What if a sudden winter storm overwhelmed your building’s rooftop and caused it to collapse? Or hidden components within your building’s walls warped and weakened it over time to the brink of destruction? If your commercial property suffers a structural collapse, it does not also have to bring down your business.
When handling your insurance claim, keep in mind that collapse can be interpreted in different ways, so you want to avoid receiving less than what you deserve.
Some buildings are vulnerable to collapse, and for a variety of reasons. In most cases, collapse is already built into your commercial property insurance policy because it can happen to you regardless of where your business is located. In the North, heavy snow on your building may cause roof collapse. In the South, air conditioning units on the top of your building may weigh down and weaken the roof to the point of collapse.
Is the damage partial or total? Your insurance company’s team will have their own interpretation about the extent of the property damage and what is covered in your commercial insurance policy. Who is on your team working to protect your interests? Our experts have the experience and resources to evaluate and document your damage in detail and negotiate your claim for the maximum amount. When your business is at stake, you deserve to rebuild and continue operations as quickly as possible.
Make sure you fully understand the meaning of each of the following before you move forward. Feel free to reach out to us for a no-cost discussion about your claim.
What is my agent or broker’s role?
How do I keep my employees?
How do I keep my customers?
Why is a claim strategy so important?
Am I impacted by coinsurance?
What do I need to know about the insurance company’s adjuster and experts?
Am I entitled to an advance from the insurance company? What is reasonable?
What does it mean when the insurance company recommends a preferred vendor? Who will this vendor actually be working for?
Contractors may tell you they can do what public adjusters can do. Can they really? What is their background and education in insurance? Are they licensed and bonded? In many states, like California, it’s against the law to practice without a license!
The policy says it is your responsibility to submit a reconstruction estimate. Why would the insurer want to do it for you?
What is the difference between functional replacement and true replacement cost coverage and why should you care?
How is actual cash value determined?
Can you do the repairs yourself? Are you entitled to the overhead and/or profit that a contractor would typically charge?
What are the benefits and the pitfalls of not replacing your building?
Do you have to replace on the same site? Can you buy or build elsewhere?
Can you collect building code enhancement coverage if you build elsewhere?
How quickly can you start rebuilding following a loss?
How much of my time will this take?
Property Damage Losses Commercial Claims Recovery Process
Life & Safety Issues
Mitigation of Damages
Establish A Preliminary Recovery Plan
Evaluation of Coverages
Valuation Of Damages, Claim Preparation, and Documentation
Months after the storm passed, the County was still faced with tremendous burdens related to the insurance coverage issues and FEMA and MEMA eligibility issues. Jackson County hired Adjusters International to provide professional services for disaster assistance, remediation, restoration and recovery efforts. ...Their expertise with governmental regulations, the complex FEMA process and insurance adjustments resulted in our successful claim for over $2 million in additional FEMA Public Assistance funding specifically; in our successful negotiations with our insurance carrier; and in numerous other increases in the values FEMA and MEMA initially designated for County projects. Jackson County will always be mindful of the help we received from Adjusters International when we needed it most.
Alan K. Sudduth
County Administrator - Board of Supervisors, Jackson County, Mississippi
Certainly the tragedy of the World Trade Center explosion will remain etched in our memories forever. We can, however, take pride in the united response of hundreds of people which enabled the complex to be reopened in record time and reconstructed on an expedited schedule. At the same time, as you well know, we were involved in a long, sometimes agonizing process of pursuing settlement activities with insurers. Without your help, and the help of many others the settlement wouldn't have been concluded as successfully as it was. On behalf of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, I would like to thank you for the expert advice you provided to me and my staff in our effort to bring the World Trade Center explosion insurance claim to closure. Your expertise and insight in this long and arduous negotiation were invaluable.
Bruce D. Bohlen
Treasurer - The Port Authority of NY & NJ, New York, NY
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Webster's lead definition of "collapse" seems so clear and straightforward as to preclude the possibility of such an event being debatable. Yet in the field of property insurance, few concepts have been as open to interpretation...