11616RE: [infoguys-list] Re: Los Angeles, CA
- Dec 1, 2007You people spend way too much time online. I suspect my cients have many
more cases than you ever dreamed of. They work cases not get involved in
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Behalf Of Bob Hrodey
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 7:08 PM
Subject: Re: [infoguys-list] Re: Los Angeles, CA
Empire Pacific Investigative wrote:
> Thank you for replying, but it seems like you are in the wonderland. Ifyou work with the insurance industry, which I have been since 1987, there
isn't any insurance company that pay's more then $ 75.00 Dollars an hour and
to top it off, they don't pay for travel time.
>Somebody is obviously living in wonderland but I'm not sure who, Mike.
If you get into bed with dogs, you will wake up with fleas. Perhaps
your problem is spending too much time relying on the insurance industry
to make your monthly nut. Granted, most of my work is plaintiff
oriented but I have a couple LARGE insurance defense law firms who use
me - almost exclusively on their pet cases. I bill my normal rate and
they do not hesitate to send me out to do interviews, etc. in areas
where they KNOW up front that they will be paying 7 hours of windshield
time for a 1-2 hours interview.
Lest you argue that "that's different, you're working for outside
counsel," I will grant you that. However, I also get calls DIRECT from
the claims superintendents -based upon my past successes and work direct
for the insurance company at the same or higher rate.
> Yes, we are deserve lot more for our work, but the reality is, competionand insurance companies know it. The profit margin is extremly low when you
sub at $ 30.00 an hour after your time, office fees, marketing, employees,
WC insurance and other fees going a long with it.
>Then you're doing it wrong. Like Sue and Rick, when I see requests for
"sub-contractors" at $25-$50/hour who are required to be licensed,
insured, etc. I laugh. I also believe that in such a case, your
argument about WC expense, employees, etc. have no place in the
equation. If I conform to your needs with regard to licensing, etc.
_I_ am the one incurring the expense of WC, insurance, admin, mileage,
etc. NOT you. If you are billing $75 and paying me $30 (Ain't gonna
happen, Mike, even if you were being paid $31/hour by your client<g>)
you - and others like you - are part of the problem, not the solution.
Who do you think you're fooling? You can't be all things to all people
and if your pet insurance client in CA asks you to undertake an
investigation in, say, Nevada, they know or should know that you aren't
going to be the one doing it. If you take it on for the same rate as
always, they can form a couple of impressions:
a) you're ripping them since you obviously can hire somebody else to do
it cheaper than you're charging and still make a buck (which will really
help you when you try to raise your rates crying poor mouth<g>)
b) you're managing the case for nothing and paying everything to the sub.
How much better would it be to say, "Fine, you want an investigation in
an area that I don't cover? We can approach this two ways: 1) As a
favor to you, I'll try to hook you up direct with a qualified
investigator out there and put the two of you together, or 2) If you
wish I will find a qualified investigator who bills at my rate or close
to it and also manage the investigation from here at my regular hourly
> The only PI's out there that are charging over $ 100.00 Dollars inCalifornia are not more then a dozen that have several employees working for
them and continuous work coming in with that rate.
>That might be but again, the reason for this is that folks like you will
do their bidding for whatever they want to pay.
I attended a meeting of the WI state association a number of years ago.
One of the presenters was from the State Public Defenders office. I
rarely do criminal defense work and would probably NEVER do it for the
PD. At the time and this was probably less than nine years ago, they
were discussing the problem with the state pd being slow to pay. They
were paying these guys $18/hour and $0.21/mile in those days (by
comparison, IIRC, I was billing $80/hour and $0.40 or $0.45/mile) and
the rub was that they had to wait in excess of five months after
submitting their bills and having them approved by the court to get
My solution was simple - take Nancy Reagan's advice and "Just say no!"
Insurance companies are notoriously cheap - everybody knows that - and
they force their claims folks (most of whom are good people and know
where the Bear S**t in the Buckwheat" to parrot the company line. I had
a claims supt from a VERY large national insurance company call to
compliment me on a slip and fall case I handled for them on a commercial
property where they were looking at a settlement cost in excess of
$125,000 and a potential jury verdict if they rolled the dice of maybe
$300K or better. I crushed the plaintiff's case and also obtained
statements from witnesses who were friends of the plaintiff who also
heard the plaintiff state IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ATTORNEY that the claim
was fraudulent. Case went from Fortune Cookie status to a pile of dog
crap or worse in two interviews.
Claims Supt did not say one word about my hourly rate - $80/h at that
time - but took issue with my mileage charge of $0.40/mi vs what the
insurance company pays which she claimed was $0.28/mi. I closed the
conversation by telling her that I thought it was unusual to save
somebody over $100,000 and have them complain about something so trivial
as the mileage charge in that the total difference in the bill HAD I
knuckled under to her would be about $6.50. If it bothers you, don't
ever call me again but you WILL pay what I bill.
I have this sign on the wall in my office. Garfield the Cat is sitting
back in his easy chair and the caption reads "My Office, My Rules!"
Words to live by.
>but the reallity is there are lot's of people out there that are great and
> Anyway, don't have time to write anymore, which I would love to continue,
are getting paid less then $30.00 an hour.
They may be great investigators, I'm not arguing that but they are very
poor businessmen and, quite likely, very poor period!
Hrodey & Associates Established 1977
Post Office Box 366 Member of NALI, ASIS, FBINAA, NAPPS
Woodstock, IL 60098-0366 NCISS, Assoc Det of IL & P.A.W.L.I.
Licensed in IL & WI (815) 337-4636 Voice 337-4638 Fax
email: inquiry@hrodey. <mailto:inquiry%40hrodey.com> com or rth@...
Illinois License 115-000783 Wisconsin 8045-063
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