“Let’s talk about roofing insurance claims, Dmitry Lipinskiy, owner of Roofing Insights,“
tells Becca Switzer as the two sit down in her luxurious office building in Denver, Colorado.
Switzer designed Roof Sales Mastery, an easy-to-use guide that allows roofers to maximize their earning potential on jobs by supplementing insurance companies with invoices for additional expenses that will be incurred on a job.
By doing this, Switzer hopes to help contractors avoid leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table by not supplementing their jobs.
Unfortunately, most roofers don’t know how to supplement, and many of them refuse to address this issue of their operation.
This is why many contractors miss out on huge amounts of money.
If you’re a business owner who isn’t supplementing your jobs, something has to give.
Whether it’s learning how to supplement, hiring an in-house employee, or outsourcing to a third-party, supplementing is the best way to ensure your efforts are properly compensated.
For those who want to outsource their supplementing, Switzer recommends Contractor Supplement Solutions.
“They have a team of 25 public adjusters,”
she says, also mentioning that supplementing isn’t hard.
“Anybody can do it. It’s not rocket science.”
According to Switzer, even people without a roofing background can learn the basics in “probably about two weeks,” but of course to become more refined, that will only come with time.
And over time Switzer has seen too many contractors try to gouge insurance companies, which further creates a divide between the two parties.
“Asking for things that aren’t legitimate,”
Switzer says when describing how contractors routinely fail to adequately supplement their jobs.
Switzer advises roofers to be fair during the supplementing process. Trying to drive up the price will often lead to supplements being denied by insurance companies.
For example, don’t try to bill insurance for a Porta Potty if you aren’t going to use one, and don’t try to get insurance to cater lunch for your crew. Insurance isn’t supposed to cover these, and making unreasonable requests gives the insurance companies great incentive to reject the supplement completely.
“I think there’s a lot of misconception around what supplementing is,”
Switzer adds, going on to say that while there is a certain level of gamesmanship to supplementing, it also isn’t set up for people to try to scam each other at every possible moment. Instead, it’s best to use common sense and be reasonable when dealing with insurance companies.
But being fair doesn’t mean the insurance companies will always follow suit. If you’re unlucky, you might just get stuck dealing with a rotten company.
“I would have to say Allstate and State Farm,”
Switzer reveals when asked to list the worst insurance companies to deal with.
“Everyone notoriously knows Allstate sucks.”
These two companies get a bad particularly rap because their field adjusters are often unrelenting and unfair when they come out to assess a property. They often deny claims for silly reasons. It’s their way of making money, but Switzer says contractors can combat this so the homeowner gets the new roof they deserve.
“Put together an adjuster’s report,”
she says, also advising to get a formal letter from the homeowner expressing their dissatisfaction.
At this point, when insurance companies are asked to respond in writing, they usually cave because they know they’re being unfair, and once something is in writing, that’s when insurance companies can get burned if their clients end up suing them.
Still, most people don’t want to go to court, and to avoid all the headaches that come with discrepancies in adjustments, false threats of litigation, and worrying about when your new roof will be installed, Switzer has a tip:
“Just understand that you and your contractor are on the same team.”
Remember: as a homeowner, you’re not going to make money when you get a new roof. You’ll pay your deductible and then theoretically the insurance will cover the rest of the expenses.
That being said, there is no need for homeowners to take their financial frustrations out on the contractor by shorting him/her money.
To ensure this happens, Switzer adds that contractors need to hold up their end of the bargain.
“Your job is to know exactly how this stuff works so that you can educate your customers,”
“My number one recommendation is to get formal training.”
Lastly, for those contractors who think that supplementing insurance is unethical, Switzer tells them to be aware of who is really setting the price for the cost of these new roofs.
“The first thing they [contractors] have to realize is we’re forced to play the Xactimate game,”
Switzer says, because not only is it a great way to calculate costs, but it’s also the same exact formula that insurance companies use when they make estimates.
The only difference is that insurance companies are taking money off the top.
“At least 40%,”
Switzer says when asked how much insurance companies short consumers on each estimate.
That is how the corporate entities can begin to save as much money as they possibly can.
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