Overscoping using computers is, by far, the single biggest
offense that costs the insurance industry countless dollars in
unnecessary claim overpayments. These types of errors can
be minimized, if not entirely avoided, when adjusters receive
training for the databases they are using.
Some common examples of overscoping of when dealing with
property losses are listed in the sidebar on page 28. Below is a
screen grab of a software product that contains an estimate audit
feature. This functionality allows adjusters to self-check their estimates for many of the common overscoping errors. In this specific instance, the section of the software’s self-audit report clearly
shows an overlap item. Why is the adjuster paying to remove wallpaper when also paying to remove the drywall?
Overlapped/Duplicated/Conflicting Line Items
Area Name Item Description Quantity UOM Unit Cost RCV
Den 1-Remove and Replace 656.0 SF $1.52 $997.12
Wall Gypsum Drywal
2 - Remove and Replace 27.0 RL $63.72 $1,720.44
Vinyl-coated Paper Wall
Another common mistake found among adjusters is inaccuracy of their measuring knowledge when it comes to restoration
construction. Here are some examples:
E Assuming that all walls are eight feet. Many are not.
E When calculating garage wall square footage, the adjuster does
not remove the garage door opening.
E Squaring off rooms when they contain closets and offsets.
E Rounding up more than 6 inches.
E Including Appliances when measuring base cabinets
E Measuring base cabinets to the corners on both walls, thereby
over scoping the quantity by at least 2 feet.
E Measuring the linear feet of upper cabinet equal to the linear
feet of the base cabinet when it should be less if there is no cabinet above the sink base cabinet.
Avoiding these blunders is easier than one might think. All of
these measuring mistakes can be virtually eliminated with less
than half a day’s training in correctly using a tape measure or a
laser device for claims involving damage to a structure. Be sure to
share this article with your adjusters and estimating personnel to
improve the quality of the estimates they prepare and therefore
the quality of service you provide to policyholders. K
John A. Postava, R.P.A., has been a licensed Florida adjuster for
more than 30 years and is currently president of Simsol Software
and Simsol Insurance Services Inc., based in Orlando and Nicev-ille, Fla., respectively. He is also the co-creator of the Simsol
estimating software application, which is used by thousands of
property adjusters across the country. He may be reached at
800-447-4676, ext. 321 or via email at email@example.com.