Condominium Tower’s HOA Claimed Sky-high List of Damages


In the aftermath of a recent hurricane in the U.S. Southeast, the HOA of an aging, medium-rise condominium tower filed a claim with their carrier. The insurance carrier knew it needed a reliable determination of cause & origin on all the cited areas of damage and therefore called upon its complex and large property claim specialist Guardian Group.


Upon notice of the claim, one of Guardian’s engineers accessed local weather data for the reported date of loss and made his way to the subject property. Upon arrival at the condominium tower, Guardian’s forensic engineer completed thorough interior and exterior inspections, inclusive of the building’s roof. He was careful to document both those areas that had seemed to suffer damage as well as those where one would reasonably expect to find damage in a high wind event. Damages reported had included everything from the roof to the building’s series of carports as well as decorative exterior tiles and interior finishings. Historical aerial photos also helped to demonstrate any changes (or lack thereof) to the building over the decades.


While a few of the items mentioned in the claim could be traced directly to the extreme high winds associated with this storm and location, many other reported damages were actually the result of long-deferred maintenance.

One example of required repairs was damage to one specific carport column. This one column, Guardian’s report advised, did in fact need to be removed and replaced. On other carports’ columns and other structural elements, Guardian’s report cautioned that sealant should be applied to all hairline cracks to prevent water intrusion and corrosion of the interior steel reinforcement. In the case of the decorative block façade, observed damage was due to lack of maintenance and not wind or storm damage. Individual chipped or missing blocks could readily be purchased or, if needed, produced and replaced. The mortar and observed corroded reinforcement, the report instructed, should be addressed as part of an ongoing maintenance plan. Additionally, in the case of the roof’s membrane, the report spelled out that patch repairs could be made without undertaking a full roof replacement.


When your residential and commercial property claims are complex, you can count on the forensic specialists at Guardian Group, now operating as a division of the nationally recognized leader YA. Whether it’s because your property claims pose inherent, unique risks, require greater engineering expertise, or are larger in size/square footage than your standard, everyday claim, Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group answers the call for fast forensic support like nobody else can. For all your building consulting needs, kindly call on the reliable, highly experienced experts at Guardian and YA today.

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