A thorough Damage Assessment is a very important element to an effectively addressed restoration job. When properly done, this assessment will steer a more successful outcome throughout the course of claim filing, the insurance adjustment and supplementing.
If a properly executed Damage Assessment is not part of your restoration process; here are 3 reasons why you should include it!
1. Claim Filing – During an initial claim filing or inspection, a properly executed damage Assessment coupled with photos is going to be the first time a homeowner will begin to understand the full extent of their loss. This type of documentation will usually seal the deal on the filing of the claim and help you create a baseline that is independent of outside influences (much like an adjuster).
2 .The Insurance Adjustment – Depending on your process, you may or may not attend insurance adjustments with a well written Xactimate estimate in hand. If you aren’t able to complete your estimate prior to the insurance adjuster appointment then the Damage Assessment can help here, too. The assessment will help ensure the adjuster’s scope and your scope are similar. Then whatever is relayed to the homeowner should be more accurate. This is especially true if your Damage assessment was used to educate the homeowner during the initial claim filing.
3. Supplementing – Having a Damage Assessment coupled with photos will serve as the baseline for supplementing. If you completed one on the initial inspection, presented it to the homeowner, and communicated it to the adjuster; you can use it to cross check the adjuster’s estimate and add any line items they may have missed. While a lot can be said about supplementing on its own; it undeniably starts with thorough documentation.
There is a lot to say about the restoration industry and new problems seem to arise daily. However most contractors seem to at least have this in common; they want to help the homeowner and make a decent living while doing it. Including a Damage Assessment within your daily processes will help to achieve these goals.
As a final thought, here are 6 more things you will gain by doing a thorough Damage Assessment for your restoration jobs:
→ a more clear and accessible picture of the scope for every job
→ a template for estimate creation / supplementing
→ leverage during insurance adjustments
→ win more disputes over differences on scope
→ reduce the amount of visits to the jobsite for capturing critical info
→ increase the average amount of money earned through supplementing
Contributor: Aaron Cutler