FAQs

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we get at Assistimate Estimating Services related to Xactimate®, Symbility™, insurance claims processes, and our own internal workings. If you have a question and don’t find the answer here, please Contact Us for assistance. We’re always eager to help.

What is your turnaround time?
Can you rush an estimate for me?
How much do you charge?
For supplemental estimates, do you charge based on the amount added to the estimate or do you charge based on the end total of the estimate?
When will I be charged for my order?
Will you look for overlooked or missing items and add them to my estimate?
Can I send you an Eagleview™, HOVER or other satellite measurement report to help in writing my estimate?
How do I order an Xactimate® or Symbility™ estimate?
Can my order be cancelled once submitted?

What is a Preview Estimate?
Will the Preview Estimate be put on my letterhead?
Are any revisions included with my estimate after it’s been finalized?
My estimate contains errors. What should I do?

What is Overhead and Profit? (sometimes called 10 & 10, O&P, P&O, OH&P or GCO&P)
What is a Scope Sheet form?
What is a Scope of Work? (sometimes called Scope of Repairs or Repair Scope)
What is roof pitch?
What is Replacement Cost Value? (sometimes called RCV)
What is Actual Cost Value? (sometimes called ACV)
What is Depreciation and how is it determined?

What is Xactimate?
What trades is Xactimate capable of estimating?
How does Xactimate know pricing for my area?
What is a Price List?
What happens if an item I need isn’t in the Price List?
What is an Opening Statement?
What version of Xactimate do you use?
Can Assistimate import and export Xactimate ESX files?

What is Symbility?
What trades is Symbility capable of estimating?
How does Symbility know pricing for my area?
Will the insurance company agree to my Xactimate or Symbility estimate?

What is a Labor Minimum (sometimes referred to as Minimum Charge)?
Do Xactimate and Symbility have additional costs for a 2 story roof?

What are the Assistimate Terms of Service?
What is the Assistimate Privacy Policy?

What is your turnaround time?

In many cases, we can complete your Preview Estimate (i.e. draft estimate) in one to three business days and finalize it on the same day you approve it. However, turnaround time can vary depending on the complexity of an order, how well Scope Sheet forms are filled out (this is applicable only to estimates created from scratch), and our current order volume. If we expect it will take longer than three business days to complete your Preview Estimate, we will notify you up front and give you an opportunity to withdraw your order if you so wish. If you need more specific and up to date information about turnaround time, please Contact Us.

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Can you “rush” my estimate?

Yes. If you need your estimate back sooner than our current average turnaround time (Contact Us anytime to inquire), you may request that we “rush” your estimate for an additional fee equal to 50% of your ordinary fees. Though we can make no guarantee of any specific turnaround time when this option is requested, we will in good faith prioritize and complete your estimate as quickly as possible within the best of our abilities. Further details can be found when Creating a New Order or by Contacting Us.

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How much do you charge?

See Pricing.

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For supplemental estimates, do you charge based on the amount added to the estimate or do you charge based on the end total of the estimate?

We charge based on the end total of the estimate.

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When will I be charged for my order?

See How it Works.

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Will you look for overlooked or missing items and add them to my estimate?

If you ask us to, yes. We will look for any items that appear to be overlooked or missing from your Scope Sheet or the adjuster’s estimate, we will add them to your Preview Estimate, and we will highlight them for your review. You can decide whether or not to keep them in your finalized estimate. However, please keep in mind that we may not be able to find every single overlooked or missing item as we are estimating your project remotely, and our familiarity with the project will never be as intimate as yours. Therefore, the more detail you can provide us in your Scope Sheet, in your list of missing items, in your photos, in your videos, etc., the more knowledge we can gain of your project, and the better our chances of finding overlooked or missing items for you will be.

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Can I send you an Eagleview™, HOVER or other satellite measurement report to help in writing my estimate?

Yes, we encourage you to order satellite reports on any projects that involve roofing, gutters or siding. Even if you need to supplement an adjuster’s estimate that indicates it’s already based on a satellite report, we still recommend ordering your own satellite report if the adjuster didn’t share a copy (we have seen countless adjuster estimates referencing satellite reports that still have inaccuracies and still omit important items detailed in those reports).

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How do I order an Xactimate® or Symbility™ estimate?

You must first Sign Up and be logged into your account before you can Create a New Order. For full details, see How it Works.

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Can my order be cancelled once submitted?

Yes, if your order is in our queue and hasn’t begun to be processed yet, you can cancel your order and no cancellation fee will apply. However, if your order has begun being processed, then a cancellation fee may apply. Please Contact Us for details.

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What is a Preview Estimate?

Preview Estimate is a draft version of your estimate that comes in the form of an emailed link. It is viewable in your web browser, but is watermarked, protected from download, tracked, and set to expire within a certain time-frame. A Preview Estimate is not meant for submission to your customer, an adjuster, an insurance carrier, nor anyone else outside of your organization — it is meant only for review purposes so that you may provide us with feedback so that we may fine-tune the estimate to your liking.

Sometimes you might find we’ve written a Preview Estimate just how you want it. Other times you might find a Preview Estimate needs minor changes, in which case you’ll provide us with further instructions and we’ll then send you an updated Preview Estimate.

Once a Preview Estimate meets your approval, we’ll calculate and bill you any remaining balance, finalize the estimate, put it on your Letterhead, and send you the completed copy. You can then submit the completed estimate to your customer, an adjuster, an insurance carrier, etc.

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Will the Preview Estimate be put on my letterhead?

Once a Preview Estimate meets your approval, we’ll calculate and bill you any remaining service fees, put the estimate on your Letterhead and send you the completed copy. You can then submit the completed estimate to your customer, an adjuster, an insurance carrier, etc.

Your Xactimate letterhead can include up to eight lines of company information, plus a logo image. You can also have a custom Opening Statement on the cover page of your Xactimate estimate.

Your Symbility letterhead can include up to four lines of company information, plus a logo image. 

All of this information can be entered into your profile when you Sign Up for an account.

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Are any revisions included with my estimate after it’s been finalized?

Yes. Even when we’ve written the perfect estimate in your eyes, sometimes you may need revisions to please a customer or to reach a compromise with an adjuster. We’ll honor a reasonable amount of revisions to any finalized estimate we’ve written (‘reasonable’ to be determined at our discretion). If any revision results in the estimate totaling more than it did prior to the revision, the difference will be subject to additional billing based on current Pricing.

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My estimate contains errors. What should I do?

We strive to maintain a high level of accuracy in all of the estimates we write. However, in rare cases, an error may occur. If this happens, we will promptly correct any error we may have made free of charge. Please do not use the order form to request an error correction as unnecessary charges may occur. Instead, please email your issue directly to us.

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What is Overhead and Profit? (sometimes called 10 & 10, O&P, P&O, OH&P or GCO&P)

Overhead and Profit is the markup of an estimate usually reserved for projects in which a general contractor will be utilized. The markup is usually 10 percent for overhead and 10% for profit for a total markup of 20%. In some areas of the U.S., the markup for overhead can go even higher. Opinions vary with adjusters about whether or not overhead and profit are warranted on certain projects. The unwritten ‘rule of thumb’ for years has been that if a project involves three or more trades and its complexity would motivate a reasonable person to hire a general contractor to complete the work, then overhead and profit would be justified. However, there are no guarantees an adjuster will agree with this so-called rule of thumb, and it seems to vary from state to state where there are different case law precedents regarding overhead and profit. Additionally, even if an adjuster does agree to pay overhead and profit, some have been known to still exclude it from certain trades such as roofing.

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What is a Scope Sheet form?

Scope Sheet form is a tick sheet-style order form used for estimates created from scratch. It is where you list the Scope of Work for your project (i.e. which rooms and areas are affected, the sizes of those rooms and areas, items needed in those rooms and areas, actions are needed for those items, etc). If you’ve ever ordered sushi from a tick sheet menu (the kind where you fill in bubbles for the ingredients and then list the quantities needed), then you’ll have no problem filling out a Scope Sheet.

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What is a Scope of Work? (sometimes called Scope of Repairs or Repair Scope)

For purposes of an Xactimate or Symbility estimate, a Scope of Work is a set of information that includes:

  • diagram with dimensions of each affected room or area (applicable only to structure estimates)
  • description of damaged items (e.g. 1/2 inch drywall)
  • quantity needed to repair or replace the damaged items (e.g. 32 square feet)
  • The actions needed to repair or replace the damaged items (e.g. remove & replace, detach & reset, etc.)

Our detailed Scope Sheet forms make it easy to list this information room-by-room and area-by-area.

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What is roof pitch?

Roof pitch is the measure of steepness of a roof. It is expressed as ‘rise over run.’ It is determined by the amount of vertical rise in inches a roof makes for every 12 inches of horizontal run (or span) that it makes. For example, a roof with a vertical rise of 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run (or span) would be considered a ‘6:12 pitch.’ The greater the rise number, the steeper the roof. For example, a 12:12 pitch roof is twice as steep as a 6:12 pitch roof. The rise number will always be a variable number while the run number will always be a constant ‘12.’ Most modern roofs do not exceed a pitch of 12:12.

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What is Replacement Cost Value? (sometimes called RCV)

Replacement Cost Value is commonly considered to be the full cost to replace an item with one of like-kind and quality. Refer to your insurance policy for more details.

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What is Actual Cost Value? (sometimes called ACV)

Actual Cash Value is commonly considered to be the full cost to replace an item with one of like-kind and quality, less depreciation. Refer to your insurance policy for more details.

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What is Depreciation and how is it determined?

Depreciation is commonly defined as ‘a reduction in value of an asset with the passage of time.’ Depreciation is usually determined by taking into account one or more of the following factors: age, condition, wear and tear, deterioration, use, obsolesce, and expected useful life.

Adjusters apply depreciation to the estimates they write, but they usually only apply it to items being replaced, and not to items being repaired. The reason is that depreciation is usually applicable only when betterment occurs, and betterment doesn’t usually occur when an item is only being repaired. For example, if a shingled roof is warranted to last for 30 years, and if it is 15 years old at the time it is damaged, depreciation could be expected to be 50 percent. However, if the roof were in extremely good condition for its age, depreciation could be expected to be less than 50%. On the contrary, if the roof were in extremely poor condition, depreciation could be expected to be greater than 50%.

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What is Xactimate?

Xactimate is software capable of estimating costs to repair, rebuild, and clean commercial and residential structures and components therein. It is also capable of estimating costs to inventory, pack, move, clean and store personal property and other contents items. The software is used by the majority of insurance adjusters and restoration contractors in the U.S. for determination of fair market pricing for such projects. With more than 14,000 unique line items available in the software, Xactimate has pricing for nearly any item one could imagine estimating.

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What trades is Xactimate capable of estimating?

Xactimate is capable of estimating several thousand items and tasks within the following trade categories:

ACCESSORIES – MOBILE HOME
ACOUSTICAL TREATMENTS
APPLIANCES
APPLIANCES – MAJOR W/O INSTALL
ART RESTORATION, CONSERVATION
AWNINGS & PATIO COVERS
CABINETRY
CLEANING
CONCRETE & ASPHALT
CONTENTS: CEILING/WALL HANGINGS
CONTENTS: CLEAN – GENERAL ITEMS
CONTENTS: CLEAN – HARD FURNITURE
CONTENTS: CLEAN – LAMPS OR VASES
CONTENTS: CLEAN APPLIANCES
CONTENTS: CLEAN ELECTRIC ITEMS
CONTENTS: CLEAN, UPHOLSTERY & SOFT
CONTENTS: GARMENT & SOFT GOODS CLN
CONTENTS: PACKING,HANDLNG,STORAGE
CONTENT MANIPULATION
DOORS
DRYWALL
ELECTRICAL
ELECTRICAL – SPECIAL SYSTEMS
EXCAVATION
EXTERIOR STRUCTURES
FENCING
FINISH CARPENTRY / TRIMWORK
FINISH HARDWARE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
FIREPLACES
FLOOR COVERING – CARPET
FLOOR COVERING – CERAMIC TILE
FLOOR COVERING – RESILIENT
FLOOR COVERING – STONE
FLOOR COVERING – VINYL
FLOOR COVERING – WOOD
FRAMING & ROUGH CARPENTRY
GENERAL DEMOLITION
GLASS, GLAZING, & STOREFRONTS
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL REMEDIATION
HEAT, VENT & AIR CONDITIONING
HEAVY EQUIPMENT
HOUSEWARES – HOME DECOR
INSULATION
INSULATION – MECHANICAL
INTERIOR LATH & PLASTER
LABOR ONLY
LANDSCAPING
LIGHT FIXTURES
MARBLE – CULTURED OR NATURAL
MASONRY
METAL STRUCTURES & COMPONENTS
MIRRORS & SHOWER DOORS
MISC. EQUIPMENT – AGRICULTURAL
MISC. EQUIPMENT – COMMERCIAL
MOBILE HOMES, SKIRTING & SETUP
MOISTURE PROTECTION
ORNAMENTAL IRON
PAINTING
PANELING & WOOD WALL FINISHES
PERISHABLE – NON-PERISHABLE
PERMITS AND FEES
PLUMBING
ROOFING
SCAFFOLDING
SIDING
SOFFIT, FASCIA, & GUTTER
SPECIALTY ITEMS
STAIRS
STEEL COMPONENTS
STEEL JOIST COMPONENTS
STUCCO & EXTERIOR PLASTER
SWIMMING POOLS & SPAS
TEMPORARY REPAIRS
TILE
TIMBER FRAMING
TOILET & BATH ACCESSORIES
TRAUMA/CRIME SCENE REMEDIATION
USER DEFINED ITEMS
VALUATION TOOL COST
WALLPAPER
WATER EXTRACTION & REMEDIATION
WINDOW REGLAZING & REPAIR
WINDOW TREATMENT
WINDOWS – ALUMINUM
WINDOWS – SKYLIGHTS
WINDOWS – SLIDING PATIO DOORS
WINDOWS – VINYL
WINDOWS – WOOD

If there is a specialty trade you need estimated but you do not see it listed above, please keep in mind that we can plug in custom line items with any pricing you need. This comes in handy if you have obtained subcontractor bids for such specialty trades.

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How does Xactimate know pricing for my area?

Xactimate collects cost information from actual completed bids in each of the 470 geographic regions it services. It updates its Price Lists with this information monthly.

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What is a Price List?

Price List is a list published monthly by Xactimate for each region that details material, labor and equipment rates for more than 14,000 unique line items. Depending on the type of item being estimated, the rates are in units of square feet, linear feet, cubic feet, per day, per week, etc.

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What happens if an item I need isn’t in the Price List?

Occasionally, Xactimate’s Price List may not contain a certain item you need. Usually this only happens with obsolete or specialty items. If it does happen, we’ll do our best to research pricing for you, or suggest an alternate item if pricing can’t be found. Alternatively, we can add a custom line item to your estimate with any description or cost you want.

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What is an Opening Statement?

An Opening Statement is an optional field on the cover page of an Xactimate estimate where you can list any disclaimer or other information that you want the reader of the estimate to see.

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What version of Xactimate do you use?

Our estimate writers currently use Xactimate Version X1.

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Can Assistimate import and export Xactimate ESX files?

Sending us your ESX file

Our estimate writers currently use Xactimate Version X1. So, no matter what version you are using, we should be able to import your ESX file without a problem.

Getting your ESX file back from us

Our estimate writers currently use Xactimate Version X1, which generates ESX files readable only by that version and higher versions. If you are using an older version of Xactimate, you will not be able to import our ESX file. However, you will still be able to receive your estimate back in PDF format.

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What is Symbility?

Similar to Xactimate, Symbility is software capable of estimating costs to repair, rebuild, and clean commercial and residential structures and components therein. It is also capable of estimating costs to inventory, pack, move, clean and store personal property and other contents items. The software is gaining market share from Xactimate, but is still not as widely used.

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What trades is Symbility capable of estimating?

Symbility is capable of estimating several thousand items and tasks within the following trade categories:

ACOUSTICAL TREATMENTS
ANTENNA & SATELLITE DISHES
APPLIANCES
AWNINGS & PATIO COVERS
CABINETRY
CLEANING – STRUCTURE
CONCRETE & ASPHALT
CONTENTS – CLEAN APPLIANCES
CONTENTS – CLEAN ELECTRIC ITEMS
CONTENTS – CLEAN FURNITURE
CONTENTS – CLEAN GENERAL ITEMS
CONTENTS – CLEAN LAMPS & VASES
CONTENTS – CLEAN TEXTILES
CONTENTS – CLEAN UPHOLSTERY
CONTENTS – PACKING, HANDLING & STORAGE
DOORS
DRYWALL
ELECTRICAL
EQUIPMENT RENTALS
EXCAVATION
EXTERIOR FURNISHINGS
FENCING FINISH CARPENTRY & TRIMWORK
FIREPLACE
FLOOR COVERING
FRAMING & ROUGH CARPENTRY
GENERAL DEMOLITION
HEAT, VENT & AIR CONDITIONING
INSULATION
INTERIOR FURNISHINGS
LABOR ONLY
LANDSCAPING
LIGHT FIXTURES
MASONRY
METAL STRUCTURES & COMPONENTS
MISCELLANEOUS
MITIGATION
MOBILE HOMES, SKIRTING & SETUP
MOISTURE PROTECTION
OUTBUILDINGS
PAINTING
PANELING & WOOD WALL FINISHES
PERMITS AND FEES
PLASTER & LATH
PLUMBING
POOLS & HOT TUBS
ROOFING
SIDING
SOFFIT, FASCIA & GUTTER
STAIRS
TEMPORARY REPAIRS
TILE
TOILET & BATH ACCESSORIES
VENTS
WALL PAPER & WALL CARPET
WINDOW SCREENS
WINDOWS

If there is a specialty trade you need estimated but don’t see it listed above, please keep in mind that we can plug in custom ine items with any pricing you need. This comes in handy if you have obtained subcontractor bids for such specialty trades.

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How does Symbility know pricing for my area?

When asked where they get the data to compile their price list, CoreLogic, the developer of Symbility, states the following on their website:

CoreLogic monitors demographics and econometric statistics, government indicators, localization requirements and market trends, as well as wage rates for more union and non-union trades, 100,000 plus line items of construction data, productivity rates and crew sizes, local cost concerns such as building code requirements and other localized variables.

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Will the insurance company agree to my Xactimate or Symbility estimate?

Because Xactimate and Symbility are the most widely used estimating platforms in the property insurance industry, estimating with them will likely increase your chances of reaching an agreed repair cost with insurance carriers — especially if you’re estimating with their preferred platform. However, just because your estimate is written in Xactimate or Symbility doesn’t guarantee it will be agreed to. For example, opinions may differ as to whether an item is damaged or whether a task is necessary, and coverage may not exist even if the item is damaged or deemed to be necessary. Be sure to contact the insurance carrier for questions on these matters.

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What is a Labor Minimum (sometimes referred to as Minimum Charge)?

A Labor Minimum is the cost a particular trade-person will charge for labor to show up and do a small job. For example, a painter might normally charge $0.50 per square foot labor to paint a wall. However, if only 80 square feet of wall surface needs to be painted, you’d be hard pressed to find a painter willing to do it for only $40 of labor (80 square feet x $0.50). After all, the painter has to mobilize, set up, perform the work, clean up, tear down his equipment, etc. That’s where Labor Minimums come in: they account for the minimum amount a trade-person would charge for a small job.

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Do Xactimate and Symbility have additional costs for a 2 story roof?

Yes, Xactimate and Symbility both have a ‘high charge’ for roofs that are 2 story and greater. Typically, the number of stories a structure has is considered to be all floors at and above ground level. A basement is not usually included as a story unless it is a walk-out or shallow basement well above ground level.

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What are the Assistimate Terms of Service?

The Assistimate Terms of Service can be found here.

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What is the Assistimate Privacy Policy?

The Assistimate Privacy Policy can be found here.

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Xactimate and Symbility are Hard.

Assistimate makes them easy.