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Throwing some cold water on exaggerated fire repair costs


Guardian’s Property & Casualty claim investigation experts were recently called to the scene of an apartment fire in a small, two-story building. Luckily, there had been no fire-related casualties or injuries, and fortunately, too, for both owner and occupants, the concrete masonry unit walls of the structure had helped contain the fire’s spread. The southern state apartment owner had hired a Public Adjuster and had presented his insurance carrier’s third-party administrator with a surprisingly high estimate. Subsequently, Guardian was hired to conduct a cause and origin investigation and to independently determine appropriate costs to repair.


Guardian’s forensic fire investigation expert performed an exterior site inspection, interior inspections of two impacted units, and he also performed a roof inspection. One unit contained the majority of the damage while another unit, just below it, suffered water damage from firefighting activities.


The report issued by Guardian’s expert spelled out all observed damage and pointed to the fire’s origination point: the Master Bedroom of the second-story apartment unit. The extensive fire damage noted for this unit included partition walls, plaster, electrical wiring and fixtures, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, appliances, AC units, and doors and trims. At the exterior, broken windows and both spalled (fragmented) and smoke-stained stucco above them were documented. In the unit directly below, water stains were observed at the walls and ceiling and at the tile floor, and there was water damage to the kitchen and bath cabinetry. As for the roof, while there was notable heat damage to the roofing asphalt, this damage was limited to the area directly above the affected unit.

In order to restore the building to its pre-loss condition, Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group identified a qualified contractor and directed them in order to obtain a hard bid, a total number that was 30% less than that which was previously quoted. All parties appreciated the experience and diligence Guardian demonstrated in helping to resolve the claim both fairly and quickly.


When your property claims require construction and engineering expertise, you can count on the forensic professionals at Guardian Group, Inc. Providing plainspoken reports and reliable turnarounds, Guardian is chosen by carriers and TPAs who value both experience and expedience. For your daily claims and cat claims, and even specialized, complex claims such as fire and mechanical, you can increase both your confidence and insured satisfaction, as well as expedite resolution, when you rely on Guardian’s 30-plus years’ reputation. Kindly call on us today.

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