Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are good reminders that though a storm can be tracked, no one can predict its fury and ultimate impact. For construction companies, keeping their project sites secure in case of a storm and being prepared to recover quickly afterwards is critical to their business.
The groundwork should be laid before a storm is ever on the way — with a preparation plan and post-disaster emergency plan. This can vary in terms of level of detail, but it should exist. That is all many companies will ever have to do. But for those with a storm heading towards a construction site, the management team should thoroughly document the current condition of the project and initiate their post-disaster emergency plan.
To ensure an insurance reimbursement is fair and accurate, follow these key steps before a storm:
Immediately after a storm, take inventory of the property damage, personnel and equipment that could be salvaged. The construction management team should then work directly with insurance adjusters to secure payment commitments, repair life threatening damage and remove debris so a physical assessment of the damage can be performed. This assessment is one of the most critical tasks performed because it will establish the initial estimate of the magnitude of damage. It should be performed alongside the insurance adjuster to help mitigate disagreements that could occur in the settlement/reimbursement phase.
Be sure to document the remediation of damage with photographs. An insurance company is only responsible for putting a project back in the exact same condition it was at the time of the storm. It is the construction management team’s job to prove to the insurance company the exact status of the project at the time of the event and the extent of the actual damage.
To secure reimbursement under and insurance policy, here are five key tasks to perform:
Due to the potential magnitude of these types of claims and the complexity of the insurance policies, they can turn into arbitration with the insurance company. Time is money in the construction industry, so establish a plan and be prepared to execute it and thoroughly document any damage. This will help achieve accurate and expeditious reimbursement while minimizing delay to project completion.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly real estate specialists can help, contact our team.