We’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of storm restoration contractors across the country, and we’ve seen a lot when it comes to missing items on insurance adjusters’ roofing estimates. Documenting your claim with photos is the easiest way to ensure that genuine supplements are covered. If you do not already have a tool or procedure for documenting claims with pictures, we strongly recommend that you check out our training.
Ready adjsuter is a great tool to use if you need to add roof estimates for insurance claims. We’ve compiled the list below of the most common items missing from roof insurance claims. This will help you with any future claims. Document each one to ensure that you get paid for the additional items!
1. Starter Shingles
Insurance adjusters often overlook starter shingles. Insurance carriers often believe that the cost of manufacturing and installing start-up shingles are included in the waste allowances for field shingles. This is not reasonable. While it is feasible to manufacture starter shingles from scraps of field shingles, it is not always desired, particularly with architectural/laminate shingles. Xactimate offers two different rates for installing starter shingles versus field shingles. Starter shingles are real products that you can buy off the shelf and they were probably installed on the roof which you are now ripping off. If starter shingles from a factory are available, but not included in an adjuster’s estimate for roofing repairs, you can use them to supplement insurance claims. Include a picture with your insurance claim supplement.
2. Shingles for the Ridge and Hip Cap
In their estimates, adjusters often overlook ridge and hipped cap shingles. Many insurance providers assume the cost of manufacturing ridge and hip caps shingles and installing them is included in the waste allowances for field shingles. This is similar to the starting course shingles (see below) (i.e. They expect you to cut the scarps to fit and install them at the ridges or hips. This is doable with 3-tab shingles, but it is not suggested with architectural/laminate shingles because they are thicker and will not lay flat. They crack easily when they are bent over the ridges or hips. Xactimate offers two different prices to install ridge and hip caps shingles. When evaluating the roof if you discover factory-made ridge and hip cap shingles or if you are working with architectural/laminate type shingles and the adjuster’s estimate does not include ridge and hip cap shingles, you should include them in your roof insurance claim estimates.
3. Step Flashing
Roof adjusters often overlook step flashing when estimating. Many insurance companies think it can be reused or they risk leaving it out in their estimate, hoping that the estimate will still be accepted without it. When installing new shingles, most shingle manufacturers suggest removing the step flashing and replacing it. There are three situations in which it is not necessary to replace the step flashing:
- It was nailed on the wall, not the roof deck
- It is in a like-new condition. It is not bent, cracked or broken,
- The roof will remain in a like-new state during the removal and installation of the surrounding felt and shingles.
As the majority of shingle manufactures recommend attaching step-flashing to the roof deck and not the wall, any step-flashing attached to the wall would be in violation of new shingle manufacturer recommendations. It is therefore recommended to remove and replace the step flashing when installing new shingles. Step flashing can be replaced using the linear footpace of Xactimate. The cost of tearing shingles off includes the cost of removing them. If you find an item that’s valid but isn’t included in the adjuster estimate, you need to take the necessary steps to have the additional supplements added.
4. Flashing at the top and bottom of walls
The most common omission in adjusters’ estimates is end wall/headwall flashing. Insurance carriers often believe that this flashing can be reused, or will not be included in their estimate. This is similar to the step flashing mentioned above. If the flashing was previously face-nailed with shingles, it is unlikely that your new shingles will be face-nailed in the same nail holes. If you use the old flashing you run the risk of having leaks. It is usually recommended to remove the old flashing and replace it when installing new shingles. Xactimate estimates charge per linear foot to remove/replace headwall/end-wall flashing. If you find an item on the roof that was not included in the adjuster estimate, include it in your roofing estimate to the insurance company. Always keep a picture of the roof and submit it along with your insurance supplement.
5. Valley Lining
Adjusters often overlook valley lining, whether it is for an open or closed valley roof. Insurance companies assume that the metal will be reused, or that the adjuster will not notice it if it’s hidden by shingles in closed valleys. Or they leave it out and hope it won’t be replaced. Valley lining is rarely reused. You are unlikely to use the same nail holes for your replacement shingles because the metal valley lining is nailed into the field shingles. This can lead to leaks. The valley liner will not survive the removal of the surrounding felt and shingles if it is used instead of rolled roofing. If there is no valley liner, the roof is probably not compliant with current regulations. It must be added. Xactimate provides a linear foot rate for removing or replacing metal valley lining. It also offers a square foot price for removing or replacing rolled roofing, ice, and Water Shield valley lining. If you find an item on your roof that wasn’t included in the estimate or if you think it’s a code violation, you may want to supplement your insurance.
6. All details, including flashings, drip edges, and vents, should be painted.
Adjusters often overlook the painting of vents and flashings. The cost of painting replacement materials, such as vents, pipe-jack flashings and drip edges, should also be considered if the old materials were painted in a custom color. Paint vents per each, pipe jacks per each, and drip edges (i.e. Trimming is available in Xactimate by the linear foot. If you find something painted, but the paint was not included in the adjuster estimate, then you should include that in your insurance claim roofing estimates. Don’t forget to include a photo of yourself.
7. Drip Edge
Adjusters are increasingly omitting drip edge from their estimates. Some insurance companies claim that the drip edge can be reused because shingles and felt are easily removed without damaging it. Some insurance companies claim damage to the drip edges is not covered unless it compromises the drip edge’s function in some way. If felt, ice-and-water shield or starter course tiles were installed beneath the drip edge, it will be necessary to remove the drip edge and replace these materials. In these cases, the drip edge must be replaced as it will not last. Xactimate has a linear-foot rate for removing or replacing drip edges. If you determine that the repair and removal of the drip edge is necessary, but not included in an adjuster’s estimate you should include this in your insurance claim roofing estimates. Take pictures to demonstrate why something is being removed or replaced.
8. Cornice Returns & Strips for Gable Cornices
Often, bands and returns of the gable cornice is ignored. Roof diagrams or satellite imagery reports are often missing surface areas, linear feet, and other information. The adjusters do not include materials and labor in their estimates. The cost of removing and reinstalling gable cornice strips and returns adds up quickly, leaving a large sum on the table. Xactimate offers a rate that varies depending on whether the house has one or two stories. You should include gable returns or gable strips on a roof that weren’t included in an adjuster’s estimate in your roofing estimate for insurance claims. Take pictures of these items to include in your supplement.
9. General Overhead and Profit
Adjusters often overlook General Overhead and Profit. Insurance companies find it difficult to discuss this subject because it can increase an estimate by up to 20%. (Overhead is typically added at 10%, and profit at 10%). O&P could be the subject of a whole book.
O&P is included in the unwritten rule that if the project has enough trades or complexity to warrant the property owner hiring a general contractor for the work. Some insurance companies, on the contrary, will refuse to pay O&P when they feel that a project doesn’t warrant the use a general contractor. Some carriers will accept O&P markups on certain trades, but not others. Roofing and guttering is the most common dispute. They usually say that O&P is already included in the unit costs of those trades.