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Last Post 07/05/2007 7:45 AM by  RonA
Xactimate Price list
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russh
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03/26/2007 1:32 PM

      Hello all,

    We started using Xactimate last year in an effort to minimize haggling over repair cost's with insurance adjuster and companies. After getting started we started noticing that the price list Xactimate provided us was much different in cost's then price list's used by several insurance companies. We made a note of those price list codes and attempted to download them from Xacatimate, using the download custom price list option to no avail.

    We were very wrong in thinking we'd get agreed pricing much easier once we started using Xactimate. Instead we found ourselves saying things like;

    These are the prices provided to us by Xactimate, why don't you just pay based on those prices. We can't explain why the insurance company you work for has its own special price list.

    -and-

    The Xactimate price list we've been given is considered to be fair and comprehensive pricing for a reputable contractor to perform the repairs your paying for. It's irrelevant that you say 20 other contractors are willing to do the work for your pricing, just like its irrelevant when an adjuster says, it doesn't matter that every house in the neighborhood got a new roof, this roof will get replaced on the merit of its own damage.

    Something is not right. Is it illogical to expect the price list for a contractor to be the same as the one the insurance company uses if the sources for both are from the same pricing company? Why does the insurance company deserve to have a price list that reflects significantly lower pricing and not make that available to contractors? Was this price list paid for? Did the insurance company(s) just dictate to Xactware the pricing for their price list?

    Confused and disillusioned once again.

    Any feedback or insight would be helpful.

    Thanks

    adjuster
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    03/26/2007 2:43 PM
    That is the same as if you tried to get insurance rates from the hospital on your bill when paying your co-insurance. The insurance companies control the game. And the customer is alway's right, they get discounting from Home Depot and tell the insured to take the estimate there for quoting. Tim Newton
    russh
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    03/26/2007 2:49 PM
    Posted By Tim Newton on 03/26/2007 2:43 PM
    That is the same as if you tried to get insurance rates from the hospital on your bill when paying your co-insurance. The insurance companies control the game. And the customer is alway's right, they get discounting from Home Depot and tell the insured to take the estimate there for quoting. Tim Newton


    ????
    mgriggs
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    03/28/2007 10:41 AM
    Xactimate cannot give pricing on everything. Its a good starting point. The one thing I do like about it is that it allows the adjusters and gc's to have a common definition of line items. Pricing has always been a point of argument during settlement and I suspect it will be even after Xactimate is replaced with the newest shiny magic bullet iin claim settlement. It all comes down to a legitimate price. If you are a gc then make sure you have supportive documentation for why your price is what it is and defend it. If you are an adjuster then understand LOCAL market conditions impact the Xactimate price.
    russh
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    03/28/2007 10:50 AM

    Mark, I just happened to be reading another thread on the forums when I recieved notification that you responded. Hence the fast reply.

    I realize that Xactimate can't provide pricing on everything, but my point of contention is that the price list provided to me as a default and the price list State Farm or other insurance companies use are completely differant.  Exact same line items, ie RFG300, but two differant prices.  And of course you can't download State Farms price list.

    If Xactimate is supposed to be fair for contractors and insurance carriers alike why the price list differances. I guess it's not fair.

    Tom Rongstad
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    03/28/2007 12:20 PM

    Deleted

    mgriggs
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    03/29/2007 9:59 AM
    Russ, I think maybe I did not explain my point very well. I agree that the carrier using their own Xactimate price list instead of the regional one published by Xactimate is not fair. However having a common line item description such as Xactimates is extremely helpful when negotiating the final price with the carrier. I had many estimates submitted with a nationwide carrier this last storm season and after using the various surrounding Xactimate price lists along with 3 seperate sub bids and statements from local supply vendors not having product in stock that carrier agreed to up the roofing price 29%. A big consideration in storm pricing is availability of material. During Katrina I had to pay shipping on roofing materials coming out of Texas and Georgia. It has been my experience with Xactimate pricing under storm situations in certain trades like roofing, insulation and drywall is the following. During a Cat. 1 storm...add 25%, Cat. 2 - 50%, Cat 3 - 75% and Cat. 4/5 add 100% due to total destruction of the area support services requiring shipping in of materials along with the security costs of keeping those materials safe from theft. The first thing adjusters do with my estimate is run it against another price list. My estimates are often 800-1500 pages long. My last estimate came back with 36 pages of line item pricing differences that I had to submit documentation on to support my pricing. It took 3 days to get that info back to them but every price was accepted after that. lol..not sure computers really do cut down on paperwork....just changes the format.
    asimons
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    03/29/2007 10:42 AM
    It's the age old saying "He who has the gold makes the rules"
    russh
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    03/29/2007 11:02 AM

    Griggs,

    800-1500 page estimates? What kind of claims are you doing! Are you a contractor or adjuster?

     

    Allen,  so true so true!

    mgriggs
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    03/29/2007 11:34 AM

    Russ,

        I am a GC that works storms restoring commercial properties. Typical projects are apartment, condo, hospitals and churches. Multiple estimates are normally required for Temporaries, General,  as well as the 100's of little estimates for the interiors of condo owners that hire our company for that work as well.

    Gale Hawkins
    PowerClaim.com
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    03/31/2007 1:00 PM

    Russ, Mark, others last week we attended both the PLRB (Property Loss Research Bureau) conference in Orlando http://www.plrb.org  and the ABC conference it Nashville http://www.abc.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=2006. We know a hand full of large carriers use Xactimate or their edited version of the Xactimate pricing database but most US based carriers leave pricing up to the adjusters even in a storm situation.

     

    At the ABC conference we did not talk to any contractor that used Xactimate. Timberline was most often used by the large contractors but they all seemed to invest major money into editing the reference prices provided by Timberline. Some of the subs used estimating software geared to electrical, etc trades but the most used estimating software is still Excel. R.S. Means is one pricing book that it seems some contractors used for a reference of materials/pricing according to what we were total by contractors coming by our booth. One huge contractor had 40 doing nothing but estimates on Timberline but they used the Timberline system to manage their business but not for material and labor pricing of bids because the prices were set from their own in-house research and experience.

     

    While Xactimate claims to have about 50% of their business with adjusters and 50% with contractors it seems like the GC’s who use Xactimate must be directly or indirectly working mainly for carriers doing insurance jobs if the building industry does not even know about Xactimate. If Xactimate is not known in the new construction industry and Timberline is the true 800 pound gorilla in the construction industry and their prices are not trusted by those that have to bid for profit then where is the validity of the Xactimate pricing especially if different supplied versions to the claims industry have different prices? Well that is not a new question.

     

    It seems kind of like the chicken/egg thing as to which came first. Per some of the carriers we talk with the contractors quote their logic behind their pricing is that is the price Xactimate pays them. Well Xactimate does not pay anyone anything but instead of paying they are in the process of charging everyone just like the rest of the estimating software vendors. Perhaps someday the carriers will ask contractors to support the pricing used in their bids from real world sources just like contractors in the real world are forced to do. Now that Xactware is no longer a wholly owned company but is a subset of ISO perhaps the legal implications of price setting by requiring a specific pricing database will get more attention in a legal sense but than again one would have to find a victim before there can be a crime.

     

    It is the major carriers that have set up this system and are the ones who continue to support it where a canned software pricing database becomes by default the real world cost of insurance repairs. When you think about it canned default insurance repair cost databases may be required by the actuaries of the large carries to create the selling price of policies. If so it does not make any real financial differences if the repair costs are right or wrong as long as the payout is in line with the figures used by the actuaries when pricing the product initially. Historically loss experiences can be computed but material and labor cost is the wild card. Control the payout pricing for materials and labor then maybe you have a Las Vegas setup world wide without having to get any gambling laws passed.

     

    This is so simple to see in this light and all of the sudden it is clear why large carriers demand one brand of software. It has nothing to do with technology or the need for all estimates to look the same. In fact the print out of all brands of estimating software can be made to be identical legally and without any real cost in time or money. The property claim XML Open Standard has been so slow evolving not because of technical reasons but because of the need to control pricing by supporting one major pricing database vendor. The open standard took off in the auto estimating world as I understand it when all the software vendors started using the same price database. Thread after thread it is clear Xactimate is not the most loved software by adjusters but I expect it is the most loved by several of the large carriers due to its pricing database. The same goes for many contractors because they are assured profitability since they had rather fight than switch.

     

    If the major carriers are happy and the insurance repair contractors are happy who is left to be unhappy that has a voice in the world of property insurance? Can the puzzle really be this simple?

     

    We know the least common denominator is profitability. With ISO in the US now in control of both the policy language and the policy payout amounts when claims occur should the rest of the players in the world of property claims handling technology and pricing databases just throw in the towel and go home?

    RonA
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    07/05/2007 7:45 AM

    Russ, I won't beat the dead horse too much but: It sounds like you are a contractor that works for the insured. If so, why do you need the State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, or any other list? Write a fair estimate with numbers you can live with while making a profit and providing a good service.

    Your contract is with the insured, not the carrier. If you present yourself well, the insured will call you with the carrier estimate and then you will have the carrier numbers. You can edit your database accordingly for the future or argue they are too low.

    Just my opinion. The majority of the contractors set the price, not the carriers. If we used Xactimate prices in Florida for Wilma claims they would all still not have a roof on the house. Its market driven per event.

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