NATURAL DISASTER CLAIMS

Ursuline College
Cleveland, Ohio

Winds topping 110 miles an hour struck Ursuline College, the first women’s college established in Ohio and one of the first established in the United States, causing devastating damage to several buildings. Among the buildings damaged was the O’Brien Center, the centerpiece of intercollegiate athletics on the 100 acre campus in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the loss claim from the tornado with its insurance company, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland retained the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjusters and loss consultant, to help evaluate its options under its insurance policy. Sill was charged with calculating its building, contents and business income losses and to present the findings to the insurance company. The Sill Company quickly and successfully appraised the loss resulting in a very successful loss settlement on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and Ursuline College.

“Your firm was quick to extend an offer of support to us at this important time and helped us to assess our insurance options. After joining our cause, Alex Sill provided us a well experienced and professional support team. Your team worked seamlessly with the staff of the college and was dedicated to restoring the college to full operations quickly.

“After tough negotiations with insurance representatives, supported by detailed analysis and facts that your team assembled, your experts were able to negotiate a fair settlement and timely payment of our claim. Based upon our experience, I can confidently recommend the services of Alex Sill to colleagues that encounter unfortunate insurance losses such as ours.”

David S. Steiner, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Lake Local Schools
Millbury, Ohio

A devastating tornado struck the Lake Local Schools in Toledo, Ohio, the day before the planned graduation ceremonies, ripping through and destroying most of the high school. Superintendent Jim Witt established the goal of getting things back to normal as soon as possible, including re-building the school and having students back into the facility.

Mr. Witt recognized the insurance loss claim was huge and complex. After consultation with and approval from the school board, Superintendent Witt quickly made the important decision to retain the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant, to spearhead adjustment of the loss. Utilizing its in house staff of insurance adjusters, building appraisers and contents estimators, the Sill Company immediately took charge of the claim, calculating damages to the building and property and measuring the claim with Lake’s insurance carrier. Despite the enormity of the destruction and loss, the Sill Company quickly and methodically worked through the claim, finally settling the loss for approximately $26 million.

As stated by Superintendent Witt:

“Our high school was destroyed by a tornado and one of the first moves that we made, in the aftermath, was to hire a public adjusting firm to represent us in the resulting insurance claim. In retrospect, it was possibly the best decision that we made in the last twenty-six months. In my opinion, the team of experts that we worked with from Sill maximized our insurance claim and in an incredibly timely manner [emphasis added]. The Sill Company communicated regularly with us, they offered advice, encouraged us to ask questions, and understood our dilemmas and the challenges facing us with a professional and caring attitude. It is without hesitation that I would recommend the Alex Sill Company as a public adjusting firm.”

Jim Witt, Superintendent

Americare Systems, Inc./Eureka Nursing Home
Eureka, Kansas

Tornado season can be rough through the “breadbasket” of America. So, when a tornado swept into Eureka, Kansas during the summer, no one was surprised. What caused concern though was the fact that the tornado “swept away” an entire wing of the Eureka Nursing Home. Recognizing the nursing home’s dual-faceted goals of: 1) Getting up and running the full nursing facility with the least amount of disruption to their normal daily schedule (in order to continue to serve their patients’ needs), and 2) ensuring that they fully recovered all of the damages incurred by the home, almost immediately following the storm, despite the fact that the nursing had previously handled all of its property insurance claims, albeit smaller claims, internally, Eureka reached out to the Alex N. Sill Company, North America’s leading public adjuster and loss consultant.

Launching a team made up of a seasoned professional adjuster, who formerly worked for a major insurance company, along with an experienced building appraiser, and a skilled forensic accountant, the Sill Company quickly estimated the building damages, as well as the lost business income. Facing an insurance company that didn’t want to recognize any loss of income, Sill was able to overcome every objection and successfully settle that portion of the loss, along with recovering a sizable amount on the building damages.

James E. Reiker, Senior Vice President of Finance for the parent company Americare located in Sikeston, Missouri, wrote:

After a discussion with the owner of our company, we decided that we would place a call to Alex N. Sill Co. to assist us with the claim…In the past we had handled all of our claims internally, but due to the size of the claim and the fact that there would be a large loss of income amount, we felt it best to use a professional to help us in the process. Michael Hickle began working with us from the outset of the claim and made the whole process as easy as it possible could have been. The entire Sill group was professional in their contacts with us, as well as their interactions with our insurance company. Not only did we receive all we should have on the actual property claim…we also received more than we believed we would on the loss of income claim. This was due to the staff at Sill.”

James E. Reiker, Senior Vice President of Finance

Mahogany Run Condominium Association
St. Thomas, USVI

Two category 5 hurricanes, Hurricanes Irma and Maria, struck various islands in the Caribbean during the fall of 2017, laying devastation to significant parts of many of those islands. One of the islands so devastated was St. Thomas, USVI. And one of the properties significantly damaged was Mahogany Run Condominiums.

Adjusting a significant loss (or any loss) in the Caribbean islands carries with it particular challenges, such as difficult access to the islands, primitive living conditions during the adjustment, the limited number of carrier or independent adjusters located locally, the particular pricing of labor and materials on each island due to the local scarcity of both, the particular insurance adjusting laws in force at the time of the hurricane or promulgated in response to the hurricane, and the out of pocket costs incurred by an adjusting firm in managing a loss in the islands. In short, there are very few public adjusting firms in the Western Hemisphere qualified and substantial enough to effectively and professionally adjust such island loss claims.

Recognizing all of those challenges, the Mahogany Run Condo Board elected to retain Alex N. Sill Company, North America’s leading public adjusting firm, to assist with the adjustment of their very major claim following the hurricanes, based upon Sill’s long historical experience in handling hurricane claims in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Sill responded by chartering private flights for its adjusting and estimating professionals so that they could gain access to St. Thomas immediately following the hurricanes’ strikes in order to provide immediate response to its island clients. That proactivity provided Sill with a headstart on its adjusting activities, ultimately allowing Sill to quickly settle the Mahogany Run Condo claim for a mid-eight figure amount, to the high satisfaction of the Board, allowing the Board to timely begin the process of rebuilding!

As written by Angela Callwood, General Manager of the Mahogany Run Condominium Association:

“This team…was professional and aggressive and worked hard to deliver the highest possible settlement for the Mahogany Run Condo Association. We found the [Sill] team to be always readily available to meet us…[Sill] went above and beyond and even assisted after the claim was settled.”

Angela Callwood, General Manager

Wolf Investors LLC
Beachwood, Ohio

The adage that “improbable events happen all the time” was never more true than in the case of one of suburban Cleveland, Ohio’s most prestigious apartments, Sherri Park Apartments. The property includes two beautiful multi-floor apartment buildings. Within a six month period, one of the buildings suffered significant damage from a gas explosion and resulting fire while the second building suffered serious damage when it was caught in the path of the winds of Hurricane Sandy that swept across Lake Erie.

After consulting with its long time law firm, Baker Hostetler, the insured retained the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant, to prepare building damage and loss of income calculations and adjust both claims on its behalf. Sill’s team, composed of a former insurance company adjuster, a 40-plus year building appraiser and estimator and a seasoned forensic accountant was dramatically successful in its representation of the insured. Their efforts resulted in settlements on the two losses in excess of $10 million.

Sill’s work was lauded by the insured’s Chief Financial Officer, who commented below:

“I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Alex N. Sill Company . . . for your assistance with the claims process following these losses. Both losses were multi-million claims. Without the expertise of the Sill Company, navigating through the complexities of settling such large claims would have been extremely difficult. Your team was always responsive and looked for creative ways to ensure the best possible result for us . . .

“I would recommend, without hesitation, Alex N. Sill Company to those that have suffered a loss and require the service of a public adjuster.”

Michael T. Holowaty, Chief Financial Officer

Marlborough Building
Freeport, Grand Bahama

Hurricane Matthew swept through a very narrow path that included the Bahamas and parts of the eastern seaboard of Florida, including the Daytona Beach area, in the fall of 2016. With experience handling significant international insurance claims (including non-domestic policies with language that is literally, foreign to American adjusters), the Alex N. Sill Company was called to the Bahamas to assist in the property damage claim adjustment for numerous insureds. One such insured, the Marlborough Building, located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, had its roof almost entirely destroyed due to the strong winds and ensuing rains.

Recognizing that their expertise was not in valuing damages to building and putting together an insurance claim, within days of the hurricane damage, the Marlborough principals retained the Sill Company to “step into its shoes” and handle the claim for them. Despite the international language contained in their policy, and despite working with an adjuster whose home base was not the United States, utilizing its in-house adjuster and building estimator with experience in the Islands, Sill was able to achieve a very quick and beneficial settlement for the insured. As stated by Steve Raad, Managing Director of The Marlborough Building:

“We knew we had insurance, but our immediate concern was being able to negotiate with the Insurance Company to obtain a fair and equitable assessment…We can say without a doubt that the Alex N. Sill Company team…[was] very helpful and professional, and acted in our best interest. They managed the difficult process of negotiating with the Insurance Company to our great satisfaction. Thank you Alex Sill Company for a job well done.”

Steve A. Raad, Managing Director

Point Pleasant Villa Owners Association
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Hurricanes Irma and Maria laid waste to selected Caribbean islands last fall. The US Virgin Island islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix sustained significant damage in selected areas, as did the islands of St. Maarten and Puerto Rico.

Handling property losses on hurricane ravaged islands involves significant and different challenges than those on domestic losses. Travel to the islands during the winding down of a hurricane can be hazardous, and is accompanied by a lack of creature comforts, such as adequate housing, food, water and electricity. Fortunately for our insured clients, the Alex N. Sill Company, North America’s premier Public Claims Insurance Adjusting company, has years of experience managing and overcoming these issues in servicing our clients’ hurricane losses. Hurricanes Irma and Maria were no different. Utilizing various means such as private helicopters and private planes, the Sill team of adjusters, building consultants and contents estimators, accessed the islands even while the hurricanes were still raging, and immediately engaged with our clients on the ground.

One such client, the Point Pleasant Villa Owners Association on St. Thomas, had incurred significant damage to the various condominium structures on the property. Immediately after being retained, Sill swung into action, employing its adjusters, accountants, and attorney to review and summarize the provisions and limitations of the insurance policy, and its building consultants to prepare an exhaustive and detailed estimate of building damages.

The result was that a settlement for building policy limits was quickly obtained for the Owners Association. The results could have been a lot different, as we have heard through the grapevine from other losses in the islands where Sill has not been involved.

As stated by Susan Meisenhelder, Vice President of the Point Pleasant Villa Homeowners Association, in a letter to Sill:

“I want to express our sincere appreciation for your firm’s expert services regarding our insurance claim for damages to our property caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Your team developed a detailed loss analysis and advocated on our behalf resulting in a settlement that far exceeded our expectations. We could not be happier with the outcome…[Y]our firm helped us fulfill our duties as a board and minimize owner problems, which can predictably arise anytime scores of individuals are involved in an insurance claim…Having gone through this process it’s apparent to us that Alex N. Sill is highly respected in the insurance industry. You leverage your firm’s reputation and relationships to your client’s advantage to ensure timely attention to the claim and aggressively negotiate and escalate it within the insurance carrier’s organization to maximize and accelerate the settlement process.”

Susan Meisenhelder, Vice President

School of Prophetic Ministry
Freeport, Grand Bahama

Hurricane Matthew missed being the totally catastrophic event that was predicted. Don’t tell that that to the people of Grand Bahama Island.

Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane swept through the entire Bahamas range of islands, causing the greatest amount of damage to Grand Bahamas, devastating homes, businesses and churches. Pastor Frank Hagan, the Pastor of the School of the Prophetic Ministry, did not escape its force. Both his home and his church incurred significant damage during Matthew and subsequently turned to the Alex N. Sill Company, the leading Public Adjusting firm in North America and the Caribbean Islands, to help him and his church so that he could focus his attention on assisting his community following the passage of the hurricane.

The Sill team, comprised of an experienced, former insurance company adjuster with significant Cat experience, an expert and seasoned building appraiser, and an experienced contents estimator, combined to swiftly resolve both his homeowner claim and his church insurance claim to a level beyond his expectations, allowing him to focus his work on the greater community. As stated by Pastor Frank Hagan:

“[The Sill] team made certain that I could continue to focus on my duties as a pastor and…work[ed] diligently and swiftly to resolve any issues regarding our home and church building. On behalf of The School of Prophetic Ministry, my wife and I, we wish to send a heartfelt thanks to your company. May God continue to bless you.”

Pastor Frank Hagan, Senior Pastor

Equity Property Management, LLC
Merrillville, Indiana

This story is all too familiar for an insured incurring hailstorm damage. Castleton Manor Apartments in Indianapolis, Indiana, found itself in an “insurance adjusting nightmare” better known as “Insurance Catch-22” when several of its apartment buildings suffered damage to roofs due to a hailstorm.

Consider the facts: Several years earlier, Castleton suffered damage to the roofs as a result of a hailstorm. The insurance company retained an independent adjuster, which retained an engineer, which issued a report that stated that the damage to the roofs as a result of the hailstorm was not enough to warrant roof replacement and the carrier would only pay for downspouts and gutters.

A couple of years later, Castleton again was hit by a hailstorm. This time the insured hired an independent adjuster which hired an engineer which reported that the insurance company did not have to reimburse the insured for this loss, because the damage was caused by a previous storm!

So, here was an insured that had its previous claim limited for insufficient damage and the current claim denied as a result of the damage being caused from a previous loss that was limited. Sounds like “Catch-22?”

In a quandary, the insured retained the Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjusting firm and loss consultant with offices, among other places, in Indianapolis. Sill’s expert claims adjuster re-educated the carrier so that it understood that there was liability on its part . . . either for the first loss or the second. The result: a significant insurance recovery allowing the insured to replace the roofs.

As stated by the Executive Vice President of Equity Property Management (owners of the Castleton Apartments):

“When faced with extensive damage to the majority of our roofs at one Indianapolis location we were rebuffed by the insurance carrier, their adjusters and engineering consultants following two distinct yet successive claims for damages to the same roofs. Without Alex N. Sill Company’s assistance, and in particular the work of your Executive General Adjuster, we would not have successfully resolved the claim and obtained a settlement in an amount that allowed EPM to make the repairs in a proper manner.”

Kevin J. Donohoe, Executive Vice President

Krantz Management
Cleveland, Ohio

Tragically, many insureds have never heard of the business of public adjusting or the experience, skill and services public insurance claims adjusters provide that can aid and improve an insurance recovery.

That is precisely what Stuart Krantz, President of Krantz Management, a Cleveland, Ohio based real estate management firm, came to learn during two recent insurance losses, including one which resulted in an increase of nearly 300% due to Sill’s work.

As so often happens, after going a very long time without any claims, Krantz Management was hit by two sequential losses to two different properties from two different causes. First, the company suffered a fire to one of its apartment buildings. Next, Hurricane Sandy’s winds swept across Lake Erie and lifted a roof on another of its apartment buildings along the Gold Coast of Lakewood, Ohio.

In both cases, Alex N. Sill Company sent its expert team of adjusters, building loss estimators and certified public accountants to document and present Krantz’s fair claim for damages to the two separate insurance companies. In both instances, Sill’s work resulted in significantly greater recoveries than the two carriers had presented Krantz during the initial estimates.

As provided by Stuart Krantz:

“My family real estate management company recently had cause to retain Alex N. Sill Company on 2 separate losses . . . We had never heard of the Sill Company, had no plans to use them, and weren’t even aware that there were companies like Sill out there. Our insurance company, State Farm, said the damage was somewhat limited and to just a small area of the building and offered us $75,000 to settle the damages. I then learned about the Sill Company, hired you, and you ultimately settled the loss for approximately $200,000 more than State Farm’s offer! We . . . would have been lucky to get ½ of the recovery that Sill got for us.

“I will not hesitate to hire Sill again. They were excellent in communicating, returning calls, and taking the reins throughout the entire adjusting process.”

Stuart Krantz, President

The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio

The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, a charitable human relations organization dedicated to eliminating bias, bigotry and racism (the successor to the National Conference of Christian and Jews) experienced a significant flood that resulted in the destruction of some of its business personal property and the interruption of business operations. After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the loss claim with its insurance company, The Diversity Center turned to the Alex N. Sill Company’s Cleveland office to help settle the claim. The Sill Company’s team was able to dramatically increase, by 261%, the property and business income settlement over the last offer by the insurance company prior to Sill’s involvement.

Peggy Zone Fisher, President and CEO of The Diversity Center, comments:

“I wanted to express my deepest gratitude for the outstanding guidance and assistance that the Sill Company provided us on our recent insurance claim…we contacted you, but declined to retain you immediately, hoping that we could resolve this matter without professional assistance. Ultimately [after concluding] that it might be wise to hire you, your team was able to structure the claim in such a fashion as to include several costs and expenses that the carrier previously refused to include in the claim . . . Needless to say, we were very pleased with everything about the Sill Company and our settlement.”

Peggy Zone Fisher, President & Chief Executive Officer

Axiom Properties
Lincolnshire, Illinois

With over 45 years in the real estate business, Axiom Properties manages thousands of multi-family properties in the Midwest. So, when one of their properties, Willow Creek Apartments in Portage, Indiana, suffered damage due to a storm, they recognized the assistance that a skilled and experienced public adjuster like the Alex N. Sill Company could bring. Sill, being the nation’s leading loss consultant and public adjuster, brings 85+ years of handling and adjusting first party insurance losses to an insurance claim. Led by former insurance company adjusters, Sill boasts a team of building experts, contents estimators, certified forensic accountants, and an attorney. Utilizing its full cadre of in house experts, Sill turned around a loss claim that was seemingly headed nowhere and successfully brought it to settlement. As stated by Logan Johnson, Regional Manager for Axiom Properties:

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your hard work and willingness to go the extra mile for us. Recently I had the pleasure of working with the Alex N. Sill Company to assist with a large insurance claim for one of our properties. Throughout the entire process you and everyone else with your company were as helpful and thorough as possible. In the end, through your diligent work, we were able to overcome the insurance company’s resistance and collect a much higher settlement amount than initially offered. I will also be recommending the Alex N. Sill Company to others in the industry as you have set the bar for professionalism and customer service.” [emphasis added]

Logan Johnson, Regional Manager

Burton Carol Management LLC
Cleveland, Ohio

Super Storm Sandy is recognized for the havoc created up and down the east coast, especially along the New York and New Jersey shorelines. Unbeknownst to many, however, Sandy also caused meaningful damage along the shores of Lake Erie, affectionately regarded by Clevelanders as the “North Coast.”

Burton Carol, owner and manager of an extensive portfolio of apartment buildings, suffered significant damage to several of its high rise apartment buildings when the winds of Sandy swept over Lake Erie. Having had a pre-existing relationship with Alex N. Sill Company, the nation’s leading public insurance claims adjuster and loss consultant, Burton Carol immediately reached out to Sill to help with its building and business interruption insurance claims. Sill, utilizing its in-house staff of former insurance company adjusters, building appraisers and forensic accountants, set to work putting loss estimates together on the multiple properties. Sill’s efforts resulted in significant recoveries by Burton Carol on all of its damaged properties.

Said Joy Anzalone, Burton Carol’s Chief Operating Officer, about Sill’s contribution and adjustment:

“For almost 20 years, we have been a client of the Alex N. Sill Company for any large loss we may incur. I can [say] without hesitation that we would never have been able to achieve the successful level of repairs and replacements without their expertise in not only working with our insurance carrier but in helping identify issues that may not be readily seen . . . [Emphasis added.]

“Sadly when a fire occurs, not all of the damage is visible . . . but they have the most professional team of experts that respond immediately and basically hold your hand through the long and arduous process of trying to get an insurance company to do what we pay our premiums for them to do. There is no way that going it alone without the Alex N. Sill Company would net us the same recoupment dollars they achieve for us . . . The Alex N. Sill Company deserves their fee every step of the way in our eyes!”

Joy Anzalone, Chief Operating Officer

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