Restorer's Perspective: The 3 R's of Mastering Xactimate for Beginners
Success in property restoration for insurance claims starts with Xactimate estimating mastery.
If you work with insurance claims, you will want to familiarize yourself with writing and reading Xactimate estimates. This is true whether you are an adjuster or a restoration professional. Xactimate has become the standard for the majority of insurance carriers and third-party administrators (TPAs). If you are new to Xactimate we have three tips that will help you master best practices for this estimating platform.
Tip #1: You Must Learn from Rejection
You are going to get rejected, it’s part of the process. Pay attention to what you are getting rejected for. Try to not repeat the same mistakes with the same carriers. Every carrier has their general rules as well as their idiosyncrasies. For example, one carrier will want contents as CON LAB and another will want to see it as CON ROOM. It should only take one rejection for you to understand and remember which carrier prefers the line item one way or the other.
Tip #2: You Must Learn from Repetition
Xactimate is designed for the straight forward losses. While we may disagree on the percentage of claims that are “typical”, there are going to be losses that break with the norm. For the majority of your losses, once you have a loss format that has been accepted you can either create a macro or just cut and paste that format. In my opinion, macros can be more work than they are worth but there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to construct these. Memorize the codes and line items that you utilize most frequently and utilize prior approved estimates as standards for future claims.
Tip #3: You Must Learn from Relationships
Get to know your local adjusters. For those losses that break from the normal, in and out claim, make contact early and often with your local adjusters. You will learn what they see as simple approvals and what their idiosyncrasies are for the carrier they work for. Once you know the adjuster, make their job easier. Don’t contact them for every little change but rather have your items in order so that you can discuss the claim and make a reasonable request that serves the client as well as meets the guidelines of the carrier.
Xactimate best practices for success in claims estimating
It is helpful to have a consultant or mentor, whether this is an internal resource or someone you pursue from outside your company. There are helpful YouTube videos, independent training programs as well as courses that you can take. Don’t let fear prevent you from reaching out to someone through email, LinkedIn, or for coffee. For most professionals in the industry, mastery has come through trial and error. If you want to survive and succeed in the insurance property claims industry, you must learn from rejection, repetition and relationships.