Starter Strip and Ridge Cap woes

Recently I began trying to go after getting the insurance companies to pay for the Asphalt Starter Strip and Ridge Cap. So far my responses have been "if you look that is included in the price per square … (mind you they put no such note in the estimate) … or my personal favorite “you guys make enough money off these jobs there is no way that is getting approved” I am sure that everyone in the forum has ran into this but what I need help with is what to say to these kinds of people.

The insurance companies that I have gone to bat for these line items are Kemper Preferred and Travelers. Thank you for any help.

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IMHO, it really isn’t a matter of getting these paid for as separate line items as it is getting paid for the appropriate amount of materials needed to replace the roof. This BS of “10% waste for ALL gables, 15% waste for all hips is good enough for most” is just that, BS. I put together a document using Xactimate sketches and math PROVING factually this is BS. A simple gable with two slopes, two dormers cannot be built with 10% waste if you assume 5% only for trim scrap. Now, before someone steps up and says “My crew can sure do that”, perhaps you’re right. If they took great pains to salvage every single piece of scrap, perhaps they could. By and large however, it won’t be done.

We have and still use multiple approaches to this. We use the waste calculation spread sheet I developed to show the Adjuster on each claim what the appropriate waste factor should be. That has worked with a reasonable degree of success with some insurance companies, some adjusters. Some adjusters buy understand it, accept it and then make it up with some other line items because their company policies won’t allow them to follow our FACTS.

We also create estimates where we put in a lower percentage of waste for the field shingle multiplier (start at 7.5% for low complexity gable, 10% for cut up gable, 12.5% for multi level very cut up gable as examples) and then break out starter and ridge cap separately. We include the statements under the ridge cap and field shingle line items “This item cannot be bundled into waste with the field shingles as it is a different material with a different Xactimate labor rate”. Some have bought into this, some don’t.

Here’s the deal, at least the way we look at it. If they buy in and write the scope of loss accordingly, great. If they don’t and we end up going over and supplement, we have convincing evidence to back up our request for more money to cover the additional materials. If we find a certain Adjuster or Insurance company in a given area decides to screw us and not pay, we simply stop work the next job, get the HO involved and not finish until the supplement is approved. Of course that means we need to get paid for an emergency tarp charge and more roof labor hours for the crew. It also means, if explained properly to the HO, the Insurance Company is exposing their dirty little tricks to their Customer Base.

If you’re looking for a silver bullet or magic pill that works every time, first try, let me know and I’ll also tell you about a great deal I can make you on a bridge in Brooklyn. However, if you’re smart, tenacious and a bit tactful, you can get paid what you should get paid 90% + of the time. It sucks that it has to be this way but if you want to participate in the insurance game, either accept lower profits and just bitch and moan about it or take proactive steps to do it the right way. I voted for the latter a long time ago.


Thank you very much. I appreciate that wealth of knowledge. I am not trying to be needy, just simply asking what you use to solidify your argument against the adjustors. I will make sure to do everything that you just said when the situation presents it self. Thank !!!

I have used Authentic Dad’s worksheet with a fair degree of success. As he said, you won’t win every battle but it helps win more of them

I agree, I’ve used AD’s method’s as well and it’s usually successful but you get stubborn adjusters that you have to go around.

Persistence is key, they try to wear you down.

On one supplement with State Farm I had 3 different team 92 members hang up on me over various legitimate line items including the waste issue. All approved some portion of the estimate then tried the brick wall routine. The fourth adjuster approved the waste as the final difference. The homeowners received 4 separate checks from State Farm due to this. I lost an hour or so on the phone but the $ was well worth my time.

AD’s points about informing the homeowner is a big one. Multiple times I’ve had adjusters tell me to piss off they’ll call the homeowner and inform them that they have their contractors and blah blah blah. Have your homeowners prepared to tell them to pound sand.

Lastly, I’ve had two homeowners give my estimate with detailed notes on each line item that varied from the insurance paperwork to their agents and the supplement is approved basically after their call.

You’re gonna have to learn every strategy and set expectations with the homeowners from minute 1.

Just like every other part of this job you should have a plan going into the initial homeowner contact.


Certain insurance companies pay for ridge and a couple pay for starter. The way to get them is to double check your eave and ridge and to convert them into square feet. On a large cut up roof I have got up to 25% waste. There are also items that they pay for that are not in the typical estimate and can turn a jobs profit around. I do estimates & negotiations on supplements for a living. if you would like to discuss this more please contact me.

Jason Sloan


Does this count as SPAM?

How do I get a copy of your worksheet?

Do you live in Colorado? I am a supplementer and have been doing it for about 6 months, learning through trial and error and would LOVE to speak with an experienced supplemeter.

how can i get a copy?

Follow the link. Read in full.

Waste Calc Workbook

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How do I get a copy of Authentic Dad’s worksheet as well. Seems Im battling, O&P, starter, remove and replace of ridge cap, as well as the DMO vs. RFG codes being inputted correctly with their respective line items in the estimate. Please email if anyone can share. I am learning alot by all of you and helps get my customers the correct settlement with little or no out of pocket by going to bat for what is right.

Follow the link in the past directly above your own. People are not supposed to pass their copy around, it is copywrited.

Perfect. I sure appreciate the work and will pay for it as it is a tool I can use to help w supplementing and making an estimate correct for our customers.

Mathew M Dutt
Mitchell Roofing & Siding


Hi Sarah,

How is it going as a supplementer? I am just starting out and am doing ok. Received my first payment in the mail today. I’m really looking to become more knowledgeable with rebuttals, especially with state farm. UGH the waste is a load of garbage. Any advise on your successes. Best ways to learn and willing to share your paved road?