In the roofing industry, it is common for insurance adjusters to become roof salesmen.
For BullyBag CEO Jarod Allen, he too made the switch, although he went from a roof salesman to an insurance adjuster.
“The switch was easy for me because I know that the carriers have changed since 2017, 2018. Back then, insurance companies paid what they owed. There was no haggling,” remarks Allen.
Since then, things in the roofing industry have shifted.
“It seems that the carriers have changed pretty dramatically since 2017,” Allen says, noting how insurance companies no longer are as willing to pay out on homeowner claims.
Still, Allen acknowledges that it is important for roofing companies to continue to employ their processes and not lose faith in the insurance claims process.
“You just have to roll with the punches,” Allen says.
As mentioned, there has been a lot of interchange among insurance adjusters and roof salesmen.
Allen attributes this trend to a number of different factors.
“It’s a direct result of two things. A different mindset of the people who have been adjusters, and then mix that with social media,” he says.
“You have to remember, if you go back to September 2017 when Hurricane Irma hit, you had all these adjusters that were on-site, and they were talking on social media about how they went from making $10 an hour to $500-$1,000 a day. Now that they’re talking about it on social media, it creates a supply and demand issue. You have an oversupply of warm bodies to get the job done. As a result, the fees went down substantially with a lot of carriers, but so has the quality of the job, the inspection, and the results of those adjusters.”
While homeowners and roofing contractors have been caught in the crossfire, Allen suspects that this market shift will continue to further benefit insurance companies.
Perhaps ironically, he also predicts that there will still be adjusters who leave insurance companies to go work for roofing companies.
“You’re going to see a continued influx of people going back to roof sales from adjusting,” Allen says.
As a man who used to knock doors in Midland, Texas under the duress of 117° days, Allen says that back then he didn’t have to deal with the theatrics of insurance companies because insurance claims processes were much smoother.
“That’s really what it came down to with the policy, and back then that was easy to follow for me as an adjuster,” he notes.
Yet, despite the challenges roofing companies face today when dealing with insurance companies, Allen reminds roofers that being aware of the current claims processes is the only way that companies can work toward creating a positive relationship with insurance carriers.
This includes potentially having to deal with adjusters who are not well-trained or are lacking in experience due to the residual effects of the 2017 influx of people who became adjusters.
“Contractors get frustrated because now they have somebody that either may be highly qualified or not qualified at all. They don’t know, but they have no control,” Allen says.
To better manage expectations during a roof inspection, Allen advises roofers not to mark roofs for hail damage, as some adjusters may interpret this as a sign of disrespect.
He also mentions that there are small things roofing contractors can do to work toward cementing a relationship with an adjuster.
“Be cordial. Help with the ladder. Little things like that go a long way,” Allen says.
“You’re out there to sell the job. Look the part, be professional, and be kind. That’s what works.”
Part of this equation also includes not filming adjusters during an inspection, a strategy that some roofing companies have resorted to in the past.
Allen warns that when roofing companies film adjusters, insurance companies have a tendency to then elongate the claims process.
“A large carrier may send out a specialty team if a contractor records the inspection,” Allen mentions, at the same time adding that while working as an adjuster, he has never been opposed to contractors filming a roof inspection.
“I don’t know why that is [adjusters not appreciating being recorded]. Filming doesn’t bother me. I’ve always had a good rapport with just about every contractor that I’ve met.”
Through everything, Allen reiterates that the key to facilitating a smooth claims process is establishing respect between both parties.
Failure to do so will only bring upon more stress and delay a homeowner receiving the roof replacement they need.
“I understand their [roofing contractor] side and they have to understand mine if I’m handling the adjustment. Ultimately though, we have to do the right thing. That’s what it ultimately comes down to,” says Allen.
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