Supplements are an integral part of the insurance restoration process. So, why do we have such a hard time explaining them to our homeowners? It’s simple. We get scared. So, we either don’t tell them, or we brush over it so fast that they don’t really understand the process.
But, if you wait until the end to talk about supplements with your homeowners, they won’t understand and will be less likely to hand over the full depreciation check when they receive it. Alternatively, if you talk about it early and you inform them throughout the process, you will have an educated, informed customer, who trusts you, as the contractor, because you’ve kept them in the loop.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TALK ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS?
Talk about supplements early and often so that they are prepared and they understand why they are receiving more money on the final check and why that money needs to be paid to you.
- During the contingency/contract signing
- When a supplement has been submitted
- If/when it’s been approved
- When the depreciation is released
HOW SHOULD YOU START THE CONVERSATION?
You should have something about supplements on the form you ask them to sign – whether it’s on a contingency, contract or agreement – it should be on there with a place for them to initial. When you’re talking to your homeowners and you’re getting to the point on the agreement where you need to talk about supplements, here are your talking points:
- GIVE THE WHY: Insurance Adjusters are busy, especially after a big storm and may miss things.
“[INSERT NAME], listen, I’m pretty busy in this industry. In one day, I may get on four, five or even six roofs. Some of these adjusters get on 10 to 15 roofs a day. And then they go back to their hotel or back to their office and stay up until 2 a.m. writing estimates. So, as human beings, it’s inevitable that they’re going to miss things.”
- EXPLAIN WHAT A SUPPLEMENT IS: additional funds allowed by the insurance company for items that were not included in the adjuster’s original estimate.
“So, the insurance company has created this mechanism called a supplement, so that when things are missed, or when there is a discrepancy on their estimate verse what it actually takes to fully repair the home, there is a way to go back to them and request those extra funds and extra items; and that is what a supplement is.”
- EXPLAIN WHO ASKS FOR IT AND WHO APPROVES IT
“So, [INSERT NAME], right here on our agreement, it says, ‘plus any supplements approved by the insurance carrier.’ Notice, it’s approved by the insurance carrier, [INSERT NAME]. Not by me. They decide whether or not this should be paid for. And they do that by me, as your contractor, providing them evidence as to why something should be paid for.”
- RECAP THE WHY
“So, that’s what a supplement is and that’s why it exists. It was created by the insurance companies because sometimes things are missed. Does that make sense to you? Great! Initial right here, and I’ll keep you informed about this throughout the whole process.”
So, now the homeowner understands why you will be supplementing. But, you’re not done. Remember, you need to talk about it upfront, but you also need to talk about it often. You need to inform your client throughout the whole process.
At Elite, when we work with a contractor, we’re constantly updating them on each step of the process. “Hey, we just reached out to the adjuster with the new scope, here’s what the amount was. Hey, we just got word back…they didn’t take all of it, but they took these 10 items and it amounted to $XXX. Here’s what the items are…”
When you have that information, whether using Elite or a firm like Elite, or you’re doing it yourself, give that info to the customer.
If you talk about supplements early and often, your homeowners will be prepared and will understand why they are receiving more money and why that money needs to be paid to you.
Want to hear the pitch? Watch this video: https://youtu.be/P9mHmibOcy8
Need a cheat sheet to keep when you need a refresher?