Untrained insurance adjusters significantly impact the property damage claim process. They miss damage during inspections, write inaccurate estimates, and cause claim timelines to increase. While this is unfortunate for the policyholder, those involved in the repair process like roofing contractors, also suffer.
The trend of untrained and unskilled adjusters in the claim process is likely to get worse.
A recent report put out by McKinsey and Company notes how carriers can increase profit by moving as much as “30% of their workforce to outside vendors”. These include roof inspection teams or “ladder assists”, independent adjusters, engineers, and claim filing administrators. All play a direct role in a claim’s outcome and yet there are no state laws that require carriers to properly train them. If more insurance companies adopt the use of these untrained vendors it is going to make it much harder for contractors to get fairly paid.
The good news is contractors have options and can take steps to improve insurance claim handling without fear of violating UPPA laws. Below are a few tips and expert advice from our team of licensed Public Adjusters.
1. Get Xactimate Certified
Xactimate Certification allows you to substantiate and prove price increases, line-item changes, and other critical pieces of information on estimates. This prevents a constant back and forth with carrier adjusters and keeps them from stonewalling you into accepting an unfair and often lower amount for the work you do.
2. Focus On Claim Documentation
If you can’t rely on the “experts” the carrier sends to create a detailed and accurate estimate, then you need to be prepared to fully document the claim yourself. This includes more than enough photos and information to create a justified supplement later. You must use the program correctly and be able to justify each Xactimate line item and ensure that all prices are accurate.
3. Improve Internal Claim Processes
Making sure everyone on your team follows the same process when it comes to assessing damage and writing estimates is critical. Missed damage, improperly accounted for items, and incorrect prices are three of the biggest reasons claims end up in supplement hell. It doubles or triples the paperwork and increases back and forth with carriers, which can slow the claim timeline.
4. Partner With Industry Experts
The single best way to avoid UPPA violations is to know when to get help from experts like Public Adjusters or property damage attorneys. The key is to spot signs of trouble early, like when carriers become unresponsive or combative. Early intervention can save time, reduce stress, and keep claim timelines on track.
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