Roofing Supplements

Supplementing roofing insurance claims is a great way to make sure the contractor gets paid an accurate price and that the adjuster’s Xactimate estimate includes everything needed to do the job right. If the scope of loss does not include all the correct materials, quantity, labor, code items, etc. then the contractor should submit a new Xactimate estimate with photos and other documentation to request additional funds.

Installing ice and water shield


About Roofing Supplements

A roofing supplement or contractor supplement is when a contractor asks for additional materials, labor, or trades to be added to the insurance claim. An adjuster may not include enough shingles, ice and water shield, siding, etc. on the scope of loss to get the job done correctly. In some cases, these missing items are required by local building code. When this happens, a contractor writes a new Xactimate Estimate to include those missing items and submits it to the insurance company for approval. Contractors must also include supporting documentation such as photos, measurements, local code requirements, and invoices to explain why these funds are needed.

The answer is simple: to get paid a fair price on insurance jobs. This means you get paid what it actually costs to do the job correctly: having the correct quantity of materials, following local building codes, using installation best practices to comply with manufacturer warranties, etc.
While we don’t believe the insurance company is the enemy, they sometimes make mistakes. It’s up to the contractor to find and correct those mistakes, not just for their business but also for the homeowner. Homeowners hire roofing contractors to be the expert on filing and managing insurance claims. Supplementing is a great opportunity for Roofing Contractors to demonstrate their expertise. When done correctly, it can actually improve customer service and generate more referral leads.
You should review all of your jobs to see if there is a need to file a roofing supplement. Supplementing Roofing jobs is all about consistency and process. Having a standardized process for more thorough inspections makes it easier to determine if an insurance job requires a supplement and makes it easier to file one.
The best way to do this is to give your sales reps very clear rules on how all roof inspections are performed. Top contractors use inspection checklists and photo checklists to make sure they correctly document all of the damage and materials required to install the job. While this type of process may add an additional 15-30 minutes to what your sales reps are currently doing, it will benefit your roofing business in a number of ways. In terms of supplementing, contractors will earn more money and get paid faster. When it comes to operations, the same process used for supplementing can also result in more accurate material orders and prevent “fire drills” like driving to a supplier to pick up materials when a crew is waiting on the roof.

This largely depends on the type of documentation you provide with your supplements, and how much time you are willing to allow a job to remain in the “settlement” phase of the supplementing process. Contractors that want to make the most money on supplementing train their sales reps to gather all the necessary documentation (inspection checklists, photos, invoices, etc). They prepare each job as though it will require a full supplement and have systems in place to organize their jobs so multiple team members can easily access all the information. Contractors who earn the highest average supplements also create larger scheduling backlogs. This can allow more time to settle more complicated claims, challenge denials & partial trade approvals.

There are two different times you can submit a roofing supplement: Pre-Production (before the install) and Post-Production (after the install, before depreciation is released). The optimal way to supplement a roof is to file both Pre-Production and Post-Production supplements on insurance roofing jobs. 
Pre-Production supplements should be written or sent to a supplementing company as soon as the full scope of loss is received from the adjuster. It can take the adjuster and carrier several days to settle these claims so you want to avoid scheduling an install if there are expensive Xactimate line items that have not yet been approved. Contractors that have good roof inspection processes tend to have the quickest turnaround times on Pre-Production supplements and also experience less scheduling issues. In addition to revenue and profit implications, Pre-Production supplements also can also benefit your roofing business by improving cash flow on your jobs. Oftentimes, when a Pre-Production supplement is approved, the carrier will send an additional ACV check to the homeowner for the additional line items on the revised estimate.

On average it takes 10-20 days for a roofing supplement to be approved by the insurance carrier. On more complicated jobs it can take 20-40 days. Funds are typically released within 1-3 business days following an approval on pre-production and 4-7 business days on post-production supplements. There are many factors that impact how long it takes for a supplement to be approved. While many of these factors are outside of the contractor’s control (such as carrier inspection backlog following a storm), having all of the necessary documentation at the beginning of the process can actually speed up approval times by several days. The more prepared the contractor is during the initial inspection, the better the outcome in terms of both money and speed. Having all of the necessary photos and paperwork with a correctly written Xactimate estimate can result in a “Desk Approval,” which is a much more simple claim settlement process. If certain photos are missing or are not clear, then the insurance company may deny certain line items or request additional documentation for the supplement to move forward. Each time this happens an additional 3-5 days can be added to the process. The same is true with invoices and receipts.

The simple answer is yes. Whomever is actually writing a revised estimate needs to know how to write an Xactimate Estimate….and pay a monthly fee to license the Xactimate Software.

BUT that person doesn’t necessarily need to be YOU; it can be anyone on your team or a supplement specialist with an outside company. It is a good idea to have some basic knowledge of Xactimate because it allows contractors to read Xactimate Estimates and quickly notice items missing on the scope. Many contractors that hire 3rd party supplementing companies know how to write Xactimate Estimates, but they realize that their time is better spent selling or managing their other projects. OR they know how to write them but are much slower at creating the polished professional supplement that a 3rd party will submit.

In our experience, insurance companies only get mad if you waste their time, are dishonest, or unprofessional. Having a well crafted, well documented roofing supplement makes their job easier. Submitting quality, honest supplements and being courteous to the adjuster is how you build solid professional relationships with adjusters. Over time contractors will work with the same adjusters in their market. If you are consistently honest and professional, then even the grumpiest adjusters will come to learn that when you submit a supplement it’s legit. We have seen this happen time and time again. Occasionally, adjusters will become frustrated when you challenge their findings or push hard during the settlement process. This is where it is most important to let the facts (i.e. documentation) do all the talking. Keeping the argument purely factual on things that you can prove keeps emotions in check and prevents things from escalating.

Absolutely! And we know a good one 😉

There are many reasons why it makes sense to hire a 3rd party to supplement your roofing jobs. The most obvious is that contractors are too busy to write new Xactimate Estimates for all of their jobs. Or they’re simply not that good at writing supplements. Another reason roofing contractors hire a supplementing company is to help ensure that newly hired sales reps are producing profitable roofing jobs. Even companies that have their own internal staff to write supplements may need a hand if a hurricane or 100-year hailstorm hits in their market. In this situation, you don’t have time to hire and train someone new, but a 3rd party roofing supplement specialist can easily step in and handle the overflow of claims. Legacy roofing businesses that focus primarily in retail work sometimes have insurance jobs fall into their lap. At Elite, we help these types of companies manage occasional insurance claims or even help them transition their business into becoming a storm restoration business. Lastly, we serve a lot of clients that are starting a new roofing business. For new companies, the owner is typically selling and wearing lots of other hats and simply does not have the capacity or knowhow to supplement insurance roofing claims.

Tarps on roof of house
Taking production photos like this will help on your roofing supplements!
Check out our blog posts dedicated to supplementing for roofing projects.

Roofing Supplement Tips

Insurance companies and adjusters get a bad rap, especially in roofing sales. But is that really deserved? Elite Claim Solutions’ owner, Mike Braun, separates fact from fiction when it comes to the role of insurance companies and adjusters…

A quality roof inspection can help mitigate disputes with the adjuster. Here is our list of eight tools you should be using…

When gathering your inspection information or talking to an adjuster about drip edge, keep the following in mind:

Size matters! You might not think you need to document more than the footage on gutters & downs, but if that’s all you’re doing…

We all know that when it comes to supplements, the insurance carriers control the timeline. But, there are some things you can do to avoid unnecessary delays and get that check cut a little bit faster.

You don’t want to risk paying to replace something when it costs way less to throw a tarp over it to protect it, right? Find out what you can do avoid costly tarping mistakes.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you?