How to Build and Grow an Insurance Restoration Business

Essential steps and strategies for taking an insurance restoration contractor from a startup to a success

In this guide, we cover everything roofing and insurance restoration contractors need to know about starting an insurance restoration business, including what the job entails, the keys to success, and tips that will help you along the way.

What Is Insurance Restoration Roofing?

Insurance restoration roofing is the repair of roof damage covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. The cost of the repair work is generally paid for using the claim payout amount from the homeowner’s insurance company.

Unlike general roof replacement work, insurance restoration roofing is highly dependent on weather events, which can be erratic throughout the year. That said, contractors consider insurance restoration roofing to be a more fast-paced business requiring an incredible amount of efficiency and organization.

The Job of an Insurance Restoration Contractor

Roofing contractors that perform insurance restoration work must have an understanding of the insurance claims process. You’ll need to know things like:

  • How insurance claims work
  • What type of roof damage to look for
  • How to document roof damage

During the spring and summer months and periods of inclement weather, insurance restoration contractors are juggling many roofing jobs at once. Whether it’s rain, hail, wind, tornados or hurricanes, roofers have to be ready to deal with an influx of work immediately following any weather event that could potentially cause damage to a roof.

How to Assess a Roof for Storm Damage

Roofing contractors that specialize in storm and hail damage roof repair typically assist homeowners in filing claims with their insurance company, so you must be able to recognize the difference between a roof with standard wear and tear and a storm damaged roof. While wind (including hurricanes and tornadoes) and hail are the most common causes of roof damage, rainstorms can also lead to damage.

How to inspect a roof for damage caused by wind

When inspecting a roof for wind damage, consider the type of roof. Shingled roofs may have cracked, curling, or missing shingles. This is due to the adhesive strip on the shingle failing and coming loose. Wood shingles may rot or become moldy. A flat roof may have cracks or surface bubbles. There can be granular accumulation in gutters or even missing or damaged gutters.

How to inspect a roof for damage caused by hail

When assessing damage from hail, keep in mind that hail varies from pea- to grapefruit-sized. Look for dents on metal vents and gutters and shingle splits, cracks, and warping. There could be missing shingles and the gaps could form a pattern. Shingles could be damaged, curled, or buckled. Asphalt granules may also accumulate in gutters.
However, don’t assume all circular damage is from a hailstorm. Is the roof under a tree? Perhaps acorns falling off the tree caused the roof damage. Note the surroundings and consider all possibilities.

How to inspect a roof for damage caused by water

Identifying water damage may seem obvious, yet there are still helpful signs. Again, check for cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Storm damage from water can also be evidenced by granular accumulation in gutters.

For all kinds of weather events, clear signs of roof damage may be detectable around the outside of the house, as well as on the ceiling and in the attic of the home. Therefore, it’s important to review these areas as well. To distinguish the issues noted above and confirm they are from storms, your crews can run tests, including checking a test square and using infrared cameras.

How to build an insurance restoration roofing business

How can roofers streamline insurance restoration jobs to improve efficiency from anywhere? Download the short guidebook to learn how insurance restoration roofers can be more productive and profitable during busy seasons.

How Roofing Contractors Can Master The Insurance Claims Process

As an insurance restoration contractor, there are several ways you can master the insurance claims process, leading to better outcomes for you and your customer. These tips will help you communicate better with insurance companies and to come to a mutual agreement relating to damages covered.

  1. Speak the language of insurance companies. Knowledge of insurance terms can help you complete all the necessary insurance restoration forms correctly. A mistake in the paperwork or skipping a step in the process will slow things down and impact profits.
  2. Be willing to advocate on behalf of the homeowner. It’s not uncommon for there to be differences between your damage assessment and the adjuster’s. If this situation arises, you can and should negotiate on behalf of your customer—the homeowner.
  3. Keep good records of your roof damage assessment. Many roofing contractors use mobile roofing apps, which make it easy to take and annotate photos of roof damage, while keeping notes and other critical information organized. Having your customer’s job information easily accessible enables you to share it quickly with the insurance company if they call something into question.
Insurance Restoration Roofing Guide

Insurance Restoration Sales Tips for Roofing Contractors

Speed and efficiency are key when it comes to selling your company’s insurance restoration roofing services, so having a well-established set of processes is essential. Recognizing the unpredictability of the schedule, working even during down times, and being organized are key components of achieving success in insurance restoration roofing.

Sales Tip #1: Make the most of your “off” season

Erratic weather patterns can leave you without work for weeks. Then the next week you could be facing a multitude of customers, each of whom is desperate to get their roof repaired and/or replaced. You’ll want to utilize the time in between storms to work on ensuring your processes are efficient and thorough, so you’re ready to sell jobs and sign contracts once a storm hits.

Sales Tip #2: Always have a plan in place

In order to take advantage of storms as they come, it’s essential to plan ahead and prepare your roofing business for storm season. Have your teams in place, along with delineations of responsibilities and clear processes outlined, including how to track leads, where to store job photos, how to obtain roof measurements, etc. Being ready is key to getting contracts signed and projects started quickly, allowing your business to scale to meet customer needs.

Sales Tip #3: Don’t neglect the customer service aspect

Meeting customer needs with efficient, high-quality work will help you earn a reputation as a trusted roofing company. One key to great customer service is staying organized. Don’t allow anything to slip through the cracks as you repair roofing damage, and ensure that you stay on top of important details about each one of your jobs. Customers will appreciate your attention to detail and your commitment to reducing delays and errors.

Insurance Restoration Roofing Sales Tips
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How To Get Insurance Restoration Leads

Obtaining insurance restoration leads for your contracting business begins with identifying homes with storm damage to their roof. Roofing contractors can find potential customers by “canvassing” affected neighborhoods after a storm, going door to door to:

  • Meet with homeowners that have been affected by recent storms
  • Inspect the roof of damaged homes
  • Perform individual roof damage assessments

It’s also important to have an online presence, including a website with up-to-date contact information to help your business get found in Google search and ensure customers can reach out to you easily. You should also list your insurance restoration business with websites like HomeAdvisor and Yelp.

Weather Tracking Apps for Insurance Restoration Specialists

How can you track storms and be ready to work when the weather is so unpredictable?

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), there are around 100,000 thunderstorms in the United States each year. The number of severe storms, with winds of at least 57.5 mph, hail of one inch or greater, or a tornado, is about 10 percent of all thunderstorms, or 10,000.

Weather reporting apps such as HailWatch and CoreLogic Hail Maps can be of great assistance. These applications can help you quickly identify areas impacted by hail and damaging winds. You can even learn the size of the hail, which can help in identifying storm damage versus general wear and tear.

The pinpoint accuracy of weather tracking applications can help you determine how to best allocate your staff. If you know exactly where a storm hit and when, you can have your sales team in the right place at the right time, canvassing the affected neighborhoods for work rather than waiting for homeowners to call you. What’s more, instead of letting another insurance contractor beat you to the job, these tools put you on the scene quickly while your competition is figuring out where to go.

Essential Roofing Contractor Software for Insurance Restoration Specialists

There are many moving parts when it comes to insurance restoration roofing business management. From job assignments and contracts, tracking progress and invoicing customers, staying on top of the details is challenging without the right software. To maximize your productivity, you need to excel at project management.

AccuLynx roofing software helps you successfully manage every aspect of your business so you can serve more customers and scale your business. With one simple operating system, you can efficiently manage every aspect of the job—from sales and production, to supplementing and collections—and everything in between.

Here are a few ways AccuLynx can help roofing contractors get their business up and running.

Managing roofing paperwork

AccuLynx offers document management tools such as SmartDocs and eSign. These two apps help improve efficiency and maximize sales. With SmartDocs, you can custom create document templates, which means your sales reps input relevant information only once and SmartDocs automatically populates the same information across all documentation in a job file that is automatically saved. This means an insurance contractor’s sales teams can move quicker and canvass greater areas, which leads to more business. In addition, the eSign feature means documents can be electronically signed quickly and easily, reducing time spent tracking down signatures.

Improving accuracy

AccuLynx integrates with EagleView, allowing you to order accurate aerial measurements right from within the system. Measurement reports can automatically populate an estimate, eliminating the need for double data entry and reducing data entry errors. AccuLynx also stores your aerial measurement reports in the specific customer job file, keeping everything together. These features save you time so you can cover more ground and send estimates to homeowners quickly.

Get your job done from anywhere

The AccuLynx mobile roofing app enables you to take AccuLynx wherever you go. Whether you need to review your schedule or access job information, this mobile app helps you stay productive on the go, including:

  • Entering leads, update job files and log activities
  • Annotating and sharing photos
  • Sending estimates on the spot
  • Capturing digital signatures
  • Ordering aerial roof measurements
  • Contacting customers right from the app

Regardless of where you are, you need to stay organized and informed. The AccuLynx mobile roofing app keeps roofing contractors connected to the home office, so everyone always knows who’s doing what.

Communicating with crews

The mobile Crew App helps roofing contractors manage crews more effectively and ensure jobs are progressing on the right track. With the mobile Crew App, crews are instantly notified of their assignments and have access to all the information they need to complete a job, including start date, jobsite address, points of contact, labor instructions, photos, and associated documents.
The app improves communication and allows managers to see what’s happening at the job site without being there because all information is shared and updated in real time within AccuLynx.

Understanding performance

AccuLynx has a host of simple reporting features that help roofing contractors understand performance, make better decisions, and drive business ahead. For example, you can customize pre-built dashboards to show metrics you want to keep an eye on and have reports delivered to your inbox on a regular basis. These reporting tools are essential to keeping your insurance restoration business on the right track.

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Take Your Insurance Restoration Business From a Startup to a Success

Building a successful insurance restoration business is within reach if you have well-established processes, reliable people on your team, and a business management system that brings your company together. AccuLynx is the roofing industry’s most trusted software, designed to help insurance restoration contractors manage and grow their business. Find out why thousands of contractors use AccuLynx every day to run their business. Get a live demonstration today.