Categories Insurance Claims


Xactimate is a standard estimating system used by insurance companies and contractors to financially settle insurance claims. I’ll try my best to break it down in layman’s terms:

Reasons for a Standard Estimating System

An insurance company’s job is to provide their customers fair compensation when something unexpected happens, in our case water damage. The customer chooses a contractor to complete the work and then the insurance company pays that contractor directly for their services. The problem is that there are literally hundreds of contractors performing the same service in any given area. (restoration, roofing, plumbing, ect.) Imagine the variation in pricing if each contractor had their own system for billing the insurance company. It would be very difficult for insurance adjusters (see link) to determine what was fair or fraud. Kind of like the wild wild west of estimating.

XACTIMATE allows Insurance and Contractor to Agree on Price

To combat this problem all major insurance companies have implemented Xactimate as their estimating and billing system. As a result, all legitimate contractors, who want to get paid for their services, have also adopted this system. I suppose if an illegitimate contractor doesn’t care about getting paid they can still just wing it. (Note: Don’t hire illegitimate contractors to work on your house.)

The way it works is Xactimate uses exact “items” (measurements, time, material, and labor) to come up with prices insurance companies and contractors can agree on. For example: Xactimate pays $0.41 per foot to “tear out baseboard.” If a contractor tears out 213 feet of baseboard on a job, Xactimate would compensate them $87.33. ($0.41 x 213 feet = $87.33) Insurance company agrees, contractor agrees. Life’s gravy.

That’s just one example of literally thousands of different “items” contractors can choose from to develop detailed estimates insurance companies can agree to. Think of it as adding a sheriff to that wild wild west town of estimating.

Xactimate creates pricing uniformity between the insurance company and contractors that previously didn’t exist. It helps make the insurance claims process go smoother, which creates a better overall experience for you the customer.

If you would like to read more about Xactimate and the company that created the software follow the link below.

Read more about Xactware and Xactimate.




Categories Before You Hire

Do I need Multiple Estimates before Hiring a Water Damage Contractor?

Do I need multiple estimates before hiring a water mitigation contractor? The short answer to this question is no, but as in all aspects of life it can be more complicated than that.

Insurance Company

From the insurance company’s stand point they want home owners to get water damage taken care of ASAP. Waiting for a contractor, or multiple contractors to submit estimates and go through the approval process delays the cleanup and dryout. This in turn can lead to further damage (ruined building materials, musty odors, mold damage, ect.) and further damage can lead to more money out of their pockets.

Water Mitigation Contractor

From the water mitigation contractors stand point it’s hard to predict every single aspect of a job before work begins. Imagine if the original plan is to remove wet drywall. However, when you go to tear it out the wall cavity that’s exposed is covered in black mold. Situations like this complicate a job and require additional work that wasn’t part of the original plan.

Contractor and Insurance Company Working Together

As a result, insurance companies allow water mitigation contractors to bill them directly after the cleanup and dryout is complete, using an estimating system called Xactimate. (Click Here is read about Xactimate) This way the insurance company gets a quick response which minimizes damage, and the contractor can submit one comprehensive estimate that includes all the work that was required. Win + win = best friends.

Insurance Coverage Warning

WARNING: As we learned previously in our article, “Will my insurance Company Pay for my Water Damage”, not all water damage is covered by your insurance company. ALWAYS talk to your insurance company and get DETAILS about your coverages before you hire a contractor to do the cleanup and dryout. While you don’t need an upfront estimate, you do need to be sure you have full coverage. If you skip this step you could be on the hook for whatever the insurance company doesn’t approve. NOTE: Just because you call and get a claim number doesn’t mean you’re covered. Don’t be the guy or gal that has a water mitigation contractor come out on a Saturday night to clean up your flooded basement just to find out on Monday morning that your coverage was denied or limited. Lose + lose = major dues.




Categories Restoration Tips

How do I know if there is Mold in my Home?

How do I know if there is Mold in my Home? Que up the Darth Vader music, we are getting ready to talk about mold. Obviously one of the biggest fears home owners have is mold damage. Mold can grow almost anywhere, it can make occupants sick, and it can cost a lot of money to have a contractor clean it up. No wonder everyone is so scared of it. So what are the best ways you can detect whether or not mold is present in your home?

No. 1- Seeing it. Seeing mold growing is the easiest way to detect that mold is present. It is most often seen in areas where there is a water source. (Behind toilets, under sinks, around water heaters, ect.) However, it can also grow in areas with high humidity, like a basement, attic, or crawlspace.

No. 2- Smelling it. If you smell something strange in a given area that may indicate that mold is growing. Mold puts off a musty scent, so if you continue to smell something funky, it’s probably worth doing some further investigation.

No. 3- Testing it. The most thorough way to detect if mold is present is by having an air quality test done. An air quality testing company will come out and take samples of the air, test them in a lab, and provide you with detailed results. They can determine if there are high levels of mold spores in the air and what type of mold it is. This process usually costs between 300 and 500 dollars.  Restorex uses Microair in Indianapolis to test for mold.  You should always use a third party when testing for mold.

If you think you have mold in your home DON’T just immediately call a contractor and take their word for it. Contractors are notorious for exaggerating the mold damage in order to charge you more money. Use these guidelines to educate yourself enough to understand your situation, if there is one. By doing that you give yourself the best chance to make smart decisions and save money. May the force be with you.





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