On January 8, 2011, a toilet supply line burst in an upscale two-story home causing significant water damage to the bathroom, bathroom cabinetry, drywall, insulation, baseboards, doors, door frames, kitchen cabinets, and custom oak wood flooring located throughout the dwelling.
The insured homeowner promptly reported the claim to his insurance company and subsequently hired a qualified emergency restoration contractor to mitigate the damages and complete the dry-out of the structure. Having specialized in handling these types of claims for many years, the restoration contractor made a thorough inspection of the damage and completed a repair estimate in the amount of $65,841.77 in preparation for the insurance company adjuster’s initial inspection.
Upon the insurance adjuster’s initial inspection, the adjuster quickly noted the severity of the damage and decided to bring in a company to perform a Moisture Source Causation Assessment and Remediation Protocol. The adjuster accepted the contractor’s repair estimate, said he would review it, but could not agree to anything until he received the report back from the Engineering & Environmental Services Company.
Upon receipt of the Assessment and Remediation Protocol, the Engineering & Environmental Services Company reported that the home contained “elevated levels of moisture sufficient to promote mold growth” and wrote a detailed remediation protocol specifically recommending that much of the damaged building components be removed and discarded including the custom oak wood flooring located throughout the residence as well as the sub-floor, dry-wall, exposed building insulation, substrates and materials.
The independent insurance adjuster, having reviewed the report and protocol of the engineering expert he brought in, disagreed with the findings and proceeded to write his own damage repair estimate, which totaled $23,879.79. The estimate included the removal and replacement of the custom oak wood flooring in the immediate damaged area, but in the other main living areas the adjuster only allowed special sand, stain, & finish of wood floors. The estimate did not allow for any contractor overhead or profit.
After careful review of the insurance adjuster’s estimate, the contractor meticulously took note of the many items missing and diplomatically attempted to bring it to the attention of the adjuster as well as the claim manager. Instead, the insurance company held on to their position and ignored repeated requests for a re-inspection. In the meantime, additional damage was occurring, specifically to the wood stair casing, which started separating due to the high levels of moisture and dehumidification process.
The impasse reached a point where the contractor recommended that the homeowner retain the services of a professional Public Insurance Adjuster. Shortly thereafter, public adjuster Rick Tutwiler was hired to assist with the insurance claim preparation and subsequent settlement negotiation. Working in conjunction with the contractor, Mr. Tutwiler was able to accurately document the damage, outline the specific costs and methods of repair, and coordinate all the supporting documentation necessary to support the claim.
In the end, Mr. Tutwiler was able to successfully negotiate a settlement total of $94,003.25 for the dwelling repairs. This amount was sufficient enough for the insured to completely restore his custom home with his contractor.