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Xactimate, Supplements & Insurance Scope Discrepancies.

What does it all mean?

Experiencing a natural disaster that damages your property can be a stressful and frustrating time. Your possessions, memories and comfortable home are destroyed. Your insurance company provides a valuation in a scope of loss that is far below replacement costs and your contractor's rebuild numbers are even higher. Outside forces have taken over, while you struggle to regain control in this new unfamiliar situation. What you haven't yet discovered is that, in the long run, having complete control may be harmful to your overall financial insurance case. 

Get the Most Out of Home Insurance Claims

Closing out the home insurance claim process by taking the necessary steps to get your home insurance check is always a relief. While it is nice to get your home insurance check, do not rush to the finish line! Before you sign any claim release waivers, make sure your home insurance settlement covers all your damages!

TIP: Being patient is the most important thing throughout the home insurance claim process. Even when the end is in sight, take your time and make sure you are getting the appropriate value to repay your loss.

Before you accept a home insurance settlement from the insurance company, be sure that any amount paid to you in the home insurance check will cover all of your repairs. Go over your losses, read your policy, and make sure the company is paying you appropriately. It is also important to make sure your home insurance check covers any contractor bills. If your contractor is charging more for repairs than your company will pay, ask the insurance adjuster to talk directly with the contractor to determine what the differences are in the two estimates. Try to work out any home insurance settlement or estimate discrepancies before you start repairs. This will ensure that you will have enough money to complete and pay for the damage repairs without running short.

Home Insurance Settlement Checks and your Lender

Depending on the amount of the damage, the insurance company may pay you directly or include your lender as an additional payee on the check (if you have a mortgage on your home). If you find your home insurance check has both you and your lender listed as a payee, contact your lender right away, and ask how to go about getting their endorsement on the check. Brace yourself! The home insurance claims process for each lender can be confusing, requiring forms that your contractor must fill out (W-9, repair affidavits, lien waivers) and depending on the amount of your check, your lender may hold the entire check in a restricted escrow, issuing payment to your contractor only upon completion of the work. This is all done to protect the lender's financial interest in the property. Once the repairs are completed, the lender will have a home insurance inspection of their own performed to verify completion of the work. Only then will they issue the home insurance check from your restricted escrow to pay the contractors for the repairs.

TIP: Make sure you completely understand the lenders process up front to avoid delays. Ask you contractor to fill out the paper work as soon as possible. Above all, make yourself available on all home inspections. This will ensure timely payments.

If the work is done and it comes under budget for the repairs, you are sent the remainder. The lender cannot keep the proceeds of a settlement to cover your loan balance.

How to File for a Supplemental Home Insurance Check

If, while working through your repairs, your contractor discovers hidden damage that could not be seen during your home insurance inspection, you will need to request a supplemental home insurance check for the additional damage. Notify your insurance adjuster that there was additional damage that was found related to this claim. They may do another home insurance inspection to review the additional damage or they may ask that you have the contractor write up a supplemental estimate for the work. Once the additional information is reviewed and the estimates seem in line, you will be issued a supplemental home insurance check for the additional damage. (https://insurance.freeadvice.com/information/home/article/308)

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Payment Amounts?

Xactimate Demystified

1. Xactimate® is a computer software system for estimating construction costs that has become widely used by insurance companies in the past decade. Insurance company adjusters use it to calculate building damage, repair and rebuilding costs. Adjusters use Xactimate to generate loss estimates and claim settlement offers. Xactimate® is, however, generic software that is best suited to tract homes. If your property is custom-built, historic, or located in a high value area, Xactimate’s numbers will likely not be sufficient to reimburse you for the actual cost of repairing and replacing your specific home. Underestimating on material costs and lowballing resulting from the improper use of Xactimate has factored into many claim disputes and lawsuits, particularly in the aftermath of Gulf Coast hurricanes.

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* Find a contractor that is experienced with insurance negation, can provide numerous references for review, is licensed and insured, offers a warranty for services provided, and that is in your local area in case of future needs. 

* Don't settle for lower prices from your insurance settlement or your contractor. In most cases, you do get what you pay for. It is often found that it is more costly to go with the lower price because of the additional cost to repair work deficiencies in the near future. 

Don't Take Our Word For It
See What Others Have To Say

After having problems with two other roofing companies we met with a representative from Consolidated Restoration. They informed us that they could walk the roofs to verify conditions on the roofs as compared to the insurance adjuster's report. Well, sure enough we had disagreements with the insurance company as to the condition of the roofs. Thankfully we had a roofer who knew what he was doing to walk all of the roofs with the insurance adjuster and we received a much better settlement than we were originally supposed to. We, at that point decided to use Consolidated Restoration throughout the entire property for all of our roofing, skylights, and woodwork and are very happy we did. 


Monica Jarreau
Village Woods Retirement Community Baton Rouge, LA