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Porch Collapse At Rockaway SRO Building Due To Heavy Snow & Ice

view of porch collapse

In March of 2017, a Nor’easter hit New York causing record snow amounts and freezing temperatures. Many residential and commercial buildings throughout New York were damaged, including one of our clients who owns a SRO (Single Room Occupancy) building in Rockaway Park, Queens. United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc. was called for claim assistance immediately after the building’s two story porch suddenly collapsed due to heavy ice and snow build up. After the collapse, the New York City Department of Buildings placed a FULL Vacate Order on the building and required the gas and electric service to be shut off for safety reasons.

Many large real estate owners in New York are familiar with the issues that arise after a major property loss and that is why they call United Public Adjusters first! Knowing that most insurance companies and their “experts” are not familiar with NYC building codes, our team ensured the damages were properly documented so any ensuing damages as a result of the collapse would be estimated and presented to the insurance company in a timely manner. As with any major building collapse, the insurance company called their own structural engineer to the property to evaluate the extent of the damages. Their structural engineer came from Chicago, NOT New York, to evaluate the cause of the collapse as well as the resulting damages. Being from another state may not seem like an issue, but if the structural engineer is not familiar with local building codes, then  they may not understand the process required to obtain permits for repairs or the time required to remove a FULL Vacate Order. This presents a major issue for the insured when the insurance company is relying on such an “expert”. To make things worse, the structural engineer may not be experienced in the effects of a building collapse, which can only cause more delays when settling a large property damage collapse claim.

Our firm contacted a local structural engineer to assist in documenting the cause of the collapse and provide a report on how the building should be properly repaired. After reviewing our engineers report, we prepared a building estimate that was submitted to the insurance company for their review. Shortly after submitting our detailed claim for building damages the insurance company sent us their own engineer report and a building offer in the amount of $95,207.46. At that point, we reviewed the insurance company engineer report and associated estimate and quickly saw the engineer report omitted extensive ensuing damages as a result of the collapse. Our team of licensed public insurance adjusters immediately contacted the insurance company and their “experts” and sent over a list of the numerous issues with their engineer report and building repair estimate.

Due to our fierce and aggressive negotiations, the insurance company adjusters and management decided it was best to bring in another building consultant to see if they could assist in coming to an agreed scope of damages with our firm. As result of these actions, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc. ultimately came to an agreed scope of damages with the insurance company in the amount of $247,924.96, which represented a 160% claim increase for our client!

If you or your clients experience a NYC Residential or Commercial property loss arising from Water, Fire, Collapse, Damage by Adjacent Construction, Theft, Vandalism, or Construction Damage, then please call our team of local experienced & Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters at United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc. at 718-641-5677 (LOSS) or 1-866-558-5635 (LOSS).

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