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Xactimate: Are You Leaving Money On The Table?

The beauty of spring in Dayton, OH is often tempered by powerful storms, with heavy rains, strong winds and destructive hail. Through it all, your home protects you from the elements, but unfortunately your roof and building exteriors are susceptible to storm damage. Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it.

If you have experienced storm damage, it’s important to identify the damages quickly and determine if an Insurance Claim is necessary. If you decide to move forward with an Insurance Claim, make sure you hire a local Dayton, Ohio Insurance Restoration Contractor willing to help with the claims process, such as Helping Hands Restorations, LLC. The cost for repairs for your home is then determined through multiple negotiations between Helping Hands Restorations, LLC and the Insurance Company using a software called Xactimate.

What is Xactimate?

Xactimate is the software most commonly used by property adjusters to write their estimates, which are key components in the claims process. Xactimate is able to generate a cost-estimate to accurately depict what is required to return property to the pre-damage condition. It uses a sophisticated Sketch function to accurately determine all dimensions of your property’s interior and exterior. Xactimate then pulls pricing from local sources to accurately identify the amount and cost of each material required and the cost of labor to properly complete your project. More Insurance Companies require Xactimate be used by their property adjusters than any other software on the market.

Xactimate and Contractors

Contractors and builders generally do not use Xactimate – they base their cost estimates on sub-contractor bids and their general knowledge about the costs and time involved in a potential job. Many contractors/builders are unfamiliar with Xactimate. So if your contractor/builder is participating in settlement discussions with you and the Insurance Company’s Adjuster, he or she may be at a disadvantage. In addition, it is hard to compare an Xactimate estimate “apples to apples” with a more traditional contractor/builder estimate based on sub-bids.

This is where hiring Helping Hands Restorations, LLC can put you in an advantageous situation when dealing with your Insurance Adjuster. Unlike most Contractors in the Dayton, OH area, Helping Hands Restorations, LLC has over 15-years of experience using Xactimate to negotiate with Insurance Companies on our customer’s behalf. Because we use the same software, we are able to ensure that the fair market value in the Dayton, OH area reflects up-to-date market conditions. We are also able to ensure your Adjuster did not miss any necessary line items, and we compare our Xactimate estimate with the Insurance Adjuster’s Xactimate numbers to make sure they are sufficient to reimburse you for the actual cost of repairing and replacing the damage done to your home during the recent storm.

Beware of contractors who claim they can repair your roof for less than the insurance estimate.

When storms hit, your home and life can be turned upside down. You’re eager to get your home repaired, but be careful because some contractors aren’t really there to help. Xactimate pricing determines the fair market value for each line item. Fair market value insurance coverage is the price a willing buyer would have paid the seller in a free market. The pricing isn’t something the Contractor makes up; it is the same as what the insurance company utilizes. So, assuming the Adjuster agrees the damages are valid as an insurance claim and they agree with the components/process laid out in your Xactimate estimate for the repair process, the rate/charges are pretty much established. So, if you have a contractor offering to repair or replace your roof for less than the recoverable cash value for your claim, then most likely they are using inferior materials or performing shoddy work that is not up to code in order to make profit from the project. Leaving you with an improperly installed roof, a voided warranty because they didn’t install the necessary components and a headache down the road because their substandard work won’t hold up.

How do you know that you will have an accurate estimate for the repair or replacement of your roof or building exteriors?

Proper training is essential with Xactimate®, and if your adjuster and/or the contractor you have hired to create an Xactimate® estimate for your property does not know how to use the software properly, the result will probably be inaccurate. Generally, it will be on the low side.

Xactimate®’s pricing is often too low and too generic. The pricing is based on a median survey that does not always reflect up-to-date market conditions. Your insurance company is likely to turn an Xactimate® estimate into the settlement offer they make to you. That means that if the basis of that estimate was inadequate or incomplete, the resulting settlement offer will leave you short of what you need to return your property back to pre-damage condition.

The best approach to getting a fair claim settlement is for a property owner or their representative to get an independent estimate for repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed property from a reputable local construction professional who is trained in Xactimate. This will level the negotiation playing field for the property owner.

If your estimate cannot be compared apples to apples with an Xactimate® format, you will have a hard time convincing an insurance company to pay what you are owed. If you authorize Helping Hands Restorations, LLC to advocate on your behalf, we will make sure that you don’t leave money on the table. We will ensure that you receive the repairs or replacement that you are entitled to under your Insurance policy.

What is a Supplement?

Xactimate® estimates look impressive because they are well-organized, professional-looking and lengthy, but as stated above, they are often inaccurate. A computer cannot replace the knowledge of a local, experienced construction professional as to the materials, time and labor costs associated with a job. Not only that, but many times hidden damages are discovered once the repairs have begun. A competent contractor will supplement an Xactimate® estimate with items the Insurance Adjuster missed in the scope of work to be completed. The Insurance Company will not tell you the claims process, but Helping Hands Restorations, LLC will. Since we use Xactimate, it is easy for us to price any additional damages found during the repair process and justify any additional increase in cost to your Insurance Company. We can almost always work something out with the Insurance Adjuster. We will submit the supplement with documentation in the form of pictures, measurements and paperwork. The Insurance Company will review the supplement and upon approval, send a check for the additional monies needed to make the necessary repairs.

Don’t leave hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table

Involving Helping Hands Restorations, LLC prevents you from getting stuck with a settlement that won’t cover your costs, or even worse, getting denied. With Helping Hands Restorations, LLC you pay no out-of-pocket expense other than your insurance deductible. We agree to accept what your Insurance Company will pay for the claim, including your deductible, and ensure the highest quality repair or replacement. You will also benefit from upgrades that we typically include in all of our projects, such as upgrading your roof from 3-tab shingles to architectural shingles, adding to your home’s curb appeal and property value, at no additional charge.

Hire Helping Hands Restorations, LLC today as your authorized contractor, and we will make sure that you are properly funded and that the best products in the industry are installed on your home. Call us today at (937) 215-8663 or schedule your Free Roof Inspection HERE.

Roofing – Understanding Storm Damage Insurance Claims Process

Have You Had Recent Wind, Hail, or Storm Damage To Your Roof or Property? 

Here is some information to help you better understand the process of filing an insurance claim for roof and storm damage.

FAQ: Roofing and Storm Damage Insurance Claims Dayton, OH

I DON’T SEE ANY HAIL DAMAGE. WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?

Hail Damage can’t be seen very easily most of the time. You usually will never see actual holes or indentations in the roof. Hail will drastically shorten the life of your roof. Even many roofing contractors do not know what to look for when it comes to hail damage.

If you have damaged siding, vehicles, or have noticed neighbors getting their roofs replaced, more than likely you have hail damage as well.

UNDERSTANDING HAIL DAMAGE

Hail can damage your roof without any visible signs from the ground. Hail normally has to be the size of a golf ball before it will break through your roof or cause bruising. Sometimes these damages do not show up quickly or are easily overlooked. The integrity of the shingle may be damaged, do not take a chance on it. If hail is driven by high winds or if it lasts longer than a few minutes, even small-sized hail can cause your roof to suffer severe damage and the loss of their protective granules, which will greatly reduce the life of your roof. Loss of granule layers will leave the shingles exposed to the suns UV rays. This will cause serious deterioration of the shingle in a short period of time.

Hail and high winds can cause serious damage to your roof and exterior of your home. An evaluation by one of our trained Inspectors can verify the extent of your damages and outline the means by which they should be repaired or replaced. There are a lot of good roofers around that have no clue how to inspect for hail damage or work an insurance claim. You need a professional working on your side.

WILL MY RATES INCREASE IF I FILE A ROOFING CLAIM? 

No. Homeowners Insurance does not work like Auto Insurance. You will not be penalized for filing a claim. Rate increases are based on your geological location. If you are in an area that has sustained substantial storm damage, your rates may increase even if you do not file a claim.

If you had hail or wind damage in your neighborhood, CALL US! We want to be present when the adjuster comes out to do his/her inspection. It is your legal right to have a professional represent you during the inspection. Do not rely on only your adjuster’s inspection. The adjuster works for and is paid by the insurance company, and they are not in the business of writing checks. In many instances, if you do not have a contractor there representing you, they will try to claim there is not enough damage, or will give you a very small settlement for “repairs” even though your damages are sufficient enough for a full roof replacement. You need a professional contractor present at the adjuster’s meeting to advocate for you to make sure you get fully funded for the best roofing system possible. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know what the insurance should pay for your damage?
  • Are you aware of the local codes pertaining to roof replacement?
  • Did the insurance adjuster pay for everything to bring your home up to code?
  • Are you sure the adjuster didn’t miss anything?
  • Are you sure the adjuster measured correctly?
  • Are you sure the adjuster paid ‘Fair Market Value’ for your area?

THE INSURANCE INSPECTION

The adjuster will look at your property during working hours, so you probably won’t be home when the adjustment is taking place, which means you have no input in the matter. We ask that you allow us to represent you during the inspection. The adjuster will inspect your roof and exterior of your home for visible signs of damage only. For the roof, he will measure out a “Test Square” (10′ x 10′) on different sections of your roof. If he can find a sufficient amount of bruises or breaks for each “Test Square”, the insurance company will pay you for a new roof.

MY INSURANCE ADJUSTER SAID “NO DAMAGE”

It is possible that your roof was the only one on the block that wasn’t damaged. And it is also possible that the adjuster is new and missed identifying the damage. We have had several roofing claims that we were able to get the insurance to buy, after previously they had denied. You are entitled to a re-inspection by another adjuster within the same firm. So, if you’re not completely satisfied with the results of your claim, don’t settle. Ask for another inspection. Let us work for you in getting what you deserve.

DISCREPANCIES

Most occur when the adjuster has not assessed the same amount of damage as the contractor. Whether it is for the roof, gutters, siding or other exterior or interior damage. So if you have interior damage or other hard to see damages that can be easily overlooked, chances are the adjuster will probably miss it. This is another reason that you need us to represent you during the inspection.

You are entitled to have your contractor of choice represent you during the adjustment process to expedite the settlement of your claim. In order to save you time off from work and the headache of the entire process, we ask that you allow us to represent you during the inspection process. We will work with your adjuster to determine the extent of the damage, clarify pricing and offer a repair/replacement price agreeable to the insurance company. All you pay is your deductible. Let us work for you in getting a fair and amicable settlement.

HOW THE INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY ON CLAIMS

In most cases, about a week after the adjuster has estimated your property, you will receive your first check. This is most commonly called the ACV. (Actual Cost Value)

This check should represent the actual cost to repair or replace the damaged property, MINUS DEPRECIATION. Depreciation is a misleading term. Many think that the first check they get from the insurance company is the only money they will get.

When work is completed, the insurance company will issue a 2nd check for the RECOVERABLE depreciation amount only if the total expenses are equal to, or greater than the total settlement.

Many homeowners never get the depreciation amount back because they do not understand the process or the contractor they chose didn’t understand the proper procedures.

Example:

The insurance company has allowed you $5,000.00 to replace your roof.

Your deductible is $500.00

Your total withheld recoverable depreciation is $2,000.00

So your first check from the insurance company is $2,500.00.

If you choose a contractor to replace your roof for $3,500.00, your 2nd check from the insurance company will only be $500.00 because:

“if you have replacement cost coverage, you may be entitled to the withheld recoverable depreciation after repairs have been completed, provided the cost of the repairs exceed the amount of your deductible and your initial claim payment”. – statement on insurance claim payments.

Beware of roofing companies that advertise no deductible.

You are not allowed to profit from a loss. Insurance fraud is a class 3 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.00!

Due to the amount of recent storm damage claims in Ohio and ‘shady’ roofing company practices, Insurance companies are now auditing 1 out of every 3 claims. If you profit in any way from your insurance claim (such as not paying your deductible, or pocketing any insurance money) you and possibly your contractor are committing fraud. Your paperwork from the insurance company clearly states what laws apply to your claim, so there is no “I didn’t know” excuse.

We can provide our customers with options to help with your deductible such as In-House Payment Plans and Paying You For Referrals. Ask one of our consultants for more details.

DO I NEED TO GET TWO OR MORE ESTIMATES FOR MY ROOF?

  • No. Your insurance company has a defined price list they use. More than likely it is Xactimate software, which is the same software we use, as well as most roofing companies that specialize in storm damage. The Insurance will only pay actual costs for repairs (according to their price list), regardless of what prices you may get. However, Xactimate pricing is updated monthly, and it’s very likely the adjuster is using an out-dated price sheet. If that is the case, we will send them a supplemental invoice with the corrected prices.

Think of it this way. What reward will the insurance company give you for finding the lowest price for them? Will they lower your premium?

Your insurance company will pay a reputable contractor only “Fair Market Price”.

Example of 3 different Roofing bids:

  • COST OF ROOF IS $5,000.00 YOU PAY DEDUCTIBLE ($500.00) YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS $4,500.00.
  • COST OF ROOF IS $6,000.00 YOU PAY DEDUCTIBLE ($500.00) YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS $5,500.00.
  • COST OF ROOF IS $7,000.00 YOU PAY DEDUCTIBLE ($500.00) YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS $6,500.00

ALL YOU PAY IS THE DEDUCTIBLE AMOUNT REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE, SO WHY NOT GET THE BEST ROOFING SYSTEM POSSIBLE?

You are only saving the insurance company money and costing yourself quality when you get several estimates. You need to make a decision on which contractor you use based on who you feel comfortable with and their reputation, and experience in roofing and insurance claims.

DO NOT MAKE YOUR DECISION BASED ON PRICE.

All your doing is compromising in quality of the roof and not saving yourself any money, besides, what reward will the insurance company give you for finding the lowest price for them? Will they lower your premium? OF COURSE NOT.

WHICH ROOFING CONTRACTOR SHOULD I HIRE?

Only choose a Local Roofing Contractor willing to help with the claims process, the cost for repairs for your home is then determined by the insurance company and the contractor. Helping Hands Restorations, LLC has successfully mastered the storm damage insurance claims process and we have helped many local families get approved for a full roof replacement, even when they thought it was impossible. On top of that, we always install top quality materials, install the roofing system to manufacturer specifications, and all of our customers receive a unique “IRON CLAD” PROTECTION warranty from the manufacturer. We have extensive experience in working with insurance companies to replace your Storm Damaged Roof, Siding, Windows, Gutters and more. Call Us Today! Or, visit our website to learn more about the services we offer here at Helping Hands Restorations, http://www.hhrdayton.com/.