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Siding
Supplements

Supplementing on siding insurance claims is an important part of growing your business. Whether you are a roofing contractor who handles a few siding jobs or focused entirely on insurance siding work, supplements are a great way to make sure you get paid what you deserve 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 you as the contractor should submit a new Xactimate estimate with photos and other documentation to request additional funds.

Siding

F.A.Q.

About Roofing Supplements

A siding supplement or contractor supplement is when a contractor asks for additional materials, labor, or trades to be added to the insurance claim for a siding job. An adjuster may not include enough cladding, house wrap, light fixtures, plumbing accessories, j-channel, etc. on the scope of loss to get the job done correctly. In some cases, these missing items are required by local building code or local laws that mandate any siding replaced must match the existing structure. 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, ITEL lab results, and invoices to explain why these funds are needed.

The answer is simple: to get paid what you deserve. Siding tends to be a smaller percentage of a contractor’s total storm restoration jobs but siding supplements typically come with a much higher average dollar amount per claim. Adjusters often approve siding repairs, painting, or remove & replace on specific elevations of the home. However, repairs are usually not feasible and many homes now have code requirements that have been updated since the initial installation. Contractors should supplement their siding jobs, especially if their team is new or not familiar with building siding estimates.

Siding, even more so than roofing, has lots of components and accessories that go into an install. A missing light block, mount, or vent here and there, plus the labor to detach and reset, can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars missed on a job. Combine that with bigger ticket code upgrades and a variety of under-bid material quantities, it easily brings the supplement value into the thousands of dollars.
You should review all of your jobs to see if there is a need to file a siding supplement (there usually is). Aluminum Siding in particular can become damaged with very small hail and often cannot be matched with products currently available from suppliers. Supplementing Siding 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 siding 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. A thorough accounting of mounts, light blocks, corner posts, j-channel, vents, etc. can result in a significantly more profitable siding job. While this type of process may take an additional 15-30 minutes of your sales reps’ time, it will benefit your siding 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 job site.
Siding Contractors typically earn between $3,000 and $8,000 per job when they supplement. The amount you make will largely depend on the type of documentation you provide with your supplements, and the type of supplement being submitted. The largest supplements for insurance siding jobs are from converting a partial approval into a full approval or at least getting the adjuster to agree to paying for additional elevations of the home.

For siding jobs it’s important to understand whether the argument against the adjuster’s initial finding is Damage Related or Product Related. In our experience it’s about a 50-50 split. When a siding job is Damage Related, you focus on detailed damage photos, weather data reports. You may even consider performing a “Flashlight Test” when dealing with aluminum siding. If a siding job is Product Related, you will rely more heavily on ITEL Reports and local code ordinances to argue for a full replacement. Contractors that want to make the most money with 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 and partial trade approvals.
Aluminum siding, like any soft metal can be easily damaged by hail, even hail as small as 0.25-0.5 inches. The biggest issue with aluminum siding insurance claims is product availability. Aluminum siding was a very popular exterior cladding material in the 1970s and 1980s but was generally phased out by the mid 1990s. Therefore, most aluminum siding found on homes today has been discontinued and is no longer available to purchase. Sometimes an adjuster will approve painting or sections of aluminum siding repair on the Xactimate estimate. These types of repairs are not feasible. Removing a single piece of aluminum siding will damage surrounding pieces. This scenario is a great time to supplement a siding job. If there is legitimate, documented storm damage to aluminum siding, even on one side of the home, a contractor can submit a supplement to get the siding on the entire home replaced.
The term “Line of Sight” usually refers to state or local building laws that mandate replaced building material must be uniform to the existing material on that section of the structure. Imagine if you had a large, white vinyl siding house and replaced entire sections of damage with tan siding. That would look ridiculous, right? That’s why most states have specific laws to create such material uniformity standards. For example, here’s what Iowa’s looks like:

 

“When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace as much of the item as is necessary to result in a reasonably uniform appearance within the same line of sight….”

While “Matching Coverage” is similar to “Line of Sight” in that they both deal with material uniformity of a siding installation, siding Matching Coverage specifically relates to the homeowner’s insurance policy. When dealing with a siding storm damage claim, the contractor can not discuss the homeowner’s policy with the adjuster. That being said, it is always a good idea to educate the homeowner on endorsements or exclusions. The homeowner can review their homeowner’s policy to verify that it contains or does not specifically exclude “Matching Coverage.” Matching Coverage may even be a separate endorsement as an add-on to the original policy. Either way, it’s good to educate the homeowner so that once you have exhausted all possible opportunities for the insurance company to cover the cost of the repair, the contractor developed enough trust with the homeowner that they will still hire you to do the work.

There are two different times you can submit a siding supplement: Pre-Production (before the install) and Post-Production (after the install, before depreciation is released). The optimal way to supplement a siding job is to file both Pre-Production and Post-Production supplements on insurance siding jobs. Doing so results in 2-4 times more supplement dollars approved per job and higher approval rates overall.

 

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. Furthermore, many successful siding supplements involve obtaining an ITEL Report, which can add a few more days to the overall process. Contractors that have good siding inspection processes tend to have the quickest turnaround times on Pre-Production supplements and also experience less scheduling issues. In addition to increased revenue and profit, Pre-Production supplements also can also benefit your 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.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to hire a 3rd party to supplement your siding jobs. The number one reason is that many roofing contractors do not have a lot of experience writing siding estimates or how to get insurance siding jobs approved. Another obvious reason 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. This is especially true for siding contractors for whom siding installation is a small percentage of their overall work. For these contractors especially, a supplementing company can help ensure that newly hired sales reps are producing profitable siding 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 insurance supplement specialist can easily step in and handle the overflow of claims. Legacy roofing & siding businesses that focus primarily in retail work sometimes have insurance jobs fall into their lap. At Elite Claim Solutions, 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 & siding business. For new companies, the owner is typically out selling and wearing lots of other hats and simply does not have the capacity or knowhow to supplement insurance siding claims.
Ladder jacks
Taking production photos like this will help you make more money on your siding supplements!
Check out our blog posts dedicated to supplementing for siding projects.

Siding Supplement Tips

Production photos make supplementing easy. This post walks through real examples of photos that helped Elite get supplements approved and earn roofing contractors money.

Follow these 3 tips to maximize your supplementing efforts.

Supplementing can add thousands or even millions of dollars to your bottom line. Find out how much money you should be making by supplementing every job.

Adjusters don’t like approving O&P on roofing jobs. Here are 10 tips to put you in the best position to get overhead and profit approved.

Breaking your back installing siding under a deck? Let’s get you paid for that additional labor!

Clearly explaining the  supplement process to homeowners can actually speed up collections. Elite Claim Solutions Owner, Mike Braun, gives some tips on how to talk about supplements with homeowners.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you?
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