Every roofer should know their numbers when working with projects that involve storm damage, insurance claims, and supplements.
Otherwise, how do you know you’re winning? How do you know if adjustments have been made?
One of the most important and simple metrics to track is the claims and supplements approval ratio.
Why Your Supplement Approval Rating Matters
It might sound obvious, but your profitability is probably the biggest reason your claims and supplement approval rating matters.
Remember, a supplement is a charge that needs to be added to a claim for items omitted, overlooked, underpaid, or discovered after work begins.
If you’re absorbing too many denied claims or supplements, then you are losing on the bottom line - plain and simple.
Claims and supplement approval ratings can also come into play in the selling process of storm damage projects.
Suppose a homeowner believes that another roofing contractor will be more effective at working with their insurance company because they have a better approval rating. In that case, you could be losing sales.
Due to the rise in 3rd party inspectors, we see higher trends of supplements. To close the gap, you need to be knowledgeable about the service you are selling.
This instills confidence in the relationship between you and the customer. It ensures that they can trust you with what is more than likely their largest investment, their home.
How to Calculate Your Approval Ratio
Calculating your approval ratio isn’t very difficult. A calculator is a simple way to divide number of approvals by number of claims and get a percentage of cases approved.
But you might be more interested in knowing the dollar amount ratio. A simple excel sheet can be used to track ACV vs. RCV amounts by claim, or your CRM can help track what you submit.
ACV vs. RCV
There are two common types of policies seen today.
Replacement Cost Policy
Actual Cash Value Policy
What does that mean in the roofing world?
Replacement Cost Policy is based on the current market value to replace your damaged property at the time of the loss. The policy requires depreciation of the property by age. Once the repairs are completed, that depreciation will be released to the homeowner up to what they were charged to complete the repairs.
Actual Cash Value Policy is a policy based on the current market value to replace damaged property at the time of your loss and still depreciated by age required by the policy. Still there is no depreciation that the policyholder can recover.
This means a lot more out-of-pocket costs for the customer. Unexpected financial obligations can sour a deal real fast! Knowledge is power.
Having the RCV vs. ACV information readily available by claim can make it possible to create simple spreadsheets to show which types of policies and claims are giving you the best return for your work based on the approval ratios and revenues for those claims.
Using CRM to Track Supplement Approval Ratio
Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is beneficial for tracking your supplement approval success rate and highly critical to help pace your incoming volume and streamline communication within your company.
The CRM we prefer and recommend is Acculynx, although we work with many others. Acculynx is one of the more expensive CRM options out there for the roofing industry, but we believe you get what you pay for. The product and support are very professional.
Our clients make us users of their CRM so that all they have to do is click ‘review for supplement,’ and we take it from there. The next thing our client hears about that claim is a congratulations message about how much was approved.
Over time we can review those records for ratio and revenue performance. That’s the power of having a robust CRM.
Knowing what is coming into your business allows you to balance non-revenue generating staff properly. This knowledge facilitates setting the proper expectations and capacity for your company’s future.
With a CRM, you have a real-time health report of your company at your fingertips.
If you work with a supplement and claims management partner, you should request a quarterly and yearly results page showing exactly what they’ve brought to your bottom line. We do this for all our clients.
4 Steps to Increasing Your Approval Ratio
We always caution not to go too far submitting supplements.
If the carrier just approved a $3500 supplement, they’re not going to appreciate receiving another $30 supplement for that piece of material you forgot about.
With that said, no matter how good your approval ratio currently is, there is probably always something you could do just a little bit better to improve on it.
Be careful who you take advice from. It’s better to get educated by someone with actual experience in the insurance industry who knows how to work from the insurance carrier’s point of view.
It’s also a good idea to include your team in any training you receive. Ensure the entire team understands what a supplement is, what to look for, and how to look for it from the insurance carrier’s point of view.
Even the most experienced roofers can make mistakes with photos if they’re not trained on how to take them from the insurance carrier’s point of view. It is so important to build a strong case, and the best way to do that is by telling the story through photos.
We say this all the time - if there isn’t a photo for it, it didn’t happen.
Take the right pictures, and the desk adjusters will know they’re dealing with someone who has experience.
Change Your Perspective
You’ll get way more supplement claims approved when you shift your perspective from a roofer trying to get your money to an insurance carrier who needs to see that a supplement is justified.
Shift your thinking from being a roofer that expects the insurance company to speak your language and play by your rules. Speak their language. Play by their rules.
Follow Through With Your Certificate of Completion
You got everything approved. You did the work. You’re ready to move on to the next job. Don’t forget to turn in the certificate of completion. You might miss out on some final payments.
So, why is a certificate of completion so important?
Let's go back to the different types of policies that we commonly see.
When requesting depreciation on a replacement cost claim, the carrier requires a certificate of completion signed off by the customer stating that they are satisfied with the job you did. It also documents the amount that you charge them for the repairs.
This is very important when it comes to the amount that they release on the claim for the final payment. For the actual cash value policy, it helps document that repairs have been completed so the depreciation for future claims can be accurately calculated.
Elite Teams Produce Elite Results
We say this all the time because we believe it’s true.
Elite teams produce elite results. If you want to improve your claims and supplements approval ratios, the best way to do it is to work with professionals who know how to work with insurance carriers.
You could try doing it in-house or work with one of the many other specialists out there, but you really should work with an elite team that knows how the insurance carriers operate.
3 Most Common Mistakes Roofers Make When Submitting Claims
Poor Photography - If your photos are bad or of all the wrong things, the insurance carrier will know they’re working with an amateur.
Argue as a Roofer - You can approach the process as a roofer and be challenging to deal with, or you can speak the same language as the insurance carrier and make life easier.
Give Up - Sometimes, it seems easier to throw your hands up and move on, thinking it isn’t worth your time to follow through on getting supplements approved. That’s not a solution, and over time it will crush your bottom line.
Filing Insurance Claims and Supplements Is a Specialty
Some roofers avoid supplementing altogether to avoid the work it takes to learn, implement and follow through. It’s usually after they give it a shot in-house and grow frustrated that they determine it isn’t worth the work. That could be a huge mistake.
Doing claims and supplements the right way is a full-time job. Carriers are constantly changing the standards, and it is necessary to have someone who fills you in on the ever-shifting industry.
That’s what good claims specialists do.
Trying to do it yourself, takes you away from what you should be doing, like developing your team or spending time with your family. Even if you hire a specialist in-house, there’s a good chance they won’t have the knowledge or experience of seasoned insurance professionals.
With superior customer service, flawless repair execution, and professional claim handling, you change a returning customer to a recurring customer, and your company’s name will line the neighborhood streets!
That’s where MAX4 comes in. Give us a call to find out how we work with roofers and contractors every day to win in the storm damage industry.