Big Structural Trouble in The Big Easy?
Warehouse in Louisiana is the site of an alleged hurricane related property claim



In the wake of recent major hurricane, Guardian received a call from one of its insurance carrier-clients on behalf of a Louisiana policy holder. This owner of a 5,000 sf commercial building (a warehouse) had already filed a claim, and commenced work, repairing his roof and plywood decking. But he expressed concern to his insurance company that the hurricane may have caused structural damage that he also wanted fixed. The insurance carrier immediately recognized the need for an expert whose skills and experience would properly address any lingering issues and called upon longstanding forensic property claim expert Guardian Group.


Guardian’s engineer obtained site-specific weather data and rapidly deployed to the warehouse. The roof repair was well under way and the deck work had already been completed. In addition to thoroughly inspecting both the exterior and interior of the building, he examined and took possession of roof photographs the insured had taken. (The damage depicted in the photographs was no longer visible.) In the course of the investigation Guardian’s engineer took note of several cracks in the stucco as well as a single stair-step crack in a CMU (concrete masonry unit) wall.


The final forensic report summarized Guardian’s expert’s observations and conclusions. By consulting with online historical photos and seeing identical cracks he could confirm that they were not hurricane-related. While daylight was observed between the CMU wall and the sill plate of the second floor, the report explained that the top of the wall was not flat; this out-of-tolerance reflects an original construction issue, not storm damage. The report concluded that storm damage, if any, was limited to the roof and deck, and that any extant structural damage was unconnected to the most recent hurricane.


For property insurance carriers, TPAs, and adjusters, Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group facilitates claim resolution with fast and fair determinations of cause & origin. Leveraging over 30 years’ construction claims experience, our team of forensic engineers and other building professionals issue clear and concise reports that help both you and your insureds understand exactly what happened and why. Kindly call on Guardian Group today.

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