Contractor vs Claim Technician

Damage Specialist (Claims Technician)

Roofing Specialist (Roofing Contractor)

= (FULL SERVICE CONTRACTOR)

There has recently been an alignment of two professions within the roofing realm which have understandable similarities and undervalued differences. It is becoming increasingly difficult for hiring professionals and homeowners to distinguish between the two respective fields, as both trend along the same guidelines of operations and come from similar backgrounds for inspecting roofs and completing jobs. Further, we have recently witnessed some of biggest insurance carriers across the U.S. adopt them as one in the same. However, it’s important to know that there will always be difference in the quality of work produced when choosing the right expert to perform a job at its highest level.

Ladder Assist Technician – Claims Direct Technician

Is an individual who specializes in assessing  damages to a properties roofing system and then providing the assessment to a leading professional for a final determination. The actual assessment of damage may span from any given peril (wind, hail, tree fall, lightning strike, rodent/animal, fire, ice, etc damages) that can cause functional damage to a roofing system, and that is covered by an insurance carriers policy. In some cases, these provided perils may be present to a property but not cause any functional damage to the system which may prohibit it from working as normal. One of the most important qualities of a ladder assist technician is to not only understand and document damages, but to evaluate whether the observed damages are functional or non-functional to the system itself.

Responsibilities – The job responsibility of a technician is to assist an insurance adjuster in documenting damages to a property that has a complex roofing system – High/Tall or Steep system. This makes it extremely important for this Damage Specialist to understand the difference between hail fractures (functional) and hail spatter (non-functional) or wind creased shingles (functional) and unsealed shingles (non-functional) to the system.

Assessment Qualities

  • Evaluating  Roofing Anomalies – spot defects, granule bonding defects, craze cracking, thermal cracking/pitting, blistering, mechanical damages (installation/inspecting/distributing/assembling.
  • Labeling – areas for system/damage testing, directional paths – windward or leeward side of the storm, collateral damage to roofing components – damage to accessories or component counts, conditions of the roofing system – age, wear, and tear ( technicians cannot determine coverage outcomes on a claim).
  • Imagining – documenting damages by capturing images of the roofing system and the tested areas for overall counts of damage per slope.
  • Measuring – detailed sketch/diagram of the roofing system to produce the total number of squares of the material which covers the property.
  • Reporting – compiling all of the documentation to produce to the adjuster for a final determination of the claim.

Requirements

  • Ladder
  • Climbing Shoes/Boots – Cougar Paws
  • Tools – Chalk, Shingle/Pitch Gauge, Putty Knife
  • Fall Protection
  • Computer or Smart Phone
  • Reliable Vehicle

Roofing Specialist – Contractor

Is an individual who specializes in the replacement and/or repair work at a given property through a process of an inspection. These roofing specialist may also address damages to a property from a sudden and accidental event, or even damages that have taken place overtime. However, it is important to understand that they’re not required to understand roofing anomalies and damages from covered perils within an insurance policy. A roofing contractor’s main focus is to provide a homeowner with preliminary information and actions to address problems or potential issues with the current roofing system. This provided information allows the homeowner the opportunity to proceed forward with filing an insurance claim or requesting a proposal for the cost of the repairs which need to be performed. They may also choose to have additional work performed during this time-frame of the proposed project such as upgrades, additions, or complete renovations.  Most roofing contractors/companies are readily available and capable of taking on an entire project as a “General Contractor”, – Maestro, who orchestrates and handles the entire project from start to finish. This transition is simple process for experienced general contractors as most of the laboring work is completed by skilled subcontractors underneath the roofing contractor’s network (construction umbrella) of different trades.

Responsibilities – Generally, a roofing contractor’s initial job is to seek out work, assess, and provide estimates or proposals on relevant projects that match his/the company’s qualifications and capabilities. The contractor is responsible for estimating the cost of materials, adding up labor costs, and factoring in the added cost of working with subcontractors. However, when contractors handle an insurance claim most of the estimating and pricing has been done for them by an insurance claims representative. The contractor is only responsible for completing the scale of work addressed by the insurance company, as long as an agreement for the scope of work to be performed has been agreed upon by the acting parties. In some cases, contractors may disagree with the scope of work to be performed and submit supplemental request for additional damaged items that may have been missed, and/or items that may be required in addition-to, per building code requirements or manufacturer specifications needed to use the replacement material correctly. Although, these additional actions and/or request must meet appropriate standards within the given policy, as well as approved by the insurance carrier claim representative. Assuming the overall project is agreed upon by all acting parties, it is time for the contractor to assume command over scheduling –  material drops and work start dates for the subcontractors. Each individual trade that requires work, such as the roofing system, siding, or guttering system  must be scheduled accordingly to prevent any delays in the project’s completion time. Once this has been completed, the general contractor often assumes a position of oversight. They’ll guide the performance of their company and employees, making sure progress benchmarks are met. It is also their responsibility to coordinate with subcontractors and ensure they come and go from the worksite on time, in efforts to keep the completion of the overall job, on schedule.

Assessment Qualities

  • Inspecting and assessing property damage – interior and exterior (damages may or may not be related to an insurance claim).
  • Evaluating, calculating, and projecting all repair work which needs to be performed.
  • Determining the proper replacement material and providing an estimate for price cost.
  • Assisting a homeowner in filing an insurance claim and then potentially meeting with the adjuster or ladder assist technician on the insured’s behalf (contractors cannot determine the outcome of any insurance claim, nor can they directly represent an insured during the claims handling process).
  • Assist in addressing any additional damages missed on the initial inspection and/or discovered during the process of the repair work being performed, and then provide an estimate for additional cost.
  • Provide a follow-up inspection after the repair work has been performed to address the quality of the material or installation methods used.

Requirements

  • Ladder
  • Climbing Shoes/Boots – Cougar Paws
  • Tools – Chalk
  • Computer or Smart Phone
  • Reliable Vehicle
  • Shingle Sample Board
  • Contracts