Are You Working For Free?

If you’re an insurance restoration contractor, you’ve probably heard of Xactimate or Symbility. These advanced billing systems assign a dollar value to every task you perform as a roofing contractor.

These programs are EXTREMELY complicated to use and can take years to master. What’s worse is that mistakes can be costly to your business and your bottom line – but most contractors are unaware they are even making them.

Here’s a quick test: how many options are available in Xactimate for roof ridge caps? Do you know when to apply each one to every residential job you complete? If you can’t answer those questions quickly, you’re probably making other costly mistakes when it comes to estimating jobs.

Here’s another way to think about it: every time you perform a task that is not on the estimate or invoice, you’re doing work for free!

Are you in the roofing business to lose money? If you’re not, then this post is for you! Read on to check out the most common underpaid or rarely paid items we see on initial claim estimates.

How many of these mistakes are you making?

1. Waste Factor

Most carriers use a common 10% waste for gable and 12-15% waste for hip roofs. If applied properly, this waste should only account for field shingles. This basic waste calculation is an antiquated form of measuring waste. Today we have advanced, easy to use tools that can accurately calculate the waste. Our favorite tool for this is RestorationAI.

2. Ridge Cap

There are two ways this line item is underpaid or not paid at all. In Xactimate there are three distinct options for ridge cap. You have

  1. “Ridge Cap – composition shingles”
  2. “Ridge Cap – Standard Profile”
  3. “Ridge Cap – High Profile”

Each one of these items is very different. Most often, adjusters by mistake use the (1) line item, which is described as a 25-year, 3-tab shingle. This choice is correct for a 3-tab roof, but NOT for a laminated shingle. The correct ridge cap for a laminated shingle would be (2), which is an actual precut hip and ridge shingle.

3. Ridge Cap & Starter Continued

The guidelines in Xactimate force users to include ridge cap and starter in the standard waste factor. This is why this line item is often underpaid! By using a tool like RestorationAI tool, you can easily show how the correct waste should be calculated.

4. Drip Edge And Other Flashings

This is most commonly left off as a guideline that assumes the contractor will reuse the drip edge or existing flashings.\

5. Ice & Water Shield

This is missed as a code upgrade item most of the time. You must know your local codes to get this right and have copies of them included with the claim to justify the request. Check your local codes and see where it is required. In northern states, it is normally the eaves and in the valleys. In southern states, it’s usually code to apply ice & water barrier in the valleys.

No matter the reason why the items are missed, the easiest and fastest way to justify any supplement request is to have thorough, comprehensive documentation and photos. Invest in tools that will make this easier. Check out my friends at CompanyCam if you need better photos, in fact you can get a free trial by going to

In addition, proper training is critical when it comes to working insurance claims. Check out Art of the Supplement for upcoming training classes or to learn about the online training platform available 24/7 or contact us today and learn how outsourcing your supplements can help your business grow.