While hurricane Irma has become a faint memory to the rest of the United States, Floridians have not forgotten. Many...READ MORE
The last clause is frequently referred to as “an ensuing loss exception.” Under this type of language, while the insurance company need not pay for damages caused solely by the excluded cause of loss, if there is an “ensuing loss,” the insurer must pay for that damage. A classic example is if faulty repair resulted in improper wiring and the improper wiring caused a fire. Almost every insurer would pay for the fire damage, but not for the repair of the improper wiring. Of course, as a practical matter, the fire damage would subsume the improper wiring and there would be no question as to what portion of the damage was covered and what portion was excluded.Of course, causation issues combined with exceptions to exclusions are usually interpreted far more broadly by policyholders and much more narrowly by many insurers. Jurisdictional decisions and policy language play a huge factor when confronting ensuing loss issues. The article warned of this in its conclusion:
When faced with this issue, risk manager and policyholder counsel should be sure to highlight the logical inconsistency in the broad reading of the exclusion and the narrow reading of the “ensuing loss” exception. In addition, the cost of repairing the faulty workmanship itself is most likely excluded under most versions of this exclusion (although there are forms which might allow such recovery) and resolution of claims will be easier if policyholders do not attempt to recover that cost as part of the claim. Of course, because different jurisdictions approach this in different ways, usually in one of the two outlined above, one must always be mindful of applicable law.To make certain the public adjuster was not accused of practicing law, I told her to tell the insurer I asked her to send the article to the insurer and that it should reconsider its coverage opinion. Insurance companies acting in good faith should be looking for reasons to find coverage for damage. It will be interesting to see what happens in this instance.
While hurricane Irma has become a faint memory to the rest of the United States, Floridians have not forgotten. Many businesses, resorts, and attractions are still struggling to bounce back after the catastrophe that caused wide-spread damage to the southern half of the state.
When it comes to Hurricanes, location and luck play a large role on who gets hit the hardest. However, it is important that property owners and managers take the proper measures to prepare before the storm so that their properties stand a chance in a quick recovery.
Below are several lessons management companies can learn from Hurricane Irma:
Plan for The Next Catastrophe
Assuming your property is not currently being repaired for Hurricane damage, it is crucial that management companies understand that natural disasters such as hurricanes pose as a large threat to a buildings infrastructure. Just because you have been lucky so far, does not mean you will always be spared. After a natural disaster, it is essential to have recovery teams on-site to decrease the extent of any further property damage. Unfortunately, right after a hurricane hits is the wrong time to look for a team to help you. Most disaster recovery teams prioritize their existing clients above new clients. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to find a reputable response team prior to a natural disaster ever occurring so that they can help you as soon as it is safe to do so.Choose a Reputable Team with Multiple Locations
The only way to ensure a swift recovery from a natural disaster is a quick response from your catastrophe response team. We cannot stress enough how important it is that your team has the ability to get to you within a timely manner.Dry Out as Quickly as Possible
Hurricane Irma struck over a month and a half ago and many properties have yet to be remediated in the worst-hit areas. Water has the tendency to cause worse damage, the longer the materials stay wet.
Within 72 hours, mold will start to grow. Once mold sets in, drying the materials out will no longer be an option and the materials will have to be thoroughly cleaned or removed. When properties are left for longer, other forms of growth and deterioration can occur, causing further damage. Worst case scenario, moisture that isn’t addressed will cause structural damage. The faster a team can get into the property with fans, dehumidifiers and other remediation efforts, the less damage the property will sustain.
If you’d like to have DCS on your side for the next incident, give us a call today.
Silica is an important industrial material found in the earth’s crust. Quartz, the most common silica is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, and mortar. In its idle form, it is found to be harmless. However, silica dust can be dangerous to anyone who breathes it in. Dust particles can penetrate into the lungs causing lung disease, cancer, kidney disease and silicosis. According to OSHA’s statistics, roughly 2.3 million occupants are exposed to silica in their work places annually, including 2 million construction workers and 300,000 others.
Silica has been recognized as hazardous since the 1930s when the U.S. department of labor noticed a spike in worker deaths. It wasn’t until the 1970s when OSHA was created and a standard was set to limit worker exposure. However, workers were not adequately protected. Up until 2013, there were zero regulations placed for silica exposure which left contractors confused as to what was required. In September of 2013, a new OSHA regulatory standard was created and reviewed. The standard was approved to go into effect in June of 2016.
Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
Provides flexibility to help employers — especially small businesses — protect workers from silica exposure.
Property owners are unlikely to see an immediate impact from this ruling. However, they are required to disclose any information regarding known presence of silica-containing materials before signing a contract with a contractor to provide renovation services. It is also important that the owner informs building occupants that silica dust may present a potential hazard to them. By hiring the right contractor, the owner can ensure that the building is properly mitigated.
A Risk Assessment is a part of the due diligence process associated with commercial real estate. Commercial building inspections are important for clients seeking to know the condition of the property they may be purchasing. It also provides risk mitigation for the buyer and potentially an opportunity to renegotiate the price based on the the “true” condition of the property. A Risk Assessment evaluates all improvements on the site including utilities, outbuildings, signage & roads. It will take the condition of those components and evaluate the costs to make corrections to any deficiency. However, it does not include destructive testing and will not factor in maintenance or repairs for the future. Destructive testing for instance, would be taking down walls to find a source of water intrusion or any investigation that requires climbing a scaffold.
Many buyers will go beyond their required due diligence to evaluate and understand the costs that come with the commercial property they are looking to purchase. It is important to understand the future costs associated with ownership based on upcoming maintenance and repairs as well as any deficiencies.
The most common type of assessment buyers request beyond the RA is a reserve table. A reserve table identifies capital costs that the building owner will incur in the future. It also gives buyers a map to budget their building maintenance and capital expenses while allowing lenders to determine whether the buyer is capitalized to maintain the collateral.
As soon as the loan application is filed, it is the lender or buyer’s responsibility to facilitate a Risk Assessment with an approved provider. The provider should find the person who knows the most about the property and send them a pre-inspection survey. The survey will ask questions such as the age of the windows, age of the roof, etc to gather as much information as possible prior to visiting the site. When an inspector visits the site and begins walking the building and property they will look at every component, such as the structural systems, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, interior finishes, building envelope, etc. Based on the inspection they will write a report that will include a description of each component, an identification of deficiencies found in inspection and a table of costs to correct the issues present.
When hiring a Risk Assessment provider, it is crucial that they can get on the site quickly to assess the property and to start the process. It is also important that they provide accurate costing.
With over 15 years in the industry, and a large national presence, DCS provides all of the necessary tools to best serve you. Let us be your first choice when scheduling your next risk assessment. Photo by Bruce Guenter