Consult Your Commercial Builder If Signifigant Property Damage Occurs
When commercial property damage occurs, your insurance provider will assign a claims professional and an adjuster to develop an estimate of the cost of repair or replacement based on your policy. You should have complete documentation and photos that prove the pre-loss condition. Prior to making a claim, building owners will benefit by asking their builder to intervene on their behalf so the insurance adjuster understands the true scope of work required to return the facility to its pre-damage state and to help prevent future property damage. If your facility has been severely damaged, rely on your builder to walk through the debris so that you can be safe.
Your builder will help the adjuster to avoid scope omissions or errors by providing the necessary details regarding every aspect of your facility. Their understanding of your building systems will help to avoid estimate omissions of key functional aspects such as wood/masonry, structural steel and pre-engineered steel systems.
Your builder will help to avoid underestimated dimension calculations so that the amount of roofing materials, sheetrock, paint, trim, floor coverings, electrical, HVAC, etc. won’t also be underestimated. They will also ensure that the right amount of waste has been factored into the estimate and that restoration and repair costs include debris removal along with environmental remediation resulting from the event.
Your builder will be able to determine if the adjuster is using an up-to-date cost database as their resource for labor and material costs and if local construction market conditions have been factored into the estimate. They will identify the level of effort and resulting costs that should be included for an architect and engineer, building permits and fees, construction insurance and general liability insurance. Finally, they will help the adjuster determine the allowance for builder’s overhead and profit that should be included in the estimate.
This due diligence will prepare your adjuster to develop an accurate estimate and arm you and your builder with knowledge to study each aspect of the estimate and ask the adjuster to explain any variances from what you are expecting. It will also minimize the need to go back to the insurance company for adjustments after work has begun.
The estimate will enable your claim professional to develop the Replacement Cost Value [cost of repairing or replacing a damaged item with a similar one] and Actual Cash Value [RCV minus depreciation].