Are Contractors Appropriate Adjusters? Contractors, in my experience, make excellent adjusters.
What is the reason for this?
Adjusters who work in the construction industry have a number of advantages over adjusters who work in other industries. the article offers excellent info on this.
#1 They’re also familiar with construction and materials, as well as words and descriptive phrases.
#2 They already understand what constitutes harm and what does not, as well as the procedures for repairing or replacing damaged objects.
#3 They’re used to manual labour and are familiar with roof ladders and roof ladder protection.
#4 They’re already familiar with the resources they’ll need.
#5 They have a home town advantage…a career you can fall back on when you’re not working as a claims adjuster. (I know a lot of adjusters who are also roofers, and they adjust during major hurricanes and tornadoes while also working as roofers during hail season…although some can adjust during hail season as well.)
Of course, there will be a learning curve for contractors that are moving into adapting. However, if you can change your mindset, you will have a much easier time transitioning. The following are some of the significant variations that must be considered:
A) Recognize the visual differences between an insurance estimate and a contractor’s estimate. This isn’t about money; it’s about appearance or shape. Most contractors can write a calculation that is either lump sum or just momentarily breaks down operations. A roofer’s estimate could say, for example, R/R 20 yr 3 tab comp shingle 30 sqs, X sum of dollars, price includes all fees and debris haul off. Anything involved in the roof replacement (all materials, labour, O/P, taxes, etc.) is expressed in the lump sum amount.
This form of estimation will work for the roofer, but it will not work for the insurance company. What they’ll like in their estimate is a more detailed breakdown that reveals and describes the tear off (labour only) and then the replacement of the SAME form of roof (no upgrades). The cost of the repair would include both supplies and installation labour.
For a true component calculation, some carriers will call for it to be broken down even further in terms of materials (example: shingles, felt, valley metal, drip edge, pipe flashings, ridge and hip shingles…ALL separate line items). The material tax will be applied to the calculation at the end, resulting in the final price.
B) There would be a significant difference in the dress code. Blue jeans and tennis shoes are frowned upon by most insurance companies. You’ll have to get used to wearing a docker-style dress pant, and if you wear tennis shoes, they must be black or a dark colour. It will be necessary to wear company shirts and caps (no fishing or hunting caps will be permitted).
C) The organisation will be different – you’ll be calling insureds, scheduling inspections, inspecting the loss, and preparing the payout estimate with little or no lag time.
D) This is the most important one…
POLITICS. Is this loss protected by insurance? Is the storm responsible for the damage? Stopping and putting things into perspective is one of the most difficult things for a contractor to do. I know because I used to be the same way. When I left the construction business, what I saw when someone called for an estimate to repair or restore anything was the damage and the cost of repair. You can’t do that in the insurance sector, however.
The roof may be old and worn and in desperate need of replacement, but you won’t be able to do so until it has been damaged by the event. The same can be said about problems with maintenance. (There is NO COVERAGE if the soffit and fascia are rotted, or if any of the windows leak because they haven’t been caulked since the house was constructed, or if any of the roof boots are cracked and dirty, allowing water to leak into the interior, etc.) The policy is not intended to be a preventative maintenance policy. It’s for coverages that happen out of nowhere and are caused by particular perils specified in the policy.