Winter Claims Already Impacting Construction Prices and Contractor Repair Availability
As I write this, I am sitting in LaGuardia airport waiting for a flight back to Florida. I was called up to New York to meet with a prospective client who owns a building in Manhattan that has suffered structural damage due to a new building being constructed next door. Florida’s tourism boom this year is apparent in New York; snow, ice, then freezing rain and back to snow with 6-8 inches predicted for the five boroughs of NYC. Other parts of the country are predicted to get even more snow, then freezing temps. Clearly, northerners are flocking to Florida in droves trying to escape the brutal winter especially in the northeast.
A recent call from a long-time client who owns a hotel (actually it’s a castle) in Lexington, Kentucky informed me that a pipe broke due to the freezing weather and flooded part of the property. The owner told me that when a large loss adjuster from his insurance company came out and inspected the loss, he told them that they only needed to get one contractor’s bid (not the standard 2 or 3 competitive bids) because it was unlikely they would get a timely response due to the massive amounts of claims and the widespread damages in the area.
Winter storm losses all over the U.S are creating serious insurance claim issues. The drywall distributors have recently raised drywall prices 20% and it would not surprise me to see further increases should shortages endure. This is not surprising, as their business will be booming due to all the interior damages that are occurring to homes and businesses from the snow, ice, and water intrusion. Remember, if you are offered a price that seems to good to be true for drywall, better make sure someone is not trying to dump the well documented contaminated Chinese drywall off on you.
If you have a pending claim due to the snow, ice, and water that caused damage to the interior drywall of your home or business, make sure the insurance adjuster has the correct market prices in their estimating software. That is something our public adjusters typically check for in these disaster type situations since some adjusters could be flying in from out of state to help with claims and not have the most up to date pricing charts for the affected area.
Our Boston, Massachusetts public adjusting operation is quickly gearing up as our team is heading north to help with the insurance recovery process there. We have our reserve troops in place in Florida to serve new and existing clients as needed.
Please be careful and stay safe. Property can be repaired and replaced but your life, health, and safety are paramount over loss and damages to property.
Finally, here is a fun snow video that shows people having fun with all the snow but also documents the seriousness of the conditions they are dealing with.