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Maximizing Insurance Claims with Xactimate: A Contractor's Guide

Elijah Buzzard

4 min read

Jun 25



How Contractors Use Xactimate to Ensure Comprehensive Insurance Claims

In the insurance claims process, it's common for initial assessments by insurers to miss certain necessary line items. These can include tasks like taking down lights, removing roof jacks, addressing hidden damages, and ensuring code compliance. Contractors who use Xactimate can help ensure that all these items are accounted for, leading to a more accurate and fair settlement. Here’s how this is accomplished:

Identifying Missing Line Items

Comprehensive Inspections: Contractors conduct detailed inspections to identify all necessary repairs, including those that are often overlooked. This includes minor tasks, preparatory work, and code compliance items that insurers may not initially account for.

Examples of Commonly Overlooked Items:

  • Taking Down Lights: Often, insurance adjusters may forget to include the cost of removing and reinstalling light fixtures when estimating roof or ceiling repairs.

  • Removing Roof Jacks: Roof jacks and other ventilation components need to be removed and replaced during roof repairs, which might not always be accounted for in initial estimates.

  • Ice and Water Shield: This essential underlayment for roofing is often overlooked but is crucial for preventing water damage.

  • Code Compliance Items: Upgrades required to bring a property up to current building codes, such as improved insulation, electrical updates, or safety features, are frequently missed.

  • Protective Measures: Items like tarping, temporary fencing, or debris removal can be missed but are essential for completing repairs safely and effectively.

Detailed Documentation in Xactimate

Utilizing Xactimate’s Tools: Using Xactimate, contractors can itemize every aspect of the repair process. This includes all labor and materials required for tasks that might not be immediately visible or seem minor but are crucial to the repair process.

Creating Comprehensive Estimates: By leveraging Xactimate’s detailed pricing database, contractors can generate estimates that include these often-missed items. Each line item is described and priced accurately, leaving little room for oversight.

Providing Evidence to Insurers

Detailed Reports: Once the comprehensive estimate is created, it is accompanied by a detailed report that includes photographs, videos, and diagrams. These documents serve as evidence for why each line item is necessary.

Supporting Documentation: Contractors also provide supplementary documents, such as manufacturer guidelines, local building codes, and expert opinions, to support the inclusion of these additional items in the estimate.

Presenting the Case to the Insurance Company

Clear Communication: Contractors present the detailed estimates and supporting documents to the insurance adjuster in a clear and professional manner. This includes explaining why each line item is necessary and justified.

Negotiation: Often, insurance companies are willing to adjust their estimates when presented with thorough and well-documented evidence. Contractors may need to negotiate and provide additional clarification, but the comprehensive nature of the Xactimate estimate usually supports a positive outcome.

How Insurance Companies Respond

Adding Overlooked Items: When presented with detailed evidence, insurance companies often agree to include the previously overlooked items in the claim. This results in a more accurate and fair settlement that covers all necessary repairs.

Revised Estimates: Insurance adjusters update their initial estimates to reflect the comprehensive list of repairs provided by the contractor. This ensures that policyholders receive adequate compensation to cover all repair costs.

Ensuring Fair and Accurate Claims

Client Satisfaction: By ensuring that all necessary line items are included, contractors help clients receive the full compensation they are entitled to. This leads to higher client satisfaction and trust in the contractor’s services.

Building Trust: Accurate and thorough estimates build trust not only with clients but also with insurance companies, establishing the contractor’s reputation for reliability and precision.

Contractors play a crucial role in the insurance claims process by using Xactimate to ensure all necessary repairs are accounted for. By conducting comprehensive inspections, documenting every detail, and presenting clear evidence to insurers, contractors help secure fair and accurate claim settlements. This thorough approach not only benefits the policyholder but also enhances the contractor’s credibility and effectiveness in managing insurance claims.


Q1: What are some common items insurance companies overlook in estimates? A1: Insurance companies often overlook items such as removing and reinstalling light fixtures, removing roof jacks, ice and water shield, and necessary upgrades to meet current building codes.

Q2: How does Xactimate help in identifying overlooked items? A2: Xactimate allows contractors to create detailed and itemized estimates that include all necessary repairs, supported by a comprehensive pricing database and advanced documentation tools.

Q3: What evidence do contractors provide to insurers to justify additional costs? A3: Contractors provide detailed reports, photographs, videos, manufacturer guidelines, local building codes, and expert opinions to justify the inclusion of additional items in the estimate.

Q4: How do insurance companies respond to detailed estimates from contractors? A4: When presented with thorough and well-documented evidence, insurance companies often adjust their initial estimates to include overlooked items, resulting in a fairer settlement.

Q5: How does ensuring all line items are included benefit the client? A5: Ensuring all necessary repairs are accounted for leads to adequate compensation, higher client satisfaction, and trust in the contractor's ability to manage the claims process accurately.

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