Tricks of the Trade

Hello everyone. I am brand new to this forum, but I have been in the insurance roofing gig for quite some time now. With P&C companies cracking down on what they will pay for, and specifically Allstate denying wind damaged roofs altogether, it seems like these insurance companies have declared all-out war on the roofing industry. (“We don’t do brittle tests,” or my favorite “We pay Xactimate, not a penny more.” Sound familiar to anyone?) Here is my question. Apart from having to suck it up with supplements and reinspects, have any of you found “tricks” that work well at the initial adjuster meeting? (Examples: tarps, making test squares beforehand, coaching homeowners, making invoices instead of “estimates,” ect.) Thanks and God bless.

IMO the tarp makes no difference.I have seen people cover the entire roof with only a few shingles missing.

Majority of roofs that require tarps are a result of wind damage or flying debris.Very rare will hail penetrate a roof.I have sen some massive hail.,softball/baseball/tennis ball etc.

If the roof damage meets the insurers guidelines for total roof replacement then it will happen.

Not all damage requires a tarp.Most times it is overkill.If you tarp a roof and it is not necessary then you are out of a tarp because they won’t pay for it.

So no.,I don’t think it makes a difference.Maybe it might lower the chances of a complete reroof if the tarp was not necessary.The damage must exist tarp or not.

I am confused about submitting invoices instead of estimates.

Estimates/proposals are a description and cost of work to be performed upon acceptance by the customer.

Invoices to me are work orders after the estimate/proposal has been accepted.

Also final bill submitting once the project is complete.

Maybe terminology is different in your area.

Your definitions are correct. However, two high-volume roofing contractors in my area both told me that instead of submitting an estimate or Xactimate to the adjuster at the meeting, they bring an invoice that states at the bottom “This final sale price is non-negotiable. Final payment shall be due upon reasonable completion of work.” That way, by slashing the RCV a penny lower than their pricing, the adjuster has unlawfully raised the homeowner’s policy deductible. The carrier’s contract with the homeowner says nothing about Xactimate pricing or 3 estimates in the policy language; only that they will receive full indemnity in the event of such loss. (Not to mention that the policyholder is entitled to work with their own contractor of choice!)

(Keep in mind that they have a contingency agreement signed with the homeowner in advance)

Any time I hear “tricks”, I actually feel like I’m hearing shortcuts, silver bullets, laziness, etc… Nothing good comes to mind.

Instead of tricks, how about good old fashioned fundamentals, some ingenuity, attention to detail and professionalism? It would be great if we could spit in the dirt, mix it a little and rub the mud on some paper ending up with $400 per square. Give that a try and let me know how it works out for you.

How about starting with developing a good relationship with the best ally you will have in settling the insurance claim, your Customer the HO? Now do a very thorough inspection and use that digital camera to your advantage by taking lots of pictures of valid damage along with all the roof penetrations, flashings, etc… In other words, if you don’t have a picture or two of it, don’t waste your time putting it in your estimate or supplementing for it, it likely won’t get paid. Now put together a solid estimate. Annotate your pictures stating what they should be looking at and why it should be paid for. Familiarize yourself with the local municipalities and the codes they work from. Then quote the appropriate building codes to justify replacing items such as flashings, valley metal, crickets, etc…

Now show up to the Adjuster meeting with a smile on your face leaving the attitude at home. Even though the Adjuster may show up with a chip on his shoulder, your job is to give him a compelling reason to like and respect you. Selling doesn’t end when the HO signs the contingency you know. If you don’t get everything you want, start the supplement process immediately.

Honestly, I get quite frustrated listening to all the people bitch and whine about how they aren’t getting items covered, aren’t getting the margins they need, etc. while I sit back and watch the people that know what they’re doing get this done on a highly consistent basis. Don’t get me wrong, I get very frustrated with the antics of the insurance companies as well. IMHO however, the bigger problem is incompetent contractors who are mostly clueless on how to properly work insurance claims or crooked ones who expend most of their energy trying to cheat the HO, the insurance company or both.

I’ll give you a very simple example from today. We worked a tornado claim in Alabama. Adjuster wrote a half way decent scope, said he couldn’t add O&P but they would after the job was done. We invoiced on Thursday including our supplement. Spoke to desk adjuster on Monday. She promptly approved our $600 tarp fee, $350 for the eyebrows, valley metal and the building permit fee. She said O&P was factored into the price she arrived at. I told her she was mistaken. We went back and forth several times in email. She called the HO to tell her we were struggling to settle the claim amount. Immediately afterwards, the HO called me, said she talked to the desk adjuster, said she started to insinuate some negative things about us and then spent 5 minutes telling me how she set her straight.

I reworked my Xactimate estimate to match their estimate line item by line item plus our supplement items. Removed all base service charges, had 10/10 O&P added. Sent it to the desk adjuster and asked her how she could possibly have O&P in and still be $4000 off from my Xactimate. We went back and forth 3 or 4 times, she kept saying “I"m sorry Mark, that’s all I can do”. Finally, later in the afternoon, I got an email from her saying she was embarrassed and apologized saying the “O&P button” had indeed been mistakenly turned off. She gave me the new claim amount and said she would send out a check this afternoon.

Moral of the story: We were prepared, we had the HO on our side, we provided facts that couldn’t be ignored and we stayed persistent. Yeah, you’re going to say I shouldn’t have had to spend that time to get what we were owed. I probably put in 3 hours total and netted around $5,500 for my efforts. I don’t know about anyone else but I am willing to work for slave wages of $1,833 per hour. It will be a struggle but if I give up a few things, I’ll manage to get by. Does it even seem fair that I had to go through all of this? Probably not. But my Daddy told me a long time ago that life is about as fair as you make it be.

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[quote=“Roofmaster417”]I am confused about submitting invoices instead of estimates.

Estimates/proposals are a description and cost of work to be performed upon acceptance by the customer.

Invoices to me are work orders after the estimate/proposal has been accepted.

Also final bill submitting once the project is complete.

Maybe terminology is different in your area.[/quote]

Estimates/proposals are two different things. Estimate is simply that, an estimate of the cost of the work. When you propose to a potential customer that they get the work done based on your estimate, they review the proposal. When they agree to do the proposed work per your $ estimate, the estimate and proposal make up a contract that specifies the terms. When the job is complete the customer is given an invoice that outlines the work done and lists the final payment due.

[quote=“Authentic_Dad”]

Finally, later in the afternoon, I got an email from her saying she was embarrassed and apologized saying the “O&P button” had indeed been mistakenly turned off.

Moral of the story: We were prepared, we had the HO on our side, we provided facts that couldn’t be ignored and we stayed persistent. Yeah, you’re going to say I shouldn’t have had to spend that time to get what we were owed. I probably put in 3 hours total and netted around $5,500 for my efforts. I don’t know about anyone else but I am willing to work for slave wages of $1,833 per hour. It will be a struggle but if I give up a few things, I’ll manage to get by. Does it even seem fair that I had to go through all of this? Probably not. But my Daddy told me a long time ago that life is about as fair as you make it be.[/quote]

Exactly! Now, if more contractors will start thinking this through, they’ll all start making more deserved and legitimate money.

“Finally, later in the afternoon, I got an email from her saying she was embarrassed and apologized saying the “O&P button” had indeed been mistakenly turned off.” :doubt:

[quote=“LMB”]

[quote=“Roofmaster417”]I am confused about submitting invoices instead of estimates.

Estimates/proposals are a description and cost of work to be performed upon acceptance by the customer.

Invoices to me are work orders after the estimate/proposal has been accepted.

Also final bill submitting once the project is complete.

Maybe terminology is different in your area.[/quote]

Estimates/proposals are two different things. Estimate is simply that, an estimate of the cost of the work. When you propose to a potential customer that they get the work done based on your estimate, they review the proposal. When they agree to do the proposed work per your $ estimate, the estimate and proposal make up a contract that specifies the terms. When the job is complete the customer is given an invoice that outlines the work done and lists the final payment due.[/quote]

Agreed LMB.,I was merely trying to show that the estimate/proposal process was before the signing process.And that invoices are submitted once repairs have been made.
Another dialed in spot on post A.D.

[quote=“Authentic_Dad”]Any time I hear “tricks”, I actually feel like I’m hearing shortcuts, silver bullets, laziness, etc… Nothing good comes to mind.

Instead of tricks, how about good old fashioned fundamentals, some ingenuity, attention to detail and professionalism? It would be great if we could spit in the dirt, mix it a little and rub the mud on some paper ending up with $400 per square. Give that a try and let me know how it works out for you.

How about starting with developing a good relationship with the best ally you will have in settling the insurance claim, your Customer the HO? Now do a very thorough inspection and use that digital camera to your advantage by taking lots of pictures of valid damage along with all the roof penetrations, flashings, etc… In other words, if you don’t have a picture or two of it, don’t waste your time putting it in your estimate or supplementing for it, it likely won’t get paid. Now put together a solid estimate. Annotate your pictures stating what they should be looking at and why it should be paid for. Familiarize yourself with the local municipalities and the codes they work from. Then quote the appropriate building codes to justify replacing items such as flashings, valley metal, crickets, etc…

Now show up to the Adjuster meeting with a smile on your face leaving the attitude at home. Even though the Adjuster may show up with a chip on his shoulder, your job is to give him a compelling reason to like and respect you. Selling doesn’t end when the HO signs the contingency you know. If you don’t get everything you want, start the supplement process immediately.

Honestly, I get quite frustrated listening to all the people bitch and whine about how they aren’t getting items covered, aren’t getting the margins they need, etc. while I sit back and watch the people that know what they’re doing get this done on a highly consistent basis. Don’t get me wrong, I get very frustrated with the antics of the insurance companies as well. IMHO however, the bigger problem is incompetent contractors who are mostly clueless on how to properly work insurance claims or crooked ones who expend most of their energy trying to cheat the HO, the insurance company or both.

I’ll give you a very simple example from today. We worked a tornado claim in Alabama. Adjuster wrote a half way decent scope, said he couldn’t add O&P but they would after the job was done. We invoiced on Thursday including our supplement. Spoke to desk adjuster on Monday. She promptly approved our $600 tarp fee, $350 for the eyebrows, valley metal and the building permit fee. She said O&P was factored into the price she arrived at. I told her she was mistaken. We went back and forth several times in email. She called the HO to tell her we were struggling to settle the claim amount. Immediately afterwards, the HO called me, said she talked to the desk adjuster, said she started to insinuate some negative things about us and then spent 5 minutes telling me how she set her straight.

I reworked my Xactimate estimate to match their estimate line item by line item plus our supplement items. Removed all base service charges, had 10/10 O&P added. Sent it to the desk adjuster and asked her how she could possibly have O&P in and still be $4000 off from my Xactimate. We went back and forth 3 or 4 times, she kept saying “I"m sorry Mark, that’s all I can do”. Finally, later in the afternoon, I got an email from her saying she was embarrassed and apologized saying the “O&P button” had indeed been mistakenly turned off. She gave me the new claim amount and said she would send out a check this afternoon.

Moral of the story: We were prepared, we had the HO on our side, we provided facts that couldn’t be ignored and we stayed persistent. Yeah, you’re going to say I shouldn’t have had to spend that time to get what we were owed. I probably put in 3 hours total and netted around $5,500 for my efforts. I don’t know about anyone else but I am willing to work for slave wages of $1,833 per hour. It will be a struggle but if I give up a few things, I’ll manage to get by. Does it even seem fair that I had to go through all of this? Probably not. But my Daddy told me a long time ago that life is about as fair as you make it be.[/quote]

dont forget, if you cheat or short cut someone karma is going to hurt with severity. i believe in my work therefore i sell jobs left and right. why? cause thats how you do it, they see, smell, the confidence in you. and then a year down the road your doing two more roofs for their friends and family. hard work is the shortcut so you dont have to do it twice

1 Like