Fires to insured buildings with coinsurance clauses in their insurance policies are always challenging loss claims for insureds to attempt to manage on their own, because, by their very definitions, coinsurance clauses mean that an insured share in the insurance risk alongside of the insured.
While the Alex N. Sill Company universally believes that it brings value to an insured as the insured’s sole advocate without a conflict of interest, it is absolutely imperative that an insured retain Sill as its representative when there is a 100% coinsurance clause in the subject insurance policy.
Fortunately, Tom and Vicky Papoutsis took this advice in retaining the Sill Company for a fire to a strip center they owned, in which their policy included a 100% coinsurance clause. The day after the fire, Sill mobilized its team consisting of a former insurance company adjuster to review and analyze the insurance policy and meet with the insurance company adjuster to attempt to reach a quick understanding on the scope of the loss, an experienced building estimator to construct a detailed, line by line, item by item estimate to rebuild the building, and a forensic accountant to calculate the loss of rents (in a format that the insurance company accountants would accept) that the strip owner would experience.
The final result was that Sill was able to navigate through the coinsurance language to resolve the building claim for 100% more than the insurance carrier originally offered (even after the coinsurance penalty reduction), and also meaningfully increased the loss of rents claim to the insured’s claim.
As written by Tom and Aglaia Papoutsis:
“…and despite some initial skepticism, and after some discussions with other past clients, we decided to engage your company. Your adjuster and building estimator were knowledgeable, professional and efficient, and their work resulted in us doubling our recovery from what the insurer originally offered on the building…despite a coinsurance penalty…We honestly recommend that any other insured use your services!”
Tom & Aglaia Papoutsis
It is difficult to phrase it more accurately and succinctly than the very words penned by one of our clients/insureds, the owner of the Laundry King facility, as he writes: “To those who have just experienced a large insurance loss: If you are reading this then something wrong has happened…”
For Zachary Burkons and Laundry King, that “something wrong” was a significant fire to his commercial laundromat in Akron, Ohio. Although Mr. Burkons also is a contractor with strong knowledge about the cost of building or rebuilding a structure and additionally frequently serves as an appointed receiver for properties by the court, he quickly discovered the difficulties in contending with insurance claims. Specifically, during preliminary discussions with his insurance company he was besieged by the incredible demands for documentation and proof required as part of the insurance settlement process.
Following a referral, Mr. Burkons retained the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant. Sill’s in-house staff of former insurance company adjusters, building appraisers, contents estimators and forensic accountants quickly began putting loss estimates together on the building, contents and business loss, ultimately resulting in a recovery that was meaningfully higher than the numbers originally discussed with the carrier.
Mr. Burkons commented on Sill’s involvement:
“Close friends of mine, including one who used to be an adjuster at a major carrier counseled me that I would not see a payment on this loss in excess of $500,000, leaving me still at a loss to cover my debts. Through several months of hard work of the Sill team, they were able to settle the claim for almost $900,000. I can tell you that without the assistance of the team at Alex Sill I would have become frustrated and discouraged, likely settling for much less. The Sill team came through, maximizing recovery and minimizing inconvenience for myself so I could get back to running my life, not this claim.”[emphasis added]
Zachary Burkons, Owner
For Alberta Central of Portland, Oregon, one particular July 4th was no day for celebration. A stray flare from an Independence Day fireworks display landed on the roof of the retail center that Alberta Central had recently re-purposed with re-cycled and re-usable materials causing a major fire.
The partners of Alberta Central quickly determined that they needed professional assistance with the insurance claim, especially because they wanted to ensure the satisfaction of their tenants. They turned to the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant, with offices in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.
Employing its staff of former insurance company adjusters, building appraisers and forensic accountants, Sill set to work putting loss estimates together on the building and business loss. Initially, the insurance company’s estimate for damages was just a fraction of what the Sill Company had set forth as the loss. Ultimately, after several go-arounds, the insurance came up to Sill’s numbers, resulting in a seven figure recovery for the insured.
Nathan Celko, one of the members of Alberta Central, LLC, had this to say about Sill’s work:
“[Following the fire,] we made our standard calls to our insurance carrier and broker. And we made calls to our attorneys. It became obvious that the insurance carrier was tight lipped and had self-motives. Our broker was just that . . . a broker. Our attorneys offered some help, but more in the form of lease agreement enforcement and casualty event procedure . . . What was then clear, we needed an advocate who could speak and understand insurance policy verbiage and act on our behalf . . . [The Sill Company] were the only ones that didn’t have other motives.
“Over the course of the next five months, Alex N. Sill was instrumental in our company’s ability to retrieve the insurance dollars needed to reconstruct . . . In no way, would we have ever reached the proper settlement without their help . . . I think it’s important to fully recognize the value of a public adjuster as your complete advocate and manager of a casualty event. There is no other profession out there that can help you like they can.”
Nathan Celko, Member
The historic Parma Theater, longstanding neighborhood single screen, 1,500 person movie house which opened in 1936, suddenly caught fire and experienced significant damage to the interior of the theater. The management team included one of the Cleveland areas’ best and most successful insurance attorneys, who, utilizing his background and understanding of negotiating with insurance companies, received an offer from the insurance company to settle the damage claim on the theater.
In order to obtain a second opinion on the scope and damages to the theater, he reached out to the Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjusting and loss consulting firm. The Sill Company sent in its team consisting of a former insurance company adjuster and seasoned building and contents appraisers to review the damage estimate prepared by the insurance company. The bottom line result was a dramatically increased appraisal on both the building and contents loss and a significantly increased settlement for the insured, as clearly stated by Howard Mishkind.
“After exhausting my expertise in negotiating coverage under the insurance policy maintained on the premises, I turned to your company for further guidance and assessment of the total fire loss. I found . . . you to be extremely professional, cooperative and friendly to work with. Your expertise in resolving the balance of this claim far exceeded my expectations . . . While I am an attorney that has 33 years of experience in representing individuals in various claims involving various types of insurance disputes, I found that your expertise and attention to every single detail greatly enhanced the outcome of the matter. I would not hesitate to recommend your services to others now and in the future that have the misfortune of a serious claim . . .”
Howard D. Mishkind, Esq.
A single devastating fire wiped out 31 years of hard work and effort that the Bogues family put in to build the successful Delta Sports Center in central Utah. A well-known sporting goods store selling everything from guns and ammo to fishing gear and ATVs to clientele from all over Utah and the west, Delta Sports Center quickly burned to the ground on that summer night.
The owners, hoping that the insurance company to which they had been paying premiums for many years would treat them appropriately, believed they could manage the adjustment of the loss themselves. As stated by the Bogues: “Of course, we had insurance and thought we could handle everything . . . Within a month of the run around we realized they had their own agenda.”
The Bogues quickly realized what many insureds discover after a loss — that providing financial support for the loss that is acceptable to the insurance company and meets the required burden of proof is too burdensome and difficult for an inexperienced claimant. Soon thereafter, the Bogues decided that their only viable course to recover the fair value of their loss was to hire the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjusters and loss consultant. As the Bogues further stated:
“We did some research on our own and believed the [Alex N. Sill Company] were a good fit for what we needed.”
Utilizing its in-house, experienced staff of former insurance company adjusters, building estimators, contents appraisers and accountants, the Sill Company quickly resolved the loss claim, recovering the million dollars plus that Delta Sports was entitled to for its building, business personal property and income loss. The Bogues remarked as follows:
“To our shock and disbelief, the insurance company was not helpful or quick. At first the insurance company seemed willing and helpful. Within a couple of weeks things slowed down . . . They would request paperwork and we would submit paperwork and then again more paperwork, only to be told later it was on the wrong form. We decided we needed someone that had our own best interest at heart and decided to hire Alex N Sill Company . . . .This was the best decision we made. We wish we would have done it sooner. We truly believe that if we had not hired Alex N. Sill we would not have received all of our full benefits.”
Kevin & Julie Bogue, Owners
As reported in the Lake Zurich Courier, “When a fire destroyed a portion of the building that Midwest Motors operates out of in March, founder and President Ben Ripstein was terrified it was the end of his business.”
Midwest Motors, nationally recognized as one of the leading dealers of pre-owned, low mileage, luxury and exotic vehicles in the country, suffered a devastating fire when a heated gutter wire in its newly remodeled building sparked the event. Mr. Ripstein, self-defined as a “very skeptical” person, immediately following the fire believed like so many other insureds that he could handle the loss with the help of mitigation and board-up companies. He soon felt like he was being taken advantage of and retained the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant.
Led by its Chicago, Illinois office, Sill Company immediately set to work with its own in-house staff of former insurance company adjusters, building estimators, contents appraisers and certified financial accountants. As a result of Sill’s efforts adjusting the fire insurance claim, Midwest Motors received a seven figure insurance settlement.
The next step for Ripstein was reconstruction of his facility, which when completed, was feted with a magnificent celebratory event. So, good emerged from bad for Midwest Motors. Said Ripstein:
“Public adjusters have a bad name, but I vetted them, and Sill helped me negotiate with the insurance company to make sure I was treated fairly. And that, right there, is what kept me in business. I don’t know how to fully express my gratitude . . . I accredit you and your company for educating me, keeping me informed, and diligently working to make sure my claim was handled in the most efficient way . . . In fact, I regret not hiring your firm on the spot. It might have mitigated some other problems that arose in the beginning, prior to me retaining your company.”
Benjamin Ripstein, President
Just two weeks from celebrating its 20th anniversary, a well known wine and import store was the victim of a mishap by the electric company causing a fire, which began on the roof, and quickly spread to the store below, causing extensive smoke and water damage to Riverside Wine and Imports in Kent, Ohio. In addition to structural damage to the building, the contents, the wine, was destroyed.
The owner, Robert Morson, had never experienced a fire before. His first call was to his insurance company, but not until a fireman asked him “who was going to do his board up” and a restoration company was already on site. This incident was quickly becoming a nightmare.
Through fortuitous means, very shortly thereafter, Mr. Morson met with the Alex N. Sill Company, generally recognized as the leading public adjusting firm in North America. Immediately, the need for his own advocate clicked. He hired the Sill Company, and, as it is written, the rest is history! Using its in house team of adjusters, building estimators, contents estimators, Sill quickly settled the fire loss very successfully. It cannot can be better put than by Mr. Morson, the insured, himself:
“This is what I learned. A public adjuster is the only licensed entity that can negotiate for you (the insured) against the insurer, your insurance company. Alex N. Sill has been in business since 1928. Their staff understands the insurance business. They understand …depreciation of the contents that are destroyed. They understand what can be replaced or just cleaned by your insurance company. They can and will document everything to help you get the most from your insurance dollars and that you have coming to you and that you are covered for. They will negotiate, argue, fight for you. My question to anyone who doesn’t meet with a public adjuster, and my choice and only choice would be Alex N. Sill, is this; How can you the insured go up against the insurer, your insurance company and get the maximum you deserve without having a clear understanding of what they can and will pay? That’s how I made my decision. It’s the best decision I could have made.”
Robert Morson, Owner