurance companies. You're going to be dealing with the same adjusters you're going to be, and you don't want that precedent set. So what I would probably say is if you're doing the right thing and you're being, you're being honest, you're operating with integrity, then, then stand your ground.
[01:06:00] And just know that when you're dealing with the adjuster, the adjuster again, may not really understand exactly what's going on. And although they're contesting it, you know, oftentimes they do believe based on their limited knowledge that it is inflated. So I think that if you can get to the human human element with the, with the, with the adjuster and you could kind of like educate them through it, I know that it's tough when someone calls you and you know, you guys work, you're working hard and they're calling your bill out, especially if it's been an intense situation, a tough day, you know, it's a real quick way to touch that hot button and piss somebody.
[01:06:37] But if you can, if you can slow it down for a second and take the time to go through the educational process, you'll sway the adjuster more with that honey than, than that vinegar. Because then as you start to ask the question, then you start to make them think about it. They'll, they'll start to, they'll start to understand where you're coming from.
[01:06:57] And most of these people, most of these adjusters, man, I know it doesn't seem like it may be sometimes, but they're pretty good people and there. And if you, if you explain it to them, they'll understand it. And then once you get past the point where you know that you know, they're, they're digging their, their foot in the ground, then it's when you have to start getting into understanding how policy is written.
[01:07:16] You have to be able to understand the laws in your state. And then you want to use all the information with the policies and the laws and, and the, you know, what the precedent is in the state, and then be able to leverage that conversation correctly with the appropriate party within the insurance company.
[01:07:29] I mean, we do all that for you guys, but if you have the ability, if you have the team or our unit, you know, I know some tow companies do establish, you know, 3, 4, 5 people in the office that are kind of equipped for this battle. Then of course, turn it over and then but yeah, that's probably what I would say is the best scenario, because ultimately you're dealing with a person that's making a decision based on what they think is right or wrong.
[01:07:48] So if you could educate them, I think that helps, I think one major challenge outside of just writing an invoice when you're in the back of your mind, you're wondering if it's going to be questioned the whole time and if you're doing the right thing, but once you write that. You know that recovery and voice, you get the phone call and say, Hey, well, you know, there's the truck, there's the trailer and the cargo, can you, can you split it up and get it tied at the right amount?
[01:08:16] I'm only paying this part. Can you tie this amount? How, how do you do that? How, I mean, how, how, what advice do you have when they say, can you, can you split it up three ways and make it? I would, I would say, and I, and I'll let Jamie can speak into it, but I would definitely say if I'm advising you guys and I'm giving you advice, I would say don't split it.
[01:08:36] Because first off the adjuster you're talking to has no control over the next insurance company and what their policies are, what their procedures are, the way that they look at their underwriting. And you're, you're putting yourself in a convoluted situation if you split the bill because once you split it, now you have to go chase down this other insurance party.
[01:08:58] And not only, not only are you up against new rules, new territory, a new game with a new company, You also don't know at what stage of the claim that other insurance companies, even in, at the state. Right. And if they're even accepting anything. And when you get into these, these accidents on the freeway, you have so many people involved and there's so many ways.
[01:09:20] I mean, you look at an underwriting. I had a, I had a attorney just do this just for fun. To try to figure out all of like the, the loopholes that are really being capitalized on an, on a, on a, a hundred writing policy. I mean, they, they counted out like 390 something different, hard set loopholes that are just ambiguous statements that basically allow them to walk out.
[01:09:43] So when you take that and you go 390 loopholes here, 390 loopholes here, and then this car ran into the back, there's 390 loopholes there. And then you had an uninsured motors that has no money. Like you're putting yourself in. I mean, you might as well go to a lottery. I mean, at that point in time. So the key is keep the bill together and then allow them to figure out what they're going to do about it.
[01:10:06] Do what the first tow company did to meet, which is basically we're keeping everything in the bills, one bill and jump in a lake or pay the bill it, start there and then let them figure it out from there. It's, it's funny because when w you know, we're often asked to split the bills and I, I won't do it.
[01:10:23] What I, what I do offer is having all parties come together in a conversation. And come up with, you know, like a division by percentage, but the bill is still the bill and the bill still needs to be paid, but let's have I'm okay with having a discussion, you know, Hey, we really dealt 80% with the trailer here, not the tractor, you know, I'm okay with that, but I'm, I will never hang myself by dividing a bill again.
[01:10:50] But when, when I offer to do that, it seems like there's at least one adjuster involved that completely understands where I'm coming from and why I won't. You got to, usually there's three involved sometimes too, but X of those four or five, but it seems like at least one of them understands every time.
[01:11:07] Why, why we don't want to do that. So, yeah. Unfortunately I don't, I would fly. I got gotta, I want to jump in on a couple of things. So to answer your question, Brad, the statistics are very convoluted because they include retail and so more, more retail than anything go unpaid. Right? The guy parked in the handicap parking lot and the apartment complex to go run into his buddies and he can't get the car back out of impound.
[01:11:38] Like, so, and then the other thing that I think there is no statistic on as how many times do you take a hit on the invoice? How many times the invoice short paid, and you just write it off. Because more often than not, I think that that happens. So there's no real true indicator of how often a tow company isn't getting paid for the work they do.
[01:12:02] And it's interesting because listening to both Jeff and Brad, it almost feels like you guys are put in a situation where you got to feel guilty about the legitimate work you did about the equipment that you had to use to get it done like that. That's not the way that industry or a business is supposed to function.
[01:12:21] Well, I guarantee it, I cut you off, but I can't speak for Jeff by guaranteed. Most, most company owners, they write a recovery bill and the minute they're done with it, they look at it and say, okay, what amount will I take if they offer? Right. And it shouldn't be, and that's not, that's not right. And then, you know, to, to dive into that invoice, splitting that that's not right either.
[01:12:45] It's not your obligation. You did a recovery and you didn't choose to have four different insurance, adjusters, and seven different insurance policies. That's the gentleman behind the wheel, right? You don't even get to choose whether you do a recovery or not. It's amazing how little education there is out there.
[01:13:05] People don't understand if you're on a rotation list, you're going out there. You don't get to determine if they have the capability to pay you or not. If they have valid insurance, the state calls you, you clear the highway out and you do the recovery. And cross your fingers that when the invoices produced and it goes out to somebody there's the money there to pay.
[01:13:25] Right? So it seems like the, all of the requirements and the additional work and effort is always being placed on the tow owner. And that, it's kind of like where I started to think to myself, like what's going on when we first started, just to give you an idea, I might have rejected an invoice every month, every couple months.
[01:13:52] They, they were legitimately inflated invoices and they were out of two specific areas. I mean, we really started battling Virginia and Wyoming. That was like 90% of our stuff. And then as we started to get more popular and we're starting to get out, well, then I'm kicking back more and more invoices as well.
[01:14:15] Near the end. When I started talking to ownership about it, I was kicking back three invoices for every invoice that we would actually take on. And I would just have to tell them it's legitimate. Like you have to pay, I, I understand it's 35,000 and you think it should be 12, but you know, I just have my team look at the state schedule, the billing we spoke with the officers that were out there.
[01:14:38] They agree with the timeline. And so it's time to. And, and so you know, that, that conversion just was based on things you're seeing. And, and like I said, every time there's a new hiccup. They're just like, all right, well, the Toko right. All right. Well, you'll reduce the bill. All right. Well, now, now we're finding more and more.
[01:14:58] There's more than one policy. So how about you do me a favor and split that for the tractor or what's the cargo? Well, it's not your responsibility. You shouldn't have to even do that to get paid. Okay. And these insurance companies, you know, one, one thing that a couple, when you ask about statistics again, I don't know exactly what they are, but I know that I was in some pretty deep conversations two to maybe two, three years ago with some executives at insurance company and just kind of hearing their perspective.
[01:15:24] And there is, you know, almost a, I don't want to call it a war because it is their customers, but essentially a war on the, on the transportation industry when you're talking about heavy semi-truck movement. Right. And the reason that was is because it was the biggest losses, right. You know, there are these, these, these, these things flip on the, on the freeway and it's not a car and it's not, and you can't measure.
[01:15:49] The analytics and all the, all the stuff that they use to measure like regular automobiles on the road. And like, I could see your driving history and I could see this and I can see that it's not as clear when it comes to the semi-trucks because there's so many variables, you know, you've got somebody on the road every day of their life and they're there and they're moving loads that are super expensive.
[01:16:10] There's going to end there's thousands of cars around them. You can't, it's very, very hard to, to try to anticipate what is, or what isn't going to happen. So a couple of years ago I had a conversation with, with a couple of guys and they were talking about how they were going to these meetings where essentially the insurance company was almost, they were, they were trying, they were focusing all of, you know, or a significant amount of resources into specifically how to mitigate claims that have to do with semi-trucks on the freeway.
[01:16:40] And they started really zeroing in on this. And what it did was it created in maybe an unintentional war on tow companies, because every single accident that's in that realm, especially when it comes to semi-trucks, you're going to get a nonconsensual tow call it's going to, it's going to happen. And so, as a result, as a byproduct you know, they start, when they, when the insurance companies start to focus their resources like that, it goes up the ladder, it goes to, it goes to underwriting, and then it goes into the adjuster training and it goes into the messaging that you start to tell everybody and all of that.
[01:17:11] So what starts to happen is it. I'm sure that the amount of invoices that start to get that are unpaid now versus 10 years ago are probably significantly higher because the caps are getting lower, which means that you're putting it further on to the carrier. And a lot of times the carrier is not going to be able to, to handle that or to, to cover that.
[01:17:34] And then when you get to the insurance companies, insurance companies oftentimes have so many ways out that they can short pay no-pay. They can do all kinds of things to get out of it. I mean, so I'm sure that they've gone up. Even in the last three years, since I started having those conversations, it started to become a common theme.
[01:17:50] You know, I talk, talk to a group of people and then, you know, I ended up in a, in a conference and you start to hear the buzz. And then by the time you start hearing it in multiple places, it's becoming the culture of what's happening. The, the gosh, that whole thing, which you're talking about the cargo minute ago, being very expensive.
[01:18:10] There's a flip side of that to where the cargo has zero value. I'm talking, pulpwood trucks, logging drugs, then nobody cares. So that is like, keep it. You can keep, you can keep the burn tractor and trailer and you can keep the cargo, keep it all. So, so we end up and dump it and pay to dump it. Yes, yes. Yeah.
[01:18:32] We, we paid to dispose of your garbage. We ha we have a big bottled water plant here in town. And those trucks wreck pretty often. Yeah. And not only do you have this bottled water that has, it has zero low zero value until it goes across the cash register at the grocery store. Right. But to make it worse, that thing lays over in the ditch.
[01:18:56] There's no way to offload that stuff and get those water bottles in the dumpster without all of them exploding, everything turns into a mud pit. You can't get your skid-steers in and out of the ditch and up to the boxes. And then you're looking at this saying, I know there's, there's very little insurance coverage on water.
[01:19:13] Right. So it's worse. So it gets to the point where you see certain types of truckers, certain types of cargo get in an accident. And you're like, oh, I hope that other company on rotation gets this call. That's something you didn't hear 20 years ago. You never heard it. Yeah. Trying to pass it off. Right?
[01:19:34] Yeah. I think, I think a big you know, I think a big, it's interesting. So a lot of, a lot of people see, you know, we've, we've strategically created this network of attorneys. You know, we have, we have attorneys on staff, but we have a network across the country so we can litigate in any venue. And it's interesting because you know, a lot of people think that's really our force, but our real powerhouses, our mediation team, our claims specialist.
[01:19:59] And it's because we try to stay out of. We stay out of the nuance of the claim and we go really deep into the way that policy was written. And, and it's one of our, it's the reason why we can take, I mean, we literally, I would say probably let's call it six out of 10 claims that get denied, right? So you get an uninsured motorist.
[01:20:21] We overturn them and, and the way we're able to overturn the denial is because we understand basically where there's a bunch of loopholes for them to get out, but there's also, if you know how to nail it, there's a bunch of ways to get back in. And a lot of people don't know that. So you get, you get, you know, the tow company, it's like, well, we have a $10,000 cap.
[01:20:41] You can take our 10 grand and you have to go after the carrier. And we know the care. I mean, we're not going after the, we will, if we have to, but we would much rather get those, use those loopholes as back doors to go back into that claim and reopen it. So it's just you know, it's, it's it kind of, I was just thinking about that while you were saying, cause it's like.
[01:21:01] It's almost like if you focus too much on the claim and you don't focus on the root, it's too easy to get distracted and, and moved around and all this stuff. But if you can get into the root of the way that policy was written and the nuance of that particular insurance company, because there's a whole culture between each insurance company too.
[01:21:19] They're like any business like you guys are, you know, you guys, although the tow community is really tight, you guys also have competition. So con you know, any business you run is like a sport, right? You're trying to build the best team and you're trying to build the best, the best system and the best business model and those things to of course separate yourself from the competition.
[01:21:36] Well, insurance companies are doing the same thing. So when you understand the different, the different insurance companies, how they work and what their strategy is, and then you mix that in with the way that the, the, the policies written and then the state laws, and you can kind of get all of the stars and the moon lined up.
[01:21:54] You'll be shocked how once it just unlocks, it's like, okay, we're just going to pay the full bill. And it goes from, we're not paying more than 20 grand on a hundred thousand dollar bill to, okay. Okay. Okay. We'll pay the a hundred thousand dollars. How fast can we get it to you? So it's just a, again, it's, it's, it's kind of a a little bit of a science to it, but you almost got us when you're dealing with a claim to go back to.
[01:22:19] I think Brad, I think Brad asks a question. You almost have to see past the claim that you're in, in order to successfully get the most out of your hands. If that makes sense. I know it's kind of hard to explain, but that's pretty much, that's the strategy. You got to see that you got to see what's behind the curtains in order to successfully maximize what you're trying to do.
[01:22:41] So we had a, we had a guest on a few months ago and he has, he went through, he was just wiped out in January by a tornado. And one of the, one of the most interesting things he said to us was everybody needs to understand. They don't have an insurance policy. They have an insurance contract and that insurance company is going to live and die.
[01:23:04] By the words in that contract, it doesn't matter that you go golfing once a week with your local agent. No. Right. It has nothing to do with that. He has no say so in what's covered and what's not, and now you're sitting here, right? You have so much, and they have so much more data than you. I mean, think about it.
[01:23:22] You're an insurance company that, that, that ensures, you know, millions and millions and millions of trucks. You see millions and millions. I mean, state farm, I think it's farmers or state farms, commercial where their whole theme is like they're walking through and it's like, they tell the stories of all the different things that they've seen.
[01:23:41] Right. You've you know, the commercial I'm talking about. That's a real life. I mean, that, that is it's very interesting because that is really how they're operating. Every single time they get a claim. Every time they see an issue of something new and it goes up to underwriting to pay, and we've not thought about this yet.
[01:24:00] They're going to think of that. They're making an adjustment, they're making adjustments. So they're making thousands of tweaks to that underwriting policy all the time. So by the time you, maybe you're in, you know, you're, you know, you've been in maybe 10 accidents or you've seen, you know, you've seen you know, if you're a trucker, you've seen, you know, 10 situations, you don't, you don't know all the different things that you have to be covered for and all the potential situations that could happen.
[01:24:28] You get this contract, it's 5, 6, 7, 8 pages long. And it's like, I just gotta hurry up and get my insurance for DLT. I don't have time for all of this. You just sign, okay. Well, you're signing basically every end. The thing that sucks for the tow company is that you guys aren't even part of that transaction because at least if you, if you were a part of it, you could at least help some way or another to kind of navigate.
[01:24:50] Obviously it's not a possibility, but, but you're just stuck with whatever they signed up for. And, you know, we hear from the trucking companies a lot and the insurance companies, well, this was nonconsensual. I didn't call you. Why should I have to pay this? You know? Well, a lot, a lot of, a lot of this is nonconsensual on our part.
[01:25:10] We had to go work the wreck, and now we're stuck dealing with an insurance company. We don't want to deal with, we're stuck dealing with a trucking company. One of the, one of the more interesting things I saw was it was out of Texas, too, too heavy companies worked one wreck. It was, it was a massive collision between two trucks.
[01:25:27] Two companies worked at a third-party. Yeah, I got involved and he, his first tactic is call up. Your bill is too high. Take it down. Or I'm going to call the state patrol and file a complaint against you. So he, he goes straight to intimidation. One of the companies, okay. They cut their bill. I 50%. And it was like on a holiday, a hundred degrees out.
[01:25:53] I mean, these guys deserve to be paid. What their invoice was, the other company. They stood their ground and they were not going to budge. And this, this is something I actually ended up personally involved with. It complicated things so bad for the company that decided to stand their ground because pressure insurance company now said, well, wait a minute, this guy has already admitted.
[01:26:15] His bill was inflated by a hundred percent. He knocked half of it off. Yep. Which must mean your bill is in place and it's implied. Cause it's not even, it doesn't even mean that he really believes that it was. He just thought it was faster to get the money this way. And let's just not deal with the headache, but now it's implied that yep.
[01:26:33] You guys are, you guys are inflating. You guys are inflating the bills. So this is kind of off track a little bit. But do you have any advice I've been given advice that your initial invoice that goes out should probably have a note on it somewhere stating it's not the final invoice? Because it's been used against towers.
[01:26:55] If they made a mistake and fat fingered 10 hours on something that was one hour and you're presenting that as a final invoice insurance figures that out now they're trying to make you look bad saying you inflated that. Yeah. Jamie take lead on that. I, I, my, my initial thought with that is not to do that just because I think it stops your process.
[01:27:17] I think that you're, you're, you're better off saying I made a mistake and going down that road, then I'm saying it's not the final invoice. Cause then what happens is everything stops. So then the adjuster says, okay, well then send me the final invoice. We're waiting for that final. Yeah. We'll send it to me.
[01:27:32] And then I'll decide whether I'm going to pay it or not. So you just kinda, you just kind of, you stop everything to REA it becomes a, it becomes actually a red flag. Are there any little protections you can include in your invoice to Jamie make that road a little smoother? So I don't, I don't really feel like there's any protections.
[01:27:53] I mean, if you're. If you're legitimately billing for everything out there, then you're probably going to hit red flags anyways. Right. I mean, that's kind of the moral of the story of this hour and a half long conversation. And the reason that we were like, whoa, we need to take a step back and realize what impact we're having and what we're doing.
[01:28:13] Right. Because I can, I can go, I can have my team still question the five or 10 tow companies out there. Right. And, and we can also make sure that the tow companies that are billing correctly are getting paid. So I don't, I don't think there's protections in there other than standing your ground. And that would be my, my biggest point of advice to anyone.
[01:28:39] Right. As you just stand your ground, you let them know, like, this is what it is. This is what we did. This is the equipment that we used. And unfortunately enough, I can't reduce the invoice because if I start doing it here and I'm doing it there that's food off my table at the end of the day. Right.
[01:28:57] Because I have to imagine just like the owner of the company that I worked for, that, you know, Dan's going to pay out his employees and he's going to take the cut from his own. So every, every time an owner takes reduction, they're still paying their employees exactly what they're supposed to be paid.
[01:29:17] They're taking off their margin. And unless I have some misconception of your industry, your margins, not 30%, you're, you're very correct. Right. Right. So, so the, so the standing your ground is number one, like, and, and having everybody stand your ground, stand their ground and getting more education out there and doing these podcasts and opening the eyes up, maybe on all sides to where there's a common ground that can be found.
[01:29:47] Because I think that for every person that's out there saying look, the tow company is holding onto the tractor trailer and cargo, and they're using it as leverage that there's the flip side. And that's every insurance companies out there trying to beat down a tow company and use the fact that the last tow company gave them a reduction.
[01:30:08] And that's their leverage. Right? Everybody's like Dan was saying is like entrenched in this war. And, and they're not, there's no, no give except for if you're the, the tow company, because ultimately you're the one that's owed money and they. Yeah. And if you're in, if you're going to one going back to just the standing ground, like I would say, like in that situation that you just explained, get on the same page with the, with the sub out there try to try to hold ground.
[01:30:35] And I know it's tough because again, you guys have bills to pay as you get, you guys have things you have to do. So it's, I mean, it's easy for me to sit here and say, Hey, you know that $80,000 invoice stand your ground for the next 90 days. And it's like, dude, I need that money. Right. Like I like, I, I understand that it it's, it's tough, but I think that if you could stand that ground and kind of know, like one thing I would tell you is you're, you're going to know in about seven to probably about 14 days, whether or not you need to call it help or not.
[01:31:06] If you get to about seven to 14 days and you're going back and forth with an adjuster you're, you're, you're going to get iced your beer on the process of getting ice done on time. Right? So the key is, and this is what we tell our clients all the time. It's like, look, you get in there, you do your thing for seven to 14 days.
[01:31:23] And then reach out to us, let us start getting involved with us. Let us start to at least prep the case for you, help you out a little bit. And then, and then when we finally get involved, the sooner we get involved, the faster we can turn the money around. Most of our claims, I mean, we tell clients, give us at least 120 days or less.
[01:31:38] But reality is, is when Jamie's team gets on it. I mean, it's more like 30 to 45 days and we're able to get it wrapped up and get you a big chunk of it. But the, the. If you don't use like our service have someone that you can escalate out to that's knowledgeable about it. You know, we're not, we have a, we have a unique process because we're, we're so entrenched with insurance companies, but there's a lot of good attorneys out there.
[01:32:02] There's a lot of good people that you could find that, that understand the game and they can, they can, you know, escalate these situations. One of the benefits of us, of our processes that we only charge you for results. So if we don't get, we're not gonna charge you an hour, we're not going to bill you hourly.
[01:32:16] We're not gonna do anything like that. So it's going to be a, it's going to be a result driven scenario. If we don't actually get your money recovered, you're not going to pay us anything. And if you find someone that is knowledgeable and can give you a service like that, you're not burning your cash on the outs, on the outside of it.
[01:32:32] And, and that's usually the way to do it, but speed is everything. The longer a tow, the longer an invoice goes out there on paid. The more pressure there is for you. And this is just the art of negotiation. It's harder for you to stand ground. The longer that invoice goes, unpaid, because you need that money.
[01:32:48] And then for the insurance company, the longer it goes on paid, the more detached they become from the claim, the adjuster. So what happens is they're less likely, and they're starting to see kind of how it's all going to conclude. And the clearer, the conclusion looks to the adjuster. If they don't see anything really bad to them popping up there on their end, they have no problem just letting it sit for seven months and they'll just let it.
[01:33:14] And if you want to keep racking up the, the storage fees and all that stuff all of, all of the insurance companies are being trained on how to deal with that and how to look at it and the way that they're looking at it as less and less, they're caring about that because they're writing the caps in, in such a way where ultimately they have no exposure.
[01:33:32] Anyway, they're just going to pass it off to the carrier anyway. And if the carrier hasn't pressed to get that thing out of your, your, your, I mean, if you got someone in it and when you're dealing with transportation, it's like, you got that honey hole, right? Like you either got that carrier. Like his livelihood is tied up there.
[01:33:46] There is no way it could be sitting there for seven to 14 days. And then you have the carriers that, you know, it's just another truck down and we'll deal with it. Well, when you get into that space, that's how these claims turn into 90, a hundred, 20 days, six months out, and you're still not getting paid.
[01:34:00] And then you have to go deal with the disposal and all that other stuff. So speed is everything is hit your demand, stand your ground, get some people in your back corner. Again, it doesn't have to be us. Go find an attorney, go find, you know, whoever, whoever you got that knows how to do this stuff. And then trigger that within 30 days.
[01:34:17] So that way you start the process moving because right when you trigger that it's going to take another, probably 20 to 30 days to, to start to get that, to get that ball moving. The lucky, you know, the thing that we're kind of lucky with is because of our context in the insurance company, once an approval happens, we get checks instantly.
[01:34:33] So it just, it helps us in our process, but there's probably other people, I don't know who it is, but I'm sure there's other people that have developed some type of report relationships, one degree or another. So that, that be go away as, and explaining something I've been thinking about. And that's these insurance companies, they, they won't call you back for days at a time, sometimes a week or two, right.
[01:34:56] Claims. But then when it comes time to actually finally sit down and write that check, the first thing they're asking for is you to reduce your storage. It sounding like maybe they don't even care about that storage at this point. Right. We used to feel our industry used to feel like that was some sort of leverage.
[01:35:14] It was a leverage point. It's a leverage point for the guy that you, you know, the, the, you know, John that's driving his truck and you guys took us to tow or, or maybe, maybe for the, for the carrier, if he's uninsured and he has to pay it. And he knows he has to pay for the insurance company, they don't care because ultimately again, there's no.
[01:35:34] There's really? No, and there's a whole world. Like I could probably do a whole five-hour podcast on the, on the segments of insurance. Like a, you get a TPA, a third party administrator it's over. I mean, they don't care about nothing. They don't even care about the customer relationship. They don't. I mean, you're your best scenarios when you're dealing with an insurance company that houses all areas.
[01:35:57] So like when you go to the insurance company, you got the agent, you got the adjusters, you know, you have the underwriters. When, when you build, when you go to the insurance company that has all of that, that's your guys's best bet because they care about the customer relationship as well. They care about the, the, the carrier.
[01:36:12] But what you have to understand about insurance is that there is insurance companies, large insurance companies, syndicates that basically break off and sub out everything. So if I'm, if I'm a third party administrator, and my only job is to pay out as little on the claim as possible. And I work for an insurance company in China, and I don't care about the, the insurance.
[01:36:36] I don't care about the customer relationship. I don't care about anything you charge. In fact, it's better for me not to pay you. It's better for me to just not pay. So one thing we've noticed.
[01:36:54] With 1, 1, 1 insurance company in particular they could very well be the largest in the world. Anytime you get any correspondence from them, it's their name and certain underwriters of yeah. And then another name. And it just, it turns out to be a big shelter. Oh, it's so convoluted. You, you have, I mean, when you go into this, I mean, when me and Jamie first got into the, so Jamie is an expert in the tow business, I'm an expert in when it comes to the insurance and I've again, I've been representing insurance companies forever.
[01:37:26] I mean, it took us a years. Like every time he, he thought he knew the insurance side of it, it was like, Nope, that's it. Let me walk you through this. I'm I'm in here with a, with a, with a light board and a, and a sketch and a, this is what it is. And, and I mean, it, it's, it's complicated. I mean, insurance has been around for insurance has been around for, you know, hundreds of years.
[01:37:50] I mean, it's it, when you, again, you go to the history of insurance and you see how it started and what it is today. I mean, it's, it's pretty, it's pretty deep stuff. And all you get is the commercials on, on you know, you get the little Geico gecko on the commercial and it's just simple. Just pay your premium.
[01:38:10] And everything just goes away. Right. But behind the scenes, there's a, there's a pretty complex process in there. And a lot of times for companies and I've, and I've not only, you know, now we're representing tow companies, but I've represented a lot of companies that go against tow companies and other facets because our I'm sorry, not tow companies, insurance companies you know, cause we, we represent, we don't just represent insurance.
[01:38:31] We're into commercial claims in general. So we're, we're in all areas of, of this. And it's almost, it's just always unfair. The insurance company has the upper hand by a, by a long shot. And most of the time industries will go decades without even realizing what's going on and we have these kinds of conversations and it's like, that makes sense.
[01:38:49] I understand why that's like that. So, okay. Let's take a quick break and we'll be back in just a minute. All right. We're we're back got a couple quick questions to wrap things up here. And first one is okay. Let's let's let's assume we get to a point of litigation. This thing is going go into court and they want to negotiate it.
[01:39:13] How important is a track record of similar charges or even identical charges? Right. And the reason I'm asking is you decide, you don't want to go to court. You're you're now willing to settle. Is there any risk in just reducing the bill and let me explain. Like, are you better to adjust the hours for a charge?
[01:39:39] Are you better to adjust? If you do want to negotiate and lower this bill, is there risk? I feel there's a risk if you lower your rates on that invoice, because now I feel like they can come back another time and say, well, wait a minute, last time you only charged us 500 an hour instead of 700 an hour. To me, it's better.
[01:39:57] I feel, and there may be no reason for this good reason for this. I feel you'd be better off to like knock two hours. If there's 10 hours on there, you're better off leaving that rotator rate. The same. But giving like two hours off of it. Is, is there any need for that or do you have any advice? I don't know.
[01:40:15] I don't know what Jamie, Jamie might have different opinion on this, but I think, I think it really, I mean, to me, it depends on who you're, who you're really going up against. So one of the things that I've mentioned is we have, you know, a network of attorneys, but we have a private investigation company.
[01:40:29] And w, and the reason why we have a private investigation company is if we were going, if we were in a battle, our investigators would start to go and uncover that information. They would go that deep. And then they would feed it to the attorneys and then the attorneys would use it as they go through that.
[01:40:42] And they would know what to ask for and discovery and things of that nature. But a lot of companies you're going at that, or if you go through litigation, they're not going to really go that far. And they're going to try to, they're going to try to S you know, their process of settlement and all that stuff.
[01:40:57] A lot of times it was going off of a whim based on the mediator that's in, in court, or, you know, assigned through, through you know, the court process. Jamie, do you have something different on that? Yeah, so that both sides, probably this is a, an you're correct, with what you're saying. And I don't, I don't, it doesn't really have any bearing Jeff, as far as the, is not going to remember it next time around and try to use it against you guys.
[01:41:21] But here's the thing that is important to know, like the adjuster that you work for or work with day to day, he represents possibly three or four insurance companies. He w he works with those companies. He's, doesn't want to burn a relationship with those companies. He's in constant communication with those companies.
[01:41:45] So Jeff produced a bill for this other guy. What do you think is going to say when an insurance company is like, Hey, we just got another bill from Jeff and that seems kind of high. And then he wants to be the hero for sure. And unfortunately enough. And I only say this because we've been, I don't even know how many mediation hearings I've been to, but I've actually been allotted by the court to attend several.
[01:42:11] And I can tell you that another interesting aspect is the tow industry is very complex and complicated. So most attorneys are working for not only you, but other tow companies, right? So you have to be mindful of the fact that the, even your attorney, as much as you want to trust them, it's human nature, not to burn one thing.
[01:42:39] That's going to affect all the other clients, right? So everybody steps around the insurance industry on tiptoes. And it's because the insurance industry, the way that it's set up, that they're, they're working for more than one company. And they don't want to burn a bridge with one, to settle out something with another.
[01:42:59] And you're fighting that battle every day. Whether you realize it. Yeah. I mean, we used to get those calls all the time. I mean, Jamie used to tell me all the time early on too, like this attorney just called me representing this tow company. He was more of my buddy and the insurance buddy than the, than his clients.
[01:43:13] Because again, it's like, they're trying to, they're trying to play both sides of it. And they're trying to, they're trying to make sure that they can again, not, not end up in, cause most attorneys don't want to litigate. You know, they want to settle. They want to settle outside of court. I think you see that situation with the lobbyists also, right.
[01:43:33] They're taking your money to fight for you and your organization, but but, but heck I mean, they might be representing a telling association and the used car industry. Yeah. They often, yeah there. Yeah. Well, and it was a struggle for us. I mean, it was one of our things early on in the days I, you know, back in the day it was like, we're not, we can't represent, I was telling Jamie, like, I'm not like we're we're we didn't represent any tow clients while we were dealing with insurance.
[01:44:00] Cause it becomes a conflict of interest. And now that we're moving into this other space, it's kind of the same concept where we're, we're moving away from insurance representation. Pretty much all together to, to, to, you know, most degrees. We have other insurance companies that are not pertaining to transportation, but so again, so there's that conflict of interest isn't there.
[01:44:18] And one thing that we've done, I think a really good job at that. I, I really do pride us on and I think the partners of MCB have done a good job. Just really setting a culture of integrity in the way that we deal with clients and making sure that we're, we're not playing into those games. Cause it always catches up to you anyway.
[01:44:33] I mean it, people figure it out. I mean, so it doesn't, there's no longterm gain in that for sure. All right. One last question. Let you guys go. Ma maybe, maybe my mind is too simple, but I don't understand. I've never understood why these insurance companies, when they insure these trucking companies or they, they know these claims are going to arise, why are they so up against?
[01:45:01] And we know because we've, we've tried to legislate some changes in this area. Why are they so against just selling larger policies and limits? Can't tell them, well, you can't, you can't sell it. It again, the market decides the market decides, which are prices. It's not, it's not the, it's not the insurance company collectively and what's happening is they in their competition.
[01:45:27] They keep driving the prices down. So as they're driving the prices down to the insurance is a very, it's interesting. There's a lot of movement in it because if I want to charge less of a, I can, I can, as an insurance company, I can take my breaks to $50 or $5,000. I can go up and down because all it means is I'm covering less and I just have to mitigate on the backward and the risk.
[01:45:47] So it's a lot easier for the insurance agent to sit down and sell that cheaper. It sounds like the towing industry. Well, and then the other part to that is, and you guys have dealt with, I mean, I'm, I'm assuming, cause I, the telco, I have a couple tow companies. I talked management into let me grandfather in long, long ago and this like five years ago.
[01:46:13] And so I've been through a lot of different things with them and it was in a specific area where they got a call. I have to interrupt you, but I got a bounce. Okay. Okay. Hey guys, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Any anyways and, and seeing that, you know, for every company that would raise the rates so that they can pay you in full you're going to have that company that doesn't even give you an opportunity to talk to them.
[01:46:38] Cause they send you a check and say, that's what the premium is right there. It seems like there's those types of insurance companies popping up on a daily base and they just, they're not going to, that's a snowball effect. They're never going to prevent that from happening. And I don't see the I'd like I'd like to see mandatory coverage for average recovery bills, let's say 50,000, but the states, they have nothing to win or lose in this situation.
[01:47:07] They call us, we run, we're all too eager to run out and work that wreck, not knowing whether or not we're going to be paid. Right. They don't care. They should. Because I, I think we're providing a great service and keeping the roads open, which keeps the firefighters safer. They're not on the side of the road as long Elise deity.
[01:47:28] Right? I mean, I just, when I look at it, I really believe in what towers are doing. I really believe we provide a necessary service to our communities, but we never get any backup from those communities or the state or anything when it comes to getting these things paid. And I find that very disheartening.
[01:47:50] Well, then that has to do with money. Right? Insurance companies are lobbying your state insurance companies have enough money that the state doesn't want to create an issue where they choose to Sue them. I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that people should have the understanding that the tow industry is just like any other emergency service, right?
[01:48:14] An ambulance, a police op it's an absolute necessity. I mean, without it, then, like you said, we're not going to work in the morning where I'm having to find alternate routes. Eventually every roadway in America would be clogged if we didn't, you know, so it's not even a situation where we can choose to have the industry or not.
[01:48:36] It's a necessity and it's a safety safety issue and, and performing an emergency service 24 7. But yet they're not looked at, you guys are not looked at like police or firemen or or an ambulance driver EMT. And that's a shame. I mean, it really is. I, I always, I always use the example saying, well, I tell people that we are so much like a fire department.
[01:49:04] It's crazy. And we are so unlike a fire department, that's crazy. And what I mean by that is, you know, we're, our equipment is of similar costs, right? We've got training that needs to occur. Everything we do, as long as well as the fire department, fire department, they get all their training, their certifications, their equipment, they get their buildings built.
[01:49:26] Everything's paid for out of this budget. Right. And then they just sit there and wait. And I know I'm over some fight. They sit there and wait in case there's a fire, right. Towing companies have to do the same thing, invest millions into being ready. In case a wreck happens, right. Well, what makes us so much different is they start with a pool of money at the first of each year.
[01:49:52] They know what their budget is. They know everything's being paid for, and they're not going to buy anything. If they don't already know, it's, they're able to pay for it,
[01:50:04] us dummies, you know, we we're out here dumping all this money and we have no guarantee. And so it's almost like a similar structure, but without the funding and you don't even have the luxury of a normal business. Right. Cause like our business, I can forecast things. I know historically what we're going to get paid on, but you're in a situation where things are shifting and changing to a point where you don't, you don't know if, okay, 80% of my invoices are getting paid.
[01:50:36] This'll be my bottom line. I can go buy that a hundred ton rotator at a buck in two 50 K. Right. I mean, and that's the other, it, it blows my mind because I feel like people think, oh, okay. It's, you know, it's a record you can get for 35 brands still. Right. That's the mentality. But yet here's this piece of equipment.
[01:51:00] And then. It, it's not only expensive, but there there's a reason it's expensive, right? Yeah. Multi-functional you, you, you basically have a crane and a tow truck together and they're able to operate and do things that neither one can do separate. And so the fact that everything's so disjointed and the, that the, the thought is, oh, while these invoices, so all these tow owners must be millionaires hanging out on the beach somewhere.
[01:51:29] But the fact of the matter is every tow company that I represent the most difficult thing. When you're representing a tow company, it's getting a hold of the owner. Cause he's, he's out working erect, right? Like this isn't a millionaire sitting on the beach, living a lap, a luxury know that that's the, that's the yearly meetings for the insurance adjusters.
[01:51:49] This isn't that this is not the tow industry. Like it's just not how it operates. Well,
[01:51:58] great information, great discussion. I'm so glad that we finally finally had it appreciate you guys more than you imagine coming on and having this conversation. Do you want to take a minute, let people know how to get ahold of you. Give him the whole rundown, whatever you need. Okay. So you can, you can touch base with me directly actually.
[01:52:20] My phone number is five two zero seven two zero zero three nine. I'd be happy to explain our processes, how we do things. As Dan had said, we're a hundred percent contingency. So just giving us a trial run it's never, never a problem. And I'll tell you a majority of the people that we work for, they give us a trial run, then they start turning more and more invoices over to us.
[01:52:47] And then we're effective enough that at some point in time, they just say every time an adjuster starts to give them a hard time. Jamie here, you know what I mean? Because if you're a Tel owner and you're out doing recoveries and you're better served out there in the field doing work, not spending three days trying to get invoices that are paid paid or unpaid paid.
[01:53:11] So with that, that aspect that I think that we're really unique. Like I said, we are able to work with attorneys and actually help them. So the first thing that your attorney's normally going to do is set a demand letter. My staff is going to be telling all parties involved. If we don't get this resolved, that's going to go to litigation.
[01:53:29] If we don't get it's a storyline. Right. So at the end of 90 days, when, if it's not resolved in your attorney's like, all right, we're going to file suit and send that demand letter. How much more impactful. When when they've had four or five people telling them, look, we got to get this cleared up or it's going to go to suit.
[01:53:46] We just major attorney's presentation that much more impactful. And so any questions, any concerns we have brochures about different services. I'd be more than happy to get those out. You can also email me, et cetera. It's just my first initial, last name. It's J Rhines it's R H I N as in November, E S.
[01:54:07] And it's at Morgan colon Bach. Morgan is M O R G a N. Colon is C O H E N. And Bach is B a C H. And it's just.com. All right, sounds good. And I can personally vouch for you that you, you answer your phone. It's rare. It's rare that I call you. And if I happen to not get you, you, you return the phone call quickly.
[01:54:36] So, and I would just like to throw some appreciation back to you. Like I was all getting in smiles when you're talking earlier. And it's just nice. I don't think people really have an understanding of how down to earth the people that work in the tow industry is. And that's another thing that it's kind of mind boggling because it's truly just, it's humble, hardworking people that deserve to get paid for what they're doing.
[01:55:02] And that's. The reason why I've spent the last eight months fighting ownership to make that switch. And then you would just happen to hit you know, to call me to discuss some things. And I was like, this is going to be great. Cause I'm really excited about you know, what I'm doing and the, the, the, the battle that we're, we're fighting and it might actually end up helping the insurance industry as well.
[01:55:26] Right. The more claims that you guys get paid in full for the work that you do, then, you know, you, the more appropriate billing, that's always going to be able to be done out there. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. In the end, it really just comes down to it for free, you know, for years, for years, I was that guy that was ready for that argument.
[01:55:48] You called up, you wanted to criticize my bill and I was, I was ready. I was ready to argue with you. Right. But at the same time, I'm thinking in my own head, why aren't we having a conversation? Why aren't, why isn't the towing industry and the insurance industry having a conversation. And then I realized I'm not having a conversation.
[01:56:11] I'm like that to start arguing with a guy that is questioning my bill. And it doesn't matter. It didn't matter 10 years ago, if it was a legitimate concern, I was just, I was insulted that you're questioning may wanting to be paid for the work. Yeah, so, you know, years. So then I realized, wait a minute, I'm not even, I'm not practicing what I preach in my own head.
[01:56:34] Right. I need to start having conversations. So that's, that's when I started. Okay. If one of these guys calls up, I'm going to see what their concerns are, you know, and, and one, one time I remember actually having a mistake on an invoice and I was so glad that I had the discussion because boy, I would have looked like a full, if I realized later I'm arguing that I'm right.
[01:57:03] And then I realized a couple of hours later going over the bill again, then I was wrong. So I kind of learned at that point, how important it was to have a discussion instead of an argument when you're dealing with stuff like this. So, and, and, you know, there's a lot of big egos in our industry, right?
[01:57:18] There's a lot of test pounding. It's, it's not really in our nature to sit down and be nice. And okay. If you look at the history, I mean, most tow companies are family owned and operated. They've been in existence for a long, long period of time. You don't have very many new tow companies popping up. It should be a prideful industry and you know, I'll leave it, like, leave it at this.
[01:57:44] I don't go to war. And tell them, Hey, I paid a hundred dollars less for my groceries last week. And then they give me a discount on the food that is at the counter. Right. I mean, I don't even get to question it. So I don't know that you could name an industry outside of maybe an auto mechanic or some of those industries where people questioned, whether the work actually got done or not, where there's so many questions about what is happening, but all of your equipment, all your people, you're not only out there on your own, but you're out there with the OT, with the police, with the ambulances.
[01:58:23] And I have with all the years that we were challenging tow invoices and, and things of that nature, to be honest with you there's very, very few people that embellish stuff. I mean, you get a few and that's what we started looking into. We, we just started noticing, seemed like, wow, we do about X amount of claims a month.
[01:58:43] And it boils down to like five or six different companies. And that that's that's pretty good when you put the hat on on the right direction, right. And go, you know, 50 states. And we probably have maybe 200 tow companies altogether in our system that have ever been questioned by us. And, and you're talking about
[01:59:07] Tow companies that do a million and in business or more, I think are about 2,800. And then, you know, under that, it's really hard to identify because of brat, dun and Bradstreet. But I think it's around 20,000 tow companies across the country. Okay. Up to, up to 40. But when you start to look into that, then you're talking about like tug toes and there's a marina toe.
[01:59:31] There's a lot of different tow companies. I didn't even realize that we have out there protecting our waterways, our roadways. It's it's really kind of something interesting. Yeah. Well, again, we really appreciate you and Dan coming on I have a feeling we'll be speaking again. Just let me know. I'll be more than happy.
[01:59:52] Like I said, if it, if it's both, if it's just me any we could even do. I mean, I have information on every state you want to preview some states. You want me to dig deeper in, into your state. Or Brad wants me to dig deeper into Ohio. I have all the information available. We can discuss the laws. I mean, did, did you know in Georgia that there's a misconception that people can't go after a recovery, if they've leaned, sailed the equipment.
[02:00:26] Okay. That's a misconception because that's a protection out there by the FDA CPA for personal vehicles. But a lot of tow companies that are doing heavy record heavy wreckers don't realize that. And if it goes through lean and I, from what my understanding both Florida and Georgia, that's a long process, but they ended up just taking what they get on lean.
[02:00:50] And sometimes that's like Dan was saying, it's not taking anything, it's getting the lean. So I can go pay $12,000 to dispose of it, not make money off of it. And then I'm supposed to drop it because of some legislation that's being misconstrued. And that that's not the purpose of the legislation. That legislation is there to protect.
[02:01:11] The guy will let the broke down vehicle in the apartment complex that gets impounded and you can't pay to get the vehicle out. Well, the original tell was only $50 and they're not going to allow the tow company to sell the vehicle and then, you know, charge some $3,000 back on a consumer. But that's consumer that has nothing to do with the commercial work that you guys do in your area.
[02:01:35] Well, that that would actually you've got me interested now diving into a state or two and yeah. There's a website. I mean, ask your, ask your audience, you know what I mean? Like I'm I'm game to do just about anything because I truly feel like information is the only thing that's going to clear this up.
[02:01:55] And right now we're in the beginning stages of, of people communicating. That's really, the primary reason we created this podcast was just to try and get helpful information out there. So we will we'll talk again soon, Jamie. All right. Thank you so much for your time. Bye.