Too many policyholders rely on their insurance company to visit their property, inspect their claim, and provide a claim settlement for their damages. Most simply accept their carriers insurance claim estimate. This should almost NEVER HAPPEN!
I’m not saying that there are no good adjusters out there and that they can’t be trusted, not at all. There are many excellent adjusters that do an excellent job. However, are you under the delusion that they will never make a mistake, miss hidden damages, or that they all have multiple years of experience with insurance damages and insurance claim estimates? Not a chance.
Have you ever had a second opinion before having your car fixed? Have you or anyone you know ever needed a second opinion after seeing a doctor? A second opinion when shopping for a car, computer, or hiring a contractor? Have you ever had more than one estimate to build or repair something for your home? I’m assuming you’ve answered yes to at least one of these questions, if not more. Then why do policyholders allow insurance company adjusters to TELL THEM what they will pay on their insurance claim… based on the insurance claim estimate that THEY provided?
Most insurance adjusters have learned how to pass a state insurance license exam and learned how to use an insurance claim estimating program… but have never worked on an insurance repair job. Many have never built or repaired a home, nor have they ever worked for any type of Construction Company. Chances are they will miss something needed to properly complete the insurance claim estimate and repairs on your property.
It’s YOUR property, it’s YOUR insurance policy, and it’s YOUR responsibility to protect yourself. You do this by havig your own insurance claim estimate prepared. Again, your adjuster may be dead on with his/her analysis. Regardless, you should have a contractor or insurance claim professional provide you with a detailed, line item insurance claim estimate to compare to.
What Is A Line Item Detailed Estimate?
Sometimes a contractor will use a complete sf price for a roof or deck, but the insurance company is requesting the estimate be broken down per line item. Using the roof example; the insurance companies want to see each process of the roof replacement, AND each type of material being used on the roof – listed separately. Here’s an example;
Description Qnty Unit Cost Total
Tear off 3 tab – 25 yr.
composition shingle 27 sq $42 1,008.00
Replace 3 tab – 25 yr.
roofing – incl. felt 30 sq $162.09 4,862.70
Drip edge 313.33 $1.29 404.20
Flashing – pipe jack 2 $22.08 44.16
Continuous ridge vent
aluminum 70 $5.51 385.70
Step flashing 42.33 $5.58 236.20
Skylight flashing kit 2 $66.00 132.00
Digital satellite system
Detach & Reset 1 $101.14 101.14
The numbers in the above example are fictitious; however, it shows the basics of a Line Item, Detailed Estimate. Each line item is broken down in detail and displays the description, quantity, unit cost, and total for each separate line item. This type of detail is needed so the insurance company can review and compare each separate line item and unit costs with their own software. Having the insurance claim estimate formatted the way the insurance companies like to see them, results in a faster settlement.
In the event of an insurance claim dispute a more detailed estimate allows for a smoother, less time consuming process. It’s difficult for the insurance companies to dispute insurance claim estimates that are presented to them in the exact format that they are requesting.
Watch yourself, educate yourself, and protect yourself by obtaining a second opinion on any and all insurance claim damages you incur. If you won’t look out for yourself… who will?