It used to be that contractors could be self-taught in Xactimate and just “get by” without completing the certification process. With states adding additional regulations and limitations through UPPA laws, this is no longer the case. Contractors of all types must be smarter than carrier adjusters and must have the Xactimate certifications to prove it.
For those that may not know, anyone can use Xactimate. There are no requirements for users to get proper training or obtain a certification – not even for insurance adjusters.
Despite being a user-friendly program, many nuanced complexities make it super easy for mistakes to get made. Often those mistakes result in a lower claim payout since critical items are missed, not accounted for, or the correct price isn’t applied.
Proper training lends itself to getting certified and advancing on to higher levels of use. Each certification comes with a listing in Xactware’s user database – a public record of anyone who has taken and passed any of the three certification tests. Despite being used by thousands of contractors, adjusters, attorneys, and others involved in the claims process, less than 2% of people have taken and passed a Level 1 test. Less than one-tenth of a percent of existing Xactimate users have reached the highest certification level – Level 3.
With so few contractors seeking certification, why is it so important?
1. Credibility and Authority
Xactimate is user-friendly, which often gives people a false sense of ability when it comes to using the program. People will often say, “I know Xactimate, and that means I am a good estimator.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. What you get out of the program is based on what you put in. Suppose the user doesn’t have the appropriate knowledge to apply the correct line items or pricing. In that case, it is impossible to expect that estimates will be accurate.
A certification proves you have expert knowledge and that you can apply it to create accurate estimates.
It also provides a level of authority, especially if you are working with a carrier adjuster who is not certified. You can check certification status for free on Xactware’s user directory.
2. Reduces Claim Friction
Certification allows you to substantiate and prove price increases, line-item changes, and other critical pieces of information on claims. 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.
3. Speed Up The Process
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. Proper Xactimate training and certification stops these situations from happening. That means fewer bottlenecks, increased efficiency on both sides, and faster claim resolution.
If you continuously have to battle it out with carrier adjusters to get paid adequately for claims, it might be time to get certified.