Filed Under:Claims, Catastrophe & Restoration

Saving Reconstruction Time and Money

Last year, Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne brought more claim adjusters to Florida than swampland speculators in the 1920s. At last count, the Fearsome Foursome generated more than two million property claims. Just the sheer number of claims required adjusters to increase productivity to meet the demands of homeowners.

No matter where claims occur, filing them quickly, accurately, and efficiently is the main goal of every professional property adjuster. Increasing productivity also will increase independent adjusters' incomes. Saving time does not necessarily mean cutting quality, however. Adjusters can employ some basic techniques to avoid common mistakes and to save time.

After completing the damage assessment, review the scope of the examination with policyholders. Briefly explain the procedure and what the next steps are. Be realistic about all timetables. This is a good time to ask policyholders whether they have any questions. Remember to provide them with all relevant contact information.

Be Prepared

Avoid Common Mistakes

Deduct wall openings It is important to deduct wall openings, such as windows and doors, in estimates. The additional wall square-footage amounts resulting from the failure of entering wall-opening information increases the cost for most wall-repair items, such as drywall, paint, and wallpaper.

All computer estimating systems make to-the-inch calculations easy. Enter these values properly. If the resulting calculation requires some adjustment due to the nature of the material being replaced (i.e., 12-foot rolls of carpet or 60-foot double rolls of wall covering), adjustments can be made after speaking with the installing contractor.

Repair only affected areas At times, it may not be necessary to replace an area's entire floor, wall, or ceiling. In such cases, estimators should make the proper allowances to get a more accurate assessment of the cost of repairing damaged areas.

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