Pinnacle Limited - The Preeminent Authority on Forensic Roof Analysis



 

INTRODUCTION
On April 5, 2003, the fifth costliest weather event in the State of Texas’ history struck the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  As a large severe thunderstorm system moved across the area, it pounded area homes and businesses with destructive hail and high winds.  With nearly $900 Million in damages, it is the 2nd costliest hail event in Texas history.  Unfortunately, statistics don’t always pave the way for a fair and equitable insurance claim settlement.  As one DFW property owner/manager found out, hail damage is the most difficult type of damage to prove.  The level of subjectivity involved makes each assignment unique with its own set of obstacles and factors to address.

CASE DESCRIPTION
Five separate commercial structures totaling nearly 100,000 SF of roof area located in various areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  The roofs consisted of modified bitumen and built up ballasted roof systems.  All five structures where located in verifiable hail swaths and had appeared to be impacted by hail ranging up to the size of golf balls.  After having their insurance claim for damages denied by the insurance carrier on all five structures, an industry peer referred the insured to Pinnacle Limited.  Following our initial cursory inspection, we formed the opinion that the insurance company wrongfully denied the claims for damages.  Our inspection revealed sufficient evidence to warrant replacement of the roof systems on all five commercial structures.

ISSUES
The biggest issue in the mind of the insured was that the adjuster had already been out to each location and inspected the roofs.  Furthermore, the insured’s roofing contractor of record was present during the adjuster’s inspection in an attempt to represent the insured’s interest and negotiate the settlement on the insured’s behalf.  Our research and inspection revealed that the original adjuster made no attempt to sweep back large areas of gravel ballast to inspect the condition of the roof mat, nor were any test cuts made on either roof type to inspect or test potential hail impacts to the roofing membrane.  The insurance adjuster offered no documentation supporting his decision to deny the claim for damages.

SOLUTIONS APPLIED
Upon receiving the assignment, we performed an intrusive inspection of each roof documenting the resultant condition of the roofs following the storm and located test cut areas to remove samplings for further analysis under a controlled environment.  Following our due diligence, we contacted the insurance carrier’s assigned adjuster and requested a re-inspection with our team.   The insurance carrier responded by retaining the services of a structural engineer to inspect the property and provide a report of his findings to the insured.  We met with the structural engineer at each location and presented our findings.  The engineer submitted a report to the insured confirming the original adjuster’s findings agreeing the roofs had sustained no damage from the hail event.  We then invoked the insured’s right of Appraisal under the terms of the policy.  During the Appraisal process, we met with the insurance carrier’s assigned representative and the mutually agreed upon umpire and walked them through the field conditions of each roof, presented our documentation, testing data, and research.

OUTCOME
Our presentation and knowledge during the appraisal process including our written response to the engineer’s report contradicting his findings allowed us to convince both the umpire and the insurance carrier’s chosen appraiser that the roofs were damaged beyond repair from the recent hail event and warranted full replacement.  Our efforts afforded a settlement of over $692,000.00 to the insured.

 

QUICK CONTACT

Pinnacle Limited
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters
& Loss Consultants

Executive Office
2150 South Central ExpresswaySuite 200
McKinney,Texas 75070

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3188 McKinney, TX. 75070

Phone: 1.800.918.7840
Fax: 888.370.6021