The Finish – Closing the Claim

As a homeowner, once your insurance company agrees to the presented damages to your property, the only thing you have to worry about at this point is whether or not you want to make changes to the overall look of your home. Once you make the decisions on appearance, your contractor starts repair process. You can be thankful that you have a great contractor that you have built a relationship with, and have confidence in. You have also gained trust in your insurance company, as they have, in your eyes, delivered on a promise they made when you signed the contract and sent them your first premium payment. Life is good right now.

The responsibility to deliver has now shifted to your contractor. Aside from your contractor’s ability to do the work, and fix the problem, it’s in your best interest and their best interest to know and execute the insurance supplement and billing game. These are essential keys to The Finish, wrapping up the claim. Don’t leave a penny on the table.

The Supplement

First, a little disclaimer on a supplement. Supplements are a huge pain for Adjusters. Ideally, you want an agreed scope and price with the Adjuster prior to them writing the estimate, and thus eliminating the possibility for a supplement. But, Adjusters are human and they make mistakes, for one. Two, there are a lot of claims that the extent of damage is not always visible at the time of initial inspection. So as a contractor, minimize the possibility for a supplement as best you can. If you must supplement, document why you are submitting a supplement. Photos and a summary or report of why you’re submitting a supplement go a long way. If you provide a report to the Adjuster, most of the time, it will eliminate a couple questions, and possibly a second inspection. Time is an Adjuster’s most valuable asset, and if you can document things properly, and take great copious photos, an Adjuster can fly through a supplement.

You also need to consider the dollar amount of your supplement. Keep it around 1-5% of the total claim, if you can. Of course, there are some exceptions to this. But if you’re planning of submitting a massive supplement, and it getting paid without any questions or even a second inspection, you’re crazy. Best thing you can do in that situation is call the Adjuster and give them a heads up. They won’t be happy to open and surprise email asking for an additional 10k on a 30k roof job. The alarm bells are going off at that point. You want to make a supplement as pain free as possible for an Adjuster.

The Final Bill

Once you calculate your supplement, and all the work is complete, it’s time to submit the final bill. The final bill completes the claim process! As we discussed in “To Claim, or Not to Claim“, ┬áthe check from your insurance company will be split into two parts. The first check you receive is the Actual Cash Value (ACV), and the second check (pending your coverage) is the Replacement Cost Value (RCV). The RCV is what your final bill is chasing after. Your final bill needs to include a completion notice that should be signed by both the contractor and homeowner. It should also state somewhere like, “all work has been completed per agreed repair scope”. Photos of the completed repairs are helpful too. This documentation essentially will allow your Adjuster to document the fact that the work has been completed, per the agreement, and once the check is issued the Adjuster can close the claim. The best claim your Adjuster can handle is a closed claim. The faster and easier you can close the claim the better!

So in review, here are the 3 steps to the claim process:

  1. The Event – Something that causes a loss.
  2. The Agreement – Get everyone on the same page, agreeing to the present damages.
  3. The Finish – Complete the work, supplement if needed, and send in the bill for remaining available funds.

It’s about as simple as that! If you have any questions, or would like some feedback on a claim, or even a review of an estimate, please feel free to contact us! We want to hear from you!

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