Yesterday, our firm hosted a training seminar for public adjusters and others who use the insurance claims estimating software, Xactimate. During the seminar, a common theme began to develop in the comments we heard. Almost every Xactimate user we spoke to said the same thing, Xactimate’s pre-installed prices have been steadily declining over the last several years. This got me thinking, as many of my New Jersey clients are seeing building material prices increase for them.

I did some research, and as the below graphic illustrates, the prices of common building materials have increased as much as 30%.

rise in material costs graphic

This begs the question, why is the exact opposite trend occurring in Xactimate’s price list? I would argue Xactimate’s biggest consumers are insurance carriers and they are simply giving their customers what they want. Sadly, this disturbing trend is hurting insureds who may not have professionals representing them. The average homeowner is not aware of trends in materials pricing and will likely assume the insurance carrier is providing them with accurate information at all times. As the above graphic shows, insurance companies may be underpaying these homeowners by at least 30%.

If you have a claim, it makes sense to speak to a claims professional. What may seem like a reasonable estimate in terms of what to repair may, in fact, be woefully inadequate when it comes to the price of the repairs. An insurance professional can protect your interests.