Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

We want to thank Pittsburgh Public Adjuster Zach Flora for contributing the following success story.

A real estate owner of multiple properties experienced a 3 alarm fire at one of their apartment buildings located in the Hill District area of Pittsburgh on November 2016.  The building suffered significant fire, water and smoke damage. Upon reporting the loss to its insurance carrier, multiple adjusters were sent out to inspect the loss and the insurance company immediately assigned an outside company specializing in large losses to handle the claim.  This adjuster prepared a repair estimate that (in the opinion of the apartment owner) did not cover the cost to cover the value of the building and the hidden structural damages that were apparent. It became obvious that the repair estimate ignored parts of the building not directly affected by the fire, but were still subjected to massive amounts of smoke and water damage.

After months of waiting, the insurance company estimated damages of $579K adding $218K of depreciation that left the client with approximately $361K to repair the building. That turned out to be a fraction of the actual cost of repair based on independent contractor estimates the owner had solicited.  Not only was the owner unable to fully repair his building, he was also losing rental income from all the tenants who had been displaced.  This left the owner realizing he needed professional help based upon the amount of the check written with the insurance company holding almost half of the money to depreciation (money held based on the age of the building until repairs are made) that is suppose to repair the damages.

After reviewing their options, Pittsburgh area public adjuster Zach Flora of Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters was retained to help document and negotiate the loss to secure a more equitable settlement. Prior to being hired, Mr. Flora had answered numerous questions and helped guide the property owner in the right direction. Mr. Flora immediately took control of the claim and was able to get an advanced payment to begin the remediation process. After careful review of the client's insurance policy and the outside companies repair estimate, Tutwiler and Associates sent in their team of experts to investigate the fire damage with an eye on advocating for the building owner. When you hire Tutwiler and Associates we leave no stone unturned when it comes to documenting a loss, requiring multiple co-inspections with our team and the insurance company, conference calls and negotiations to take place. With multiple walkthroughs and reviews, we were able to develop a thorough well documented scope and cost of the building pre fire loss amounting well into the seven figure mark with replacing the roof along with six other smoke/water damaged units not included in the insurance company’s original estimate and present it to them. Realizing the magnitude of the fire along with the crucial smoke and water damage, Zach was able to negotiate a 70.5% increase in the settlement gaining the property holder an increased amount upwards of $100,994 along with more than 50% of the depreciation money released back to the property owner for a total of $255K additional monies the client could use to repair their facility.

If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster insurance claim experts. We look forward to helping you achieve a fair claim settlement.

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Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters, Inc.
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters & Loss Consultants
Offices: Tampa, Orlando, Palm City, Ft. Myers, Florida; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA

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Phone: 813.287.8090
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