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- On September 2, 2016
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It’s been a truly crazy summer. Hailstorms continue to pound the Rocky Mountain Region, claim settlements are getting more and more contentious, we’ve seen a Colorado claim go horribly wrong for one Aurora HOA, and the insurance carriers continue to find innovative ways to challenge the damage claims made by property owners.
Yet, despite all of this, Claim Solutions, LLC and our clients are having a record setting year. Claim Solutions just settled one of the largest hail damage claims in Colorado at $8.5 million. More importantly, this claim settlement awarded completely new siding (all four sides) to a townhouse association, virtually unheard of until now. Our full press release for the $8.5 million settlement for Provincetown Landing II is available in the portfolio section of our website.
We’ve also expanded our reach in 2016. We’re consulting on a large loss for the City of Amsterdam, NY. We’re working on a hotel claim in Utah, and we are working on acquiring clients from some of the California fires. In total, 2016 will be a record year for the amount of large loss clients we are working with.
There’s other great news in this update as well including a quick note on the massive Colorado Springs storm of 7/28/2016 and some tips on “Duties After a Storm…”
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…
2016 was not particularly nice to an Aurora townhome association who was represented by another Colorado based public adjusting firm. While the claim started out much like any other with the public adjuster demanding appraisal, the claim quickly went awry. At some point during litigation the Federal judge residing over the case asked all sides involved (carrier and policyholder) to disclose information to each other and the court.
An appraisal award was issued in the amount of $10 million for damages the HOA’s appraiser and the umpire agreed upon. At some point during all of this, the policyholder’s appraiser and attorneys didn’t satisfy the judge’s request for disclosures, which prompted the judge to vacate (cancel) the appraisal award. During the first week of August, the same federal judge issued a final judgment in the case, dismissing all of the HOA’s property damage claims, ordering the HOA to pay the insurance carrier $100,000 and ordering the HOA’s attorneys to pay a significant amount of the insurance carriers attorney fees and costs.
Without question this is a huge blow to the association and everyone involved with this claim. It highlights the uncertainties of claim settlement here in Colorado and more importantly, the need to have your experts fully competent in the current legal trends in our state. Moreover, it re-iterates the underlying necessity to fully understand whom you’re hiring as experts on your team. In all of the claim settlements we’ve seen and been a party to, we’ve never witnessed a claim such as this in which the policyholder was sanctioned so severely by the court.
Claim Solutions, LLC Claim Settlements and Claims Under Management
So far 2016 has been very successful for the HOAs represented by Claim Solutions. We’ve had a total of eight large loss settlements. The majority of those claims are for hailstorm related damages. Claim Solutions managed and successfully settled two HOA fire claims to date in 2016.
Here’s our list of HOA settlements to date in 2016.
Property Loss type Settled Amount
Morrison Townhome HOA Hailstorm $1.375 mm
Centennial Duplex Association Hailstorm $3.250 mm
Centennial Condo Association Hailstorm $1.10 mm
Broadmoor Townhome Assoc. Hailstorm $1.6 mm
Denver Townhome Assoc. Hailstorm $8.5 mm
Littleton Townhome Assoc. Fire $750,000
Cherry Creek Townhome Assoc. Hail $500,000
Denver Condo Complex Fire $900,000
Claim Solution’s Approach to Client Representation
Early in the history of Claim Solutions, a conscious decision was made to work with the best, brightest and most experienced experts in this business. Claim Solutions has always elected to contract with our experts rather than hire them as part of our staff.
The reasons are simple. If we employed engineers, meteorologists or other experts on our staff, they would inherently have a bias towards us and our clients, which would be attacked by the insurance carriers and their attorneys, thereby diminishing their effectiveness as experts. By keeping our experts at arms length, we have non-biased professional opinions to support our position on every claim. This approach can be more costly but has proven to be extremely effective. Over the last several years Claim Solutions has engaged experts that have also represented the insurance carriers. These experts have agreed with our position and have significantly influenced most of the large loss settlements we’ve secured. This was the case with Provincetown Landing II, one of the largest HOA loss settlements in Colorado.
As one of the leading Colorado public adjusting firms representing HOAs, we’re committed to continually engaging and working with leading experts throughout the country on behalf of our clients.
A Colorado Springs Update
As of the middle of August, we’re in full cat mode (catastrophe) in Colorado Springs. On July 28th one of the most sever hailstorms we’ve witnessed hit Colorado Springs with ground zero at the airport.
Claim Solutions currently has several HOA clients were working with due to these damages. We’re starting to see the insurance carriers denying or significantly under adjust damages. Most of the time in a Cat event, the insurance carriers limit what they will adjust for, hoping their policyholders won’t fight for what’s owed based on the damages.
As partners with HOA’s and community managers we need to make sure all hailstorm damages are adjusted for correctly. Claim Solutions will gladly review any insurance carrier loss estimate and compare it to the damages we observe onsite. Based on what’s been adjusted for and what we observe, we’re able to accurately inform the HOA of how they should proceed.
We also came across a unique situation where a HOA thought they had mitigated against further damages, relying on their contractor. Upon inspection, a flat roofed clubhouse had nearly a foot of water on the roof, the hailstorm had filled the drains with debris and they were clogged. The water amounted to over 10,000 pounds of weight on the roof, which could have easily collapsed the roof or found its way into the clubhouse. Thankfully neither happened, but be careful who you rely upon for mitigation efforts.
The Hits Keep Coming…
The summer of 2016 is proving to be a banner year for non-roof related claim issues. Claim Solutions has raised the bar when it comes to getting exterior siding, stucco, window/door and painting damages covered for our clients.
Our summer started with getting full stucco replacement for a Cherry Cheek HOA, we then proceeded getting two sides of siding fully replaced along with completely repainting the exteriors on all 70 units of a duplex association in Centennial. The big hit this summer was getting all of the siding replaced on our West Denver townhome association, which also happens to be one of the largest HOA hail claim settlements in Colorado at $9.315 million. We have another large HOA in Aurora that settlement on metal and vinyl sidings is being finalized on as we speak.
Unfortunately, the claim settlements we are seeing from other public adjusters or contractors are significantly undervaluing exterior damages. Look for a full blog or press release from us in the coming month outlining our efforts and results we’re achieving getting exterior damages recognized and correctly adjusted for.
We’re Here for You…
Claim Solutions business model has always been to serve the HOA community by helping community managers better navigate the claim process. Within the last two years we’ve put some proactive practices in place to better position the HOA’s we represent should a property damage claim arise. Our proactive approach is paying huge dividends to our clients. Call us today to discuss what we’re doing and how we can give your HOAs a huge advantage should the unfortunate need arise.
Scott Benglen is Founder, President and Managing Partner at Denver based Claim Solutions, LLC. Claim Solutions is currently managing over $50 million in property damage claims for Colorado HOA’s.
Scott can be reached at (303) 596-6043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.