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How To Handle An Insurance Claim

File your insurance claim here:

1. Look at the Claim and process realistically

The Insurance companies are trying to save money, the contractors are trying to make money, and you’re trying to not to pay money. This is somewhat of a difficult balancing act, as each party needs to realize the others’ motives, needs, and intended goals. The carriers say they poll roofing companies nationwide to determine pricing. The “quality” contractors with overhead, insurance, certifications, etc. do not like being lumped into the “out of their truck” companies. The consumers are looking at large deductibles, depreciation, mounds of flyers and are usually confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed.

2. Insurance Companies are in business to make a profit

Your carrier charges premiums and save money by keeping claims as low as possible. The set the rates based on quantity, description, unit price, and depreciation. They know exactly what each and every item in your home costs to repair or replace depending on county, material fluctuations, season, and in our opinion, P&L statements. They then set the contractors’ profit margins as low as possible as governed by law. These prices can be questionable, intentionally or unintentionally they do make mistakes.

3. For the most part, your Adjuster just wants to close the file

Your Adjuster has a Claim Supervisor who holds him accountable for every line item. 90% of the Adjusters are “independent”, meaning they may work for multiple carriers on a subcontractor basis and job security is working to please the Carrier. Most Adjusters really try to walk this tight rope professionally, but many have only a few weeks of training, and little to no real construction knowledge. There are tens of thousands of line item pricing units in your home (and in their software) and many times things are overlooked.

4. Experienced contractors know what the Insurance Company should pay

They also know that most of the time there are items missing. They want to get to a fair negotiation level with the Insurance Company and the consumer alike. Unfortunately, most storm chasers hire anyone to knock doors, hand out flyers, and/or call your home claiming they want to help. They want you to sign a “Contingency Agreement” which is a Power of Attorney contract. It’s difficult to tell if they are truly experienced, qualified, honest, or crooks. It takes years and thousands of roofing projects to become truly qualified on the array of products, installation procedures, insurance and situations.

5. What most consumers want

Most customers want their claim paid fairly. They want a good honest contractor to do the project quickly, cleanly, professionally, and to be around for years in case the need for service arises. As an average consumer, you will have no idea whether the insurance pays you correctly. You believe you need three estimates because that’s what the Insurance Company told you to do; however, they will never ask you for them or take them seriously if they are not Xactimate line item takeoffs.

6. The Summary

Interview the contractors first and verify they have Xactimate Software and qualified to use it. Discuss their estimate and what the insurance should pay. Don’t be afraid to show the Insurance Company the breakdown. If you play poker with your adjustment, you’re the only one who doesn’t know what should be in your hand. Value their time, and overall realize the claim adjusters and supervisors know who the professional contractors are. They will work fairly and quickly if there is professional respect.

7. The “D” Word

We understand the issues and are willing to help, the best we can. We offer financing and other means to help soften the blow. However, it is your Insurance fraud when a contractor helps pay your deductible. Losing your insurance, flagging your policy, lawsuits, and threatened jail time is not worth the risk. There are other opportunities that should be well considered. Call and we would be happy to discuss this further.