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Becoming a contractor is a huge undertaking no matter how much skill you have in the industry. One of the biggest challenges the new contractor faces is finding new clients. But if your specialty is remodeling and repair, then there are unlimited jobs just waiting to be had if you know where to look. Once you become a licensed contractor and get a few years of experience under your belt, you can talk to various insurance companies. Every time a claim for damage is made against an insurance policy, someone has to perform that work. You could be that someone.
Go to your local licensing authority. Fill out the necessary paperwork and obtain a business license. Purchase a liability policy from your insurance agent covering you and your business for at least $1 million.
Contact your state's contractor's licensing board. Fill out the necessary applications. Study the recommended materials. Show up early at the testing facility on the day of your exam. Take and pass the exam to become a licensed contractor.
Work at various job sites. Focus on doing every job within the time limit allotted and under budget if at all possible. Keep track of the specifics of every project to build a portfolio. Gain at least five years of experience, doing each job to the best of your ability every time.
Visit several local insurance companies. Take your portfolio with you to show the office manager. Give each company your contact information and ask to be placed on their list of available contractors. Avoid applying with your personal insurance company to eliminate the possibility of the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Have an authorized representative from each client company sign a general service contract that was drafted by your attorney. Be sure to obtain a signature on this document before starting your first job for each client.
Maintain your tools at all times. Clean them at the end of each day during every project. Organize and store your tools in a secure van behind locked doors with the alarm set.
Keep your driving, professional contractor and criminal records clean at all times. Any change in any of these records may end your association with any insurance company.
Approach each and every project in a professional manner. Be early for all appointments. Perform each job to the best of your abilities using the proper tools and superior supplies.
Keep a dedicated cell phone for business only. Answer this phone every time it rings if possible. Return all messages in a timely fashion. Respond to each call as soon as possible.
Provide each insurance company with detailed invoices at the end of every project. Include the work hours, type of labor done and the supplies used. Submit receipts and give them a total price for your services.
Maintain all licenses. Workplace safety should be the first priority on every project. Defrauding an insurance company will be prosecuted and can result in the loss of your contractor's license and your freedom.
- Rockinfrnz Archive; How to Become an Insurance Approved Construction Contractor; Oveday Leany; 2011
- National Institute of Restoration; The Preferred Contractor Program Provides Benefits for All Parties in Insurance Restoration; Walter Lumpp; 2006
- Aces ; Six Simple Steps to Locking in Big Income from Insurance Restoration Work; Ralph Luikart; 1995
After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.