The busy season for insurance restoration can be a chaotic time. Work starts coming in all at once, and your crews are juggling multiple projects. Meanwhile, your field team is trying to close more sales, meet with more homeowners and get paid quickly. This hectic period is no time for delays or slowdowns.
But in the course of your work day, you can run into many speed bumps. Paperwork can get lost or misplaced. Multiple rounds of customer signatures may be required. Insurance companies may question your assessment of the damage. How can you continue meeting your business goals without getting bogged down?
These four techniques can help you speed up the insurance restoration process without sacrificing the quality of your work.
Have a Process in Place Early
When the chaos of storm season hits, it’s difficult to make any kind of changes to how your business operates. If you want to speed up what you’re doing, you’ll have to start during the offseason, while things are slow. This is the time to look at what you’re doing, what you aren’t doing, and what could be done better.
In particular, one key component of faster insurance restoration is a clearly defined and consistently followed process. From the moment a job comes in to the day your satisfied customer leaves you a positive review, there should be steps that each member of your team follow to help bring that job to completion. Everyone in your business should be on board with this process in order to make it effective.
While it can be tempting to “wing it”, especially if that’s worked for you in the past, having a process in place will help move work through the pipeline efficiently and ensure that everyone in your office is on the same page. It’s also easier to tweak if you find something that isn’t working. The more you can codify and organize the way you do business, the easier it will be to work quickly and efficiently, without having to second-guess or double back on anything.
Use Electronic Documents
One major slowdown during the insurance restoration process is documentation. Between estimates, insurance documents, lein orders, and other paperwork, your team can spend a lot of time chasing down customer signatures and returning to a job site again and again. Saving time on sending documents and collecting signatures can significantly speed up your insurance restoration process.
Fortunately, there are ways to move beyond paper documents. Roofing contractor software like AccuLynx allows you to store and send documents electronically. With services like SmartDocs, insurance claims, estimates, and other important paperwork is stored in the cloud, keeping it in one safe, secure location that can easily be accessed by anyone on your team. SmartDocs can be populated with customer automation with a few clicks, saving you from having to enter a customer’s name and insurance number on every document.
In addition to electronic documents, electronic signatures can also save you significant time. With secure eSign features, you can send paperwork directly to customers and receive a legally binding signature in return—no returning to the job site needed.
Provide Photo Evidence
If an insurance company challenges your claim of what needs to be repaired, what do you do? It can be a long, drawn-out process to convince the insurance company that the damage you’ve assessed is correct and the repairs you recommend are necessary.
While you don’t have control over how long an insurance company takes to respond, you can streamline the process by going in with plenty of evidence of the damage. This means taking a lot of photos—and annotating them so others can see what you see. Take photos of the job site the first day you arrive, noting what damage is from the storm and what damage is regular wear and tear. Keep the photos all together, and have them easily accessible in case you need to send them to the insurance company.
AccuLynx offers a photo tool that allows you to take photos directly within the software, assign the photos to a job, and add notes and symbols. It’s easy to keep track of the damage and help insurance companies visualize the property. It also helps customers see the progress you’ve made on a job and protects you from being liable for damage to the property that existed before you started work.
Place Orders Efficiently
Once you’ve gotten the go-ahead from both the customer and the insurance company to repair the damage, lots of time may have passed. Anything you can do to speed up the repair process without compromising the quality of the work will help you deliver great customer service and keep the project on schedule.
One way to keep a job moving forward is to place orders more efficiently. Many insurance restoration contractors have to call their local supplier each time they create an estimate in order to get pricing and availability. This can take a lot of time—but without the most accurate, up-to-date pricing, you risk passing incorrect information to the customer.
AccuLynx integrates with ABC Supply to give you easy access to real-time pricing. With our insurance restoration software, the prices you need can be found within the program and quickly input in an estimate. Instead of having to contact the supplier, you can check costs and add them to jobs seamlessly right from your computer or phone. Not only does this reduce the time it takes to create an estimate, it also helps prevent errors, which can also slow your jobs down.
During a busy storm season, it can often feel like the only thing to do is put your head down and keep moving. But if you take the time to streamline your work and implement tools to improve your efficiency, you can speed up the insurance restoration process, leaving you more time to go after jobs and close more sales. And you may find that it’s easier to weather the storm.