Categories Insurance Claims

What is A Supplement Estimate



A supplement estimate is an estimate requesting more money from the insurance company. Once water damage has been cleaned up, an insurance adjuster writes a repair estimate to get the customers property put back together. (Repair drywall, replace flooring, paint, ect.) Once that estimate is complete Restorex Disaster Restoration reviews it to make sure it covers all the repairs that need to take place.

If the adjuster left something out, we can send the insurance company a supplement estimate that includes those forgotten items.

For example: An adjuster might pay for replacing cabinets but forget to include detaching and resetting the counter-top. They might pay to install new baseboard but forget to paint them 2 coats. Adjusters can be so forgetful sometimes…

Note: All adjusters and legitimate contractors estimate through a system called Xactimate. Estimates can be sent back and forth in this system until a final price is agreed upon.


Insurance Adjuster’s Estimates

Usually adjuster’s estimates don’t have enough money in them in my opinion. (If you asked an adjuster, they would probably claim that restoration companies’ estimates are way too high.)

However, as a property owner you should be on my side because if you’ve ever been through a remodel, you know that having additional money is never a bad thing. Unforeseen circumstances almost always come up. Especially when you’re making new repairs to an older home. That’s just the nature of the beast.

The reason why I believe that adjuster’s estimates are low, is because while they do write a lot of them, very few adjusters actually understand how to perform the repairs.

What I mean by that is it’s one thing to know what needs to be done, (For example: ceiling drywall that has been affected by water damage needs scraped, re-textured, and painted).  But it’s another thing to actually know how to perform that task.

A lot of home repairs are very difficult, even for our experienced carpenters.


Every Water Damage is Unique

Each home we work on is unique and presents a different set of challenges. Have you ever textured drywall on a ceiling? If you haven’t, try it sometime and let me know how it goes. Now imagine trying to match a new section of texture on a repaired ceiling with the texture that is already there.

It may take our carpenters two or three times to get it right, and they may not be able to match it at all depending on how complicated the existing texture is.

Adjusters typically pay enough money to make the match on the first try because they don’t understand, or care. By doing this they are able to save the insurance company money and aren’t held accountable if what they paid for doesn’t work out.


Let a Professional Contractor Review the Estimate

Ensure a professional restoration company reviews the adjuster’s repair estimate before work begins.  This will allow the process to be as smooth as possible. If they haven’t, then a supplement estimate needs to be submitted in order to account for those left out items.

Program note: Not all adjusters are evil penny pinchers, whose sole purpose is to screw their customers and save the insurance company money. There are plenty of talented adjusters out there writing good repair estimates and taking great care of their customers. However, since you as the homeowner can’t choose which adjuster settles your claim, it’s a good idea to have their repair estimate reviewed. Better safe than sorry.


Unexpected Circumstances and Repairs

Another scenario where supplement estimates come in handy is when something unexpected comes up during the repairs.

For example: An adjuster might originally write to only replace vinyl flooring.  However during removals it is determined that the sub-floor underneath it is rotted out and needs replaced also.

At that point Restorex Disaster Restoration would contact the adjuster to let them know we’ve come across something unexpected and the details of the repairs has changed. We would then submit a supplement estimate to the insurance company to compensate for that, and any other differences.

Adjusters don’t have Superman vision, (Or at least none of the ones I’ve met have…) so they can’t always tell in advance exactly what challenges a repair job might have in store. The good news is that supplement estimates are available to make up for left out or unforeseen items.

Think of it as an estimating safety net. This allows Restorex Disaster Restoration to get our customers fixed up right without having to rely solely on the original repair estimate. Praise the Lord.




Categories Insurance Claims

What is ITEL?

Below you will find answers to these Questions:

  • What is ITEL?
  • How much does an ITEL Report cost?
  • How do they determine how much my floor cost?


What is ITEL?

ITEL is an independent laboratory that analyzes damaged flooring, roofing, and siding to determine the cost of like kind and like quality for replacement for the insurance industry.

This link tells the story of why ITEL was created back in the 1990’s

In most water damage scenarios, flooring products will be affected.  Unfortunately, the flooring industry changes their products very frequently so finding the original product that was installed is nearly impossible.  So, to properly compensate a homeowner for their affected flooring, an insurance adjuster will require a sample of the flooring to be sent to ITEL Laboratories in Florida.


How much does and ITEL Report Cost?

An ITEL Report can vary in cost depending on the type of sample that needs to be analyzed.

A standard flooring sample ITEL report will cost about $80. Below is the invoice amount for a wood floor sample that was tested.

Testing Fee: $59.50
Shipping Fee: $21.74
Total Due: $81.24


How does ITEL determine how much my floor cost?

ITEL can analyze these different types of flooring:

  • Carpet (residential and light commercial)
  • Ceramic, Porcelain, and Stone Tile
  • Vinyl Flooring
  • Wood Flooring
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Pad and Underlayment

ITEL will analyze a flooring sample and create a report that includes the type of construction of the product, 4 different styles of flooring available in today’s market of like kind and quality, and a price per Square Foot for a like kind and quality product based on the sample that was submitted.

A example flooring report can be found here:

When the ITEL report is created, the insurance adjuster will add ITEL’s price per square foot into the repair estimate to compensate for the original flooring that was affected.  The price created by ITEL gives a homeowner a budget for picking out a new flooring product.

ITEL Laboratories does a good job analyzing flooring products most of the time.  The best way to figure the price per square foot is to provide a receipt showing the manufacturer of the original product and the original price per square foot.  If the homeowner does not have a previous receipt or knows the product that was installed, ITEL is the next best way to determine the cost of the original flooring.




Categories Before You Hire

What is a Preferred Vendor or Contractor?

A preferred vendor or contractor is a company that has signed an agreement with an insurance provider or third-party administrator to provide water mitigation or repair services for homeowner’s they insure.  The agreements require the contractors to have proper insurance, trained staff and technicians and follow certain criteria designated by the insurance provider or third-party administrator.


The Pros

Most of these items are good for the homeowner because it requires the contractor to be legitimate enough to have the proper insurance, training, and expertise to mitigate your damage and settle your claim.  The problem lies in the “extra criteria” the insurance provider or third-party administrator puts on the contractor.


The Cons

These “criteria” can handcuff a contractor working in your home because of the limitations set by the program.

The insurance company could limit decisions made by the contractors, types of equipment or methods used by the contractor, the programs may increase “red tape” during the water mitigation or repair process, making the contractor focus more on paperwork than providing quality service, or the contractor will agree to lower rates for their services to participate in the preferred program.

Due to these restrictions, some preferred contractors will cut corners or provide inferior service to the homeowner out of necessity.  They also may side more with the insurance company in a dispute on the scope damage.



Some insurance company’s “highly recommend” their preferred vendors while other insurance company’s do not run a preferred vendor program.  In the end, the homeowner has the power to hire any contractor they wish.  Our recommendation to any homeowner is to research the reputation of the restoration contractor online before they hire them.  Just because the contractor is recommended by the insurance company doesn’t mean they are the best option.  It is always good for a homeowner to be properly informed before they hire a water mitigation contractor.




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