I sent the following email to Xactimate


#1

In the past six months, I have seen the majority of the insurance adjusters modify their scoping practices/methods in a number of different areas relating to roofing. They used to apply the waste % to the replace portion of steep, steep>, steep>> and high. In general, this is no longer done, they simply use the remove number for both with no waste applied. They all seem to want to group more and more into the waste number and are stuck on the traditional 10% waste for gables, 15% for hips regardless of the complexity and number of slopes.

I went online with Xactimate Support last week to attempt to discuss this. No surprise, the tech support person couldn’t answer questions like this but provided me with a free direct call support session to inquire further. I was eventually passed over to someone in pricing at Xactimate. He promised to follow up with pricing management at Xactimate. Frankly, I doubt that but you never know. I did manage to get his email address however and sent a follow up email as shown below.

For those of you who do insurance work and/or rely on Xactimate, these are issues that impact us all. I would propose that all of you contact Xactimate to inquire about these same issues. It is more likely that Xactimate would respond should the volume of inquiries be great enough to get their attention and force action.

Following is the body of the email I sent to the Xactimate pricing person:

I was wondering how you are coming on the subjects we spoke about last week? I have also condensed my inquiry into some specific questions as shown below, including explanation for those. I believe these are quite relevant to understand in order to properly scope a roof replacement.

  1. Does Xactimate roof pricing reflect the fact that the majority of the manufacturers only supply 98.4 square feet of material per square? That’s right, a square isn’t a square. What this means is that for every 20.8 squares, an additional bundle has to be purchased. This would affect the price by 1.6%.
  2. Does the remove portion of roofing (RFG 240 -) include the cost for removing and disposing of starter, hip/ridge cap, valley layer, lo profile vents (turtle type), pipe jack boots, valley metal or ridge vent? Many insurance companies will only pay for the replace portion of vents, for example, stating the removal is grouped in with the shingle removal. The description for shingle removal doesn’t reflect this, what is fact? As relates to starter, hip/ridge cap and the layer of shingles under a valley, this is rather significant, 10 to 15% of the roof amount.
  3. When pricing a roof replacement, what is considered to be included in waste?
  4. When pricing a roof window flashing kit, what data is utilized? The description states material cost and labor included. In the areas we serve, this price often doesn’t cover the material cost itself much less the labor required to install it. I can provide receipts or pricing proof, just check a velux price sheet.
  5. How does Xactimate plan to address the new warranties being utilized by major shingle manufacturers? In case you’re not aware, GAF and Owens Corning have changed the warranty on their 30 Year Dimensional Shingles to Lifetime. They did not however make any physical changes to the product. People who are getting a roof replacement who had previously purchase a shingle with a lifetime warranty would be getting severely short changed by getting it replaced with these new warranties by GAF and OC. It is highly likely the remainder of the shingle industry will follow this lead soon.
  6. When calculating the remove/replace for steep, steep>, steep>> and high, it was always customary to apply the waste percentage to the replace number. I assume this is why Xactimate automatically breaks this into two line items. In the past 6 months, insurance companies have generally quit applying the waste factor to the replace portion of these charges. This makes no sense whatsoever to me. The question though is how is Xactimate pricing the replace number? At present, it should be weighting this price with the additional cost due to waste as the waste % is not being applied.

Again, per our conversation, I feel it is the responsibility of Xactimate to explain in some detail the descriptions for the pricing of the individual line items. This pricing is supposed to reflect market conditions but cannot have much validity if there is extreme variance in how the numbers are in fact used in the scoping of jobs/repairs. It is my opinion this ambiguity servers no one and in fact could potentially undermine the justification for utilizing Xactimate as the STANDARD for insurance claims.

I look forward to your prompt response on these maters.

Thank you.


#2

Well i dont know what to say about that. Nice email i guess but no answers really.


#3

Kevin, I suppose you should contact Xactimate, tell them (as you’ve said here several times) that you’re 100% successful in working insurance roof claims, that you’re a professional roof consultant and that they should take immediate actions on the email I sent to them. Perhaps you could tell them a few colorful stories about how you’ve smacked around Adjusters as well to establish your credibility.


#4

I sent off a simular email a while back. Here is the email and response from Xactware.
We need to collect more data like this in order to properly use the software.

From: Ray Choate [mailto:ray.choate@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2010 5:00 PM
To: Pricing
Subject: What is included in the following line items.

Rfg 220
Rfg 300
What is included in those line items?
What is not included as well.
Please allow as much detail as possible.

Do they include additional sundries such as drip edge valley flashing pipe flashings etc.

Thanks,

Ray Choate
ALLTEX General Contracting L.L.C.
ALLTEX Roofing
P.O. BOX 1553
Red Oak, TX 75154
1-877-255-8391
972-261-4321
FAX: 972-692-5959

Ray,

Thank you for your inquiry. Xactware’s published pricing for roofing items is not ‘all inclusive.’ For example, items for roofing shingles (RFG 220, RFG 300, etc.) include shingles, felt, nails. As they are originally published in Xactimate pricelists, they do not include any cost or assumptions for hip/ridge, drip edge, valley or other roof flashing, pipe jacks, roofing vents, steep/high charges, sales taxes, etc. If needed, these items should be added or accounted for separately in the estimate.

Sincerely,

Structural Data Services
Xactware


#5

Good email. I’d be interested in seeing their response.


#6

ISO has done a good job over recent years of convincing too many restore contractors that Xactimate is the end all standard for pricing storm damage work. It is not. Contractors who work storm damage claims need to disregard Xactimate and work off of their own RTA pricing numbers. When adjusters and claims reps say that Xactimate is the accepted standard, my response to their supposition is, “according to whom?” An example I’ve pointed out elsewhere; ins co charges an annual premium for full replacement on $300k property. One storm causes $30k damage (10%). The other 90% of the prem paid goes to ins co profit. I have no sympathy for ins co’s whining about fully paying claims and no patience with ISO’s ins favored estimating programs.

3RS MAXtimateTM was designed to and affectively serves to get the prop owner and therefore, the contractor, fully paid and it works! Sorry for the obvious promo but I’m in it to help GC’s earn what they are worth.


#7

LMB, that is all fine and good, I’m for making more money. Who isn’t? Simply using your program though doesn’t guarantee in the least the insurance will honor the estimate you provide or agree to pay it.

That supposedly is the value of Xactimate, i.e., it is the standard used and recognized by the majority of the insurance companies. With that said, I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with Xactimate as many line items are ambiguous and left to the discretion/interpretation of the estimator. Who really cares if we agree on the pricing of a line item when we don’t come close to agreeing to the definition of the line item?

I would be interested, LMB, in you explaining how you manage to get the insurance companies to agree to pay to your program’s estimate? I am quite skilled in Excel, I could easily create a template that would spit out quotes with my pricing. That doesn’t mean it would be accepted by the insurance company.

Up until Allstate recently adopted Xactimate as they’re estimating tool, they generally refused to accept an Xactimate estimate and fought tooth and nail to have their estimates from their custom version of Integra (I think that is correct) stick. Their Adjusters or Desk Adjusters would call the Homeowners and tell them they MUST get 3 more estimates, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, I realize we could generally win if we have the Homeowner willing to join the fight. Reality is different than that though, unfortunately.

So make a believer out of me please. I’d dump Xactimate in a heartbeat if there were an alternative that was equally as effective in dealing with insurance claims and would provide me with a larger profit margin.


#8

[quote=“Authentic_Dad”]LMB, Simply using your program though doesn’t guarantee in the least the insurance will honor the estimate you provide or agree to pay it.

A.D., 3RS MAXtimate was designed, not with the expectation that insurance will honor my estimates or agree to pay them. Rather, the program was designed based on my experience of insurance always honoring/accepting my estimates and usually substantially agreeing to my pricing which averages significantly more than Xactimate. Lack of critical thinking and/or experience causes some to simply buy into the Xactimate myth and follow the herd.

When the political, economic and legal considerations based on practical experience are included in a program that teaches contractors a different and more accurate perspective of how the process works, all boats rise with the tide.

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That supposedly is the value of Xactimate, i.e., it is the standard used and recognized by the majority of the insurance companies. With that said, I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with Xactimate as many line items are ambiguous and left to the discretion/interpretation of the estimator. Who really cares if we agree on the pricing of a line item when we don’t come close to agreeing to the definition of the line item?

I would be interested, LMB, in you explaining how you manage to get the insurance companies to agree to pay to your program’s estimate? I am quite skilled in Excel, I could easily create a template that would spit out quotes with my pricing. That doesn’t mean it would be accepted by the insurance company.

Up until Allstate recently adopted Xactimate as they’re estimating tool, they generally refused to accept an Xactimate estimate and fought tooth and nail to have their estimates from their custom version of Integra (I think that is correct) stick. Their Adjusters or Desk Adjusters would call the Homeowners and tell them they MUST get 3 more estimates, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, I realize we could generally win if we have the Homeowner willing to join the fight. Reality is different than that though, unfortunately.

So make a believer out of me please. I’d dump Xactimate in a heartbeat if there were an alternative that was equally as effective in dealing with insurance claims and would provide me with a larger profit margin.[/quote]


#9

LMB, you don’t need to quote my post in order to answer the question. I have no idea what you were trying to communicate with your last post.


#10

Part 2 (without the additional quote…)

A.D. also wrote,

“That is supposedly the value of Xactimate.” Supposedly being the key word. According to whose supposition?

“I am quite skilled in Excel, I could easily create a template that would spit out quotes with my pricing. That doesn’t mean it would be accepted by the insurance company.”

That also doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be accepted and that’s what 3RS Profit MAX / “The Playbook” teaches. You could have created a template but you didn’t. I did and it works great in helping contractors to achieve substantially higher per job profit levels than they would achieve using Xactimate and without the unecessary Xactimate costs. And, my 3RS MAXtimate estimates have never been rejected.

Combined with 3RS Profit MAX and The Playbook along with 3RS MAXtimate, my program accomplishes its goal of, not being as effective as Xactimate, but being substantially more effective as well as substantially more profitable.


#11

Yeah, I know…there is a problem trying to write all in one reply, I think it has something to do with using Explorer then I forgot to delete the rest of your quote before submitting…

My actual reply is/was as follows:

A.D., 3RS MAXtimate was designed, not with the expectation that insurance will honor my estimates or agree to pay them. Rather, the program was designed based on my experience of insurance always honoring/accepting my estimates and usually substantially agreeing to my pricing which averages significantly more than Xactimate. Lack of critical thinking and/or experience causes some to simply buy into the Xactimate myth and follow the herd.

When the political, economic and legal considerations based on practical experience are included in a program that teaches contractors a different and more accurate perspective of how the process works, all boats rise with the tide. Meaning, as Waren Buffet once said: “COnventional wisdom is often long on convention and short on wisdom>”


#12

LMB, sounds great! Let me play this back for you to make sure I understand it right.

If I purchase your 3RS Maxtimate estimating program that comes with a booklet, use it and follow the processes you describe in your booklet, you GUARANTEE the insurance companies will pay to that estimate 100% of the time? What does that guarantee entail? Money back guarantee?

Could you provide some references of other companies that are utilizing your product?

Thank you.


#13

[quote=“Authentic_Dad”]If I purchase your 3RS Maxtimate estimating program that comes with a booklet, use it and follow the processes you describe in your booklet, you GUARANTEE the insurance companies will pay to that estimate 100% of the time? quote]

“…usually substantially agreeing to my pricing which averages significantly more than Xactimate.” I can’t possibly guarantee that ins will always pay everything I ask for and therefore I don’t. The “booklet” is actually a 100+ page process training book (“The Playbook”) that teaches contractors how to “beat the insurance companies at their own game”. Feel free to review the Playbook site through the link at iccoa.com then let me know what you think.[/quote]


#14

Larry, I spent a fair amount of time browsing your website. One of the most difficult and confusing websites to navigate I’ve ever looked at.

Perhaps I’m missing something but I failed to come away with much information that was “meat”. Lots of promotion for what you’re doing but little of the “how”. I couldn’t find a price for your Playbook.

I will say that in theory, what you are trying to accomplish is honorable and worthy. If it is reasonable workable, I would certainly be interested in purchasing it.

There are a couple of problems I perceive based upon my understanding of your website. It seemed the majority of things you referred to were in Minnesota. I work in Indiana and Alabama. My perception of how you succeed with your approach is a good deal of time is spent “negotiating” with the insurance company on each and every claim. That it involved taking it up the ladder, writing letters, threatening with legal action, etc… If this is true, I’d like to know how you convince all your Customers to live with the delays pending your negotiations with the insurance company.

If I’m missing something, please enlighten me. I’d gladly purchase your product and be an advocate if I could somehow understand it better.


#15

not to go off topic but how much does xactimate pay for tarp jobs?


#16

RR, not a straight answer out of Xactimate, at least that I can see. There is a line item for tarp for $.40/sf that includes material and labor. There is a line item for cover with plastic and cover with plastic after hours.

I generally use a generic roofing line item Roofing (bid) that allows you to fill in your own price. If we’re calling in a claim with a Homeowner and it requires tarping, we ask the Customer Service person what they will pay. We try to tie them down and document it.

Most Adjusters want to pay $150 for tarp protection for damage. They’ll generally pay $250 without much problem. If it is more than a minor tarp job, then it seems to be open for negotiation.


#17

We charge $250.00 per 8x10 tarp installed.


#18

A.D.,

The website(s) can seem confusing at first since I’ve linked the ICCOA site to the Playbook site. The “meat” is the potential to substantially increase profits. The “how” is what is contained in the book. Were I to provide the how on the website, which would take many pages, no one would have any reason to purchase the program. The price for the program is listed on the second page at burcos.com/profitmaxorder.htm.

The program works the same in any state. It teaches how to simplify the process and maximize profits. In cases where claims are troublesome, it teaches what additional steps to take - when and if necessary. Delays? My customers trust my verifiable proven experience and they understand that occassional delays are just part of the process. Never had an once of trouble with that, particularly when customers know what they’re getting.


#19

Larry, could you provide any references of insurance claims contractors in a Midwestern State other than Minnesota, that are using your program, I could speak with? At the price of $330, wouldn’t take much for this to be well worth the purchase.

While I understand revealing the “how” would of course eliminate the value of your product, simply stating credentials and benefits doesn’t automatically establish credibility. If that were the case, we’d believe everything the insurance companies tell us. LOL


#20

A.D., continued… (still can’t figure out why the reply page limits me?? Explorer?)

A.D. quote: “At the price of $330, wouldn’t take much for this to be well worth the purchase.” True. “simply stating credentials and benefits doesn’t automatically establish credibility”. Also true but for the price, very little risk involved.

The package includes 3RS Profit MAX - “The Playbook” insurance claims training and certification on 1 CD and business forms + 3RS MAXtimate on 2nd CD + an actual “3RSystems Certified Contractor” certificate with burcos.com/recover.htm insured ref/verify page + membership in the ICCOA - all for slightly higher than 1 months fee for Xactimate. Absolutely well worth it. ICCOA is for exposing and confronting busy body politicians, ins commissioners and legislators whose own agendas make contracting harder. I take them on because, frankly, most contractors don’t know how. As with potential insured customers, I always ask permission before given their name as a reference.