A recent trend in the property insurance industry is that some companies are buying or making partnerships with insurance repair and restoration companies. They are literally trying to profit from the claim.
Yesterday's press release by Heritage is an example:
Heritage Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRTG) ("Heritage" or the "Company"), a property and casualty insurance holding company, announced that it has acquired BRC Restoration Specialists, Inc., a leading Florida based provider of restoration services and emergency and recovery assistance, for $6 million in cash and $2 million in common stock. Heritage currently has a state-wide water mitigation division that delivers a broad array of services to policyholders. The acquisition accelerates the expansion of Heritage's vertically integrated repair service expertise to include additional water mitigation professionals and a complete line of restoration services.
Bruce Lucas, Heritage's Chairman and CEO stated: "We expect that BRC will enhance our customer service by expanding our vertically integrated offering to include a full-service construction company that operates throughout Florida. BRC is a perfect fit with our water division and it will allow Heritage to service all facets of our claims including, water, mold, fire, roofing repairs and other related construction services. This will result in faster response times, better service, and expedient claims resolution for policyholders. The acquisition of BRC solidifies our unique, vertically integrated approach to claims management and will help us to better manage our customer service and claim handling processes."
John Crist, COO of BRC Restoration Specialists, Inc. added: "I am excited to join Heritage and combine the water mitigation know-how of the Heritage Claims Response Team with BRC's Residential, Commercial and Industrial reconstruction expertise. In my new role as President of the Contractors' Alliance Network, I will strive to provide customers with industry-leading service and resolution through the build out of our end-to-end restoration services capabilities. Our service platform will center on professionalism, quality, value and integrity."
Whether this HMO form on property insurance will spread throughout the entire industry is debatable. But, it is a significant change in the way claims have been handled where most carriers have been extremely wary of even recommending a contractor for fear of being sued when the construction is not right. Some insurers are embracing the notion of doing the repair and even offering policy discounts if policyholders agree to use a contractor designated by the insurer.