Group Aims to Create Network of Independent Mitigation and Cleaning Contractors

June 1, 2004

Instead of just complaining about shrinking market share, one group of independent cleaning and restoration contractors said it is seeking to take control of its destiny. The recently formed Independent Mitigation and Cleaning/Conservation network (IMACC) will host a meeting June 17 at the Chicago O’Hare Marriott for cleaning and restoration professionals to discuss their collective future.

“It’s time to create a national network of independently operated mitigation and cleaning contractors so that they can get on the same approved provider lists of major insurance companies that national
mitigation franchises are,” said Pat Harmon, IMACC president.

The major mitigation franchises are systematically locking in exclusive preferred provider agreements with the large insurers, eliminating competition and innovation in this industry.

“While many insurance company claims offices are closing as insurers consolidate operations, their call centers are methodically referring mitigation work to the franchised preferred provider networks,” Harmon
explained. “Smaller independent cleaning and restoration companies aren’t getting a chance at these jobs because insurance adjusters are being forced to work only with these approved, preferred provider arrangements.

“Many independents have already seen a dramatic reduction in work volume because of the rapid growth of preferred provider programs, with some facing extinction as the franchised preferred provider networks invest millions of dollars each year to claim the mitigation market. Something has to be done now, or independents will lose the business they have worked so hard to build.”

Harmon said in a statement he believes that while preferred provider programs are here to stay, insurers are still looking for a better network and a better program for these relationships and it is not just about price.

“Independents still have many advantages that can be leveraged to the best interest of all parties to an insurance claim, including the insured,” he said.

“The best mitigation contractors in nearly every local market are independents,” said Harmon. “They have the best equipment, the best-trained personnel, the most respected and trusted reputations, the most innovative approaches, and great relationships with the local agents and remaining local adjusters. Independents are always the first to embrace new cost-saving ideas, technology and services.”

For more information about the meeting, call Naperville, Ill.-based IMACC at (630) 527-9052, or visit the group’s Web site.

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