Adjusting to 6 Figures
man using computer to work on Xactimate

Xactimate Software Tips to Remember at the Start of a Sketch

Xactimate is a software program that helps independent adjusters and field claim representatives calculate construction costs for damaged buildings and dwellings. It is a user-friendly program that creates printed estimates for all necessary parties. Once you get the hang of it, Xactimate can really make your life easier. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when creating an estimate with Xactimate:

Renaming in Xactimate

It is especially important to properly tag and name each building being inspected at a claim site. Create new sketches for garages, tree houses, sheds, dwellings, outbuildings, farm buildings, and more. When an independent adjuster starts a new sketch they only need to right-click on the “SKETCH1” tab and scroll down a few notches to the “Rename” line.  Then simply type in a building tag that easily explains which structure is being estimated for the page (ie: garage, pool, garden shed, gazebo, etc.).

For multiple buildings, simply scroll over the “SKETCH1” tab. Right-click for the menu to show the words “Add New Sketch.” This allows you to estimate additional buildings, such as a garage or swimming pool, in subsequent tabs behind the main sketch in the first tab’s position. Adequately renaming each sketch in Xactimate will keep things clear and concise for the insurance personnel and the policyholder.

Prioritize the Sketches

Renaming the sketches to correspond with the correct building is important, but so is keeping an order to the buildings. Be sure to always complete a sketch of the main structure at a claim site first. Therefore, if a residential dwelling has suffered storm damage, along with a small tool shed and single-stall detached garage, the dwelling should be renamed to a commonly used term such as “house” or “home” in the “SKETCH1” tab. The minor buildings on-site should occupy tabs in the second, third, and fourth sketching positions.

It is important to keep this prioritization in mind when starting the claim file. Policyholders are often not familiar with the claim’s handling process and the reading of construction estimates. They may look at the first sketch and automatically assume that the main structure is being calculated first and foremost.

Get More Tips and Advice

As an independent adjuster, it’s your job to make the printed estimate easy to understand. The best way to do that is to keep priorities in mind when entering buildings and measured areas. For more helpful tips and advice for IAs, be sure to check out our other blog posts on the Adjusting to 6 Figures website.


Greg Donworth

An engineer by trade, and a three time startup founder, Greg came into the insurance industry as a Project Manager for Adjusting to 6 Figures, but quickly raised to the ranks as Chief Operations Officer. Greg now creates content and manages the development of current and future Adjusting to 6 Figures products.

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