Insurance Coverage for Collapse

You just bought your dream property— investing time, effort, and resources into making it a reality. Yet, amidst the joys of ownership lies the uncertainty of potential structural disasters. Enter collapse coverage, a policy feature often overlooked, but essential in shielding your investment. Learn about the depths of this coverage type, demystifying its significance, and empowering you to navigate your policy with confidence.

Do I Need Collapse Coverage?

Collapse coverage protects policyholders from financial losses resulting from the sudden and unexpected collapse of a building or a part of the property. This collapse could be due to various reasons, including structural defects, hidden decay, or other covered perils. Collapse coverage typically comes in two forms: broad and narrow.

Broad Collapse Coverage

Broad collapse coverage offers protection against a wide array of causes, including hidden decay, insect or vermin damage, and weight of contents. This comprehensive coverage ensures that policyholders protect their property from a broad range of potential risks.

Narrow Collapse Coverage

Narrow collapse coverage requires proof of a specific cause, such as fire, explosion, or perils explicitly listed in the policy. This type of coverage is more specific in its requirements, but still offers essential financial protection in the event of a collapse.  

What Does This Look Like in Your Policy?

One fundamental aspect to consider is how your insurance policy defines collapse. Definitions can vary significantly depending on the policy and carrier. While some policies define collapse as an abrupt falling down or caving in of a structure, others may include substantial impairment of structural integrity. Understanding how collapse is defined in your insurance policy is key when it comes to protecting your property.

Covered Causes

We recommend policyholders review the events or perils covered in their insurance policy to assess their level of protection comprehensively. Covered causes may encompass structural defects, insect or vermin damage, the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, and specific natural disasters, among others. By understanding these covered causes, policyholders can better anticipate and mitigate potential risk to their property.

Exclusions

Similar to other insurance coverages, collapse coverage has a set of exclusions that can limit what it will cover. Common exclusions include gradual deterioration, wear and tear, settling, and maintenance related issues. These exclusions highlight the importance of routinely maintaining your property. Being aware of these exclusions allows you to understand the extent of the coverage provided by the policy and any potential gaps that may exist.

Why Your Property Needs Structural Protection

Collapse coverage provides policyholders with financial protection against unforeseen structural failures that could result in significant repair costs. Property owners may face substantial expenses to repair or rebuild damaged structures without this coverage type.

Review Your Policy

To ensure adequate protection, we recommend policyholders carefully review their insurance policies and understand the terms and conditions of their coverage. They should also consider consulting with a qualified insurance professional to assess their coverage needs and make informed decisions. To have your policy thoroughly reviewed by our team of licensed professionals, submit your policy here: https://premier-claims.com/policy-review/

Collapse coverage is a vital component of property insurance, offering protection against unexpected structural failures. By understanding what their insurance policy entails and ensuring they are adequate coverage, policyholders can protect their properties accordingly. Knowing that you’re financially protected in the event of a collapse, is the peace of mind every property owner deserves.

Review Policy & Inspect Property Before a Hurricane

To protect yourself in the event of a future hurricane, one of the most important ways you can prepare is by reviewing your policy coverage. For Hurricane Preparedness Week, we will outline a few of the key aspects to consider in your policy: deductible, building coverage, and the importance of inspecting your property with photo documentation.

Deductible

Hurricane coverage deductibles are either be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the insured value. Percentage deductibles are more common as they will not increase premiums as much as a fixed dollar amount deductible. However, if you’re located in a hurricane prone area, it is crucial to know what type of deductible is in your policy and the financial responsibility you would have if a hurricane damaged your property. 

For instance, say you have $400,000 in coverage to your building and your policy has a 2% deductible. After a hurricane, your insurance claim is settled at $50,000 for property damage, but you receive a check for $42,000 — You’re responsible for paying the percentage deductible of $8,000 out-of-pocket to restore your building. 

Reviewing of policy information.

Building Coverage

Building coverage is an essential part of any policyholder’s insurance policy. It provides protection for the structure of your home, including the roof, walls, foundation, and other structures such as a garage or shed. In the event of a hurricane, this coverage will help you repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged.

The amount of building coverage you need will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your home, the materials it is made of, and the cost of construction in your area. As a general rule, you should have enough coverage to rebuild your home from the ground up if it is completely destroyed. An Actual Cash Value policy pays what your property is worth today, whereas a Replacement Cost Value policy will pay the cost to repair or replace your property without deducting for depreciation. To learn more, visit our blog “What is Recoverable Depreciation?” 

Flood Damage Insurance

Another factor to consider when purchasing building coverage is whether your policy includes coverage for flood damage. Flooding is a common occurrence during hurricanes, and it can cause significant damage to your home. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may want to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy to ensure that you are fully protected.

Coverage Limits and Exclusions

When purchasing building coverage, it’s important to read your policy carefully and understand the coverage limits, and exclusions. For instance, a roof exclusion could specify that the insurance carrier will not pay for damages to the roof as a result of wind or other events, such as a hurricane. A cosmetic exclusion could put you at risk of having to justify the necessity for repairs or replacement if the insurance carrier classifies the damage as cosmetic. 

Policy Requirements

You should also be aware of any requirements your insurance company may have for hurricane preparations, such as installing storm shutters or reinforcing your roof. Failure to do any hurricane preparations can put you at risk for a denied or underpaid claim. Read more in yesterday’s blog “Prepare before the storm” 

Aerial view of roof inspection on commercial property.

Property Current Condition

One of the most important steps that is often overlooked by policyholders is to get their property inspected and take pictures before a hurricane hits. Doing so can provide solid evidence of the condition of their property before the hurricane and make it easier to assess the damage caused by the hurricane.

Here are a few reasons why it is essential to get your property inspected and take pictures before a hurricane:

The Good News

Our team provides free policy reviews and property inspections. If you have concerns over your current insurance policy, our team of legal experts will complete a thorough review and outline potential gaps in coverage or risks. Our inspection & adjusting team will gather the necessary documentation and pictures required prior to any hurricane damage. In addition, we will continue to monitor your property, and in the event you experience severe damage, we begin the claim process on your behalf immediately to get you paid faster. Contact us today to get your free policy review and inspection!

 

Negotiations Lead to a Full Roof Replacement and Warrantied

Edwards Electrical & Mechanical

Indianapolis, Indiana
Hail & Water Damage
January 2022


Facing an insurance carrier that was only willing to approve minor spot repairs and attribute the issues to old damage, our team swung into action. Leveraging detailed evidence from our on-site investigations, along with storm data and policy coverage specifics, we successfully negotiated a complete roof replacement. This victory not only addressed the immediate concerns but also furnished the policyholder with a brand-new, warrantied roof.


Insurance Carrier Offer: $8,990

Premier Claims Settlement: $2,039,000

 

Insurance Carrier Denial Turned into a $1.16M Final Settlement

Confidential Religious Center

Orlando, Florida
Hail Damage
April 2021


From the start, our team uncovered undeniable evidence of hail damage to the 1,020-square metal roof. In an attempt to stall the process, the insurance carrier issued a ‘reservation of rights’ letter, suggesting the claim might not be sufficiently covered by the policy. They also sent an engineer and their own adjuster for further evaluation. To counter this delay tactic, we conducted a thorough legal review of the policy to confirm coverage and compiled a comprehensive estimate based on our investigations. Despite an ACV policy with endorsements, we successfully negotiated a final settlement of $1,162,000 for a complete roof replacement. After the settlement, and considering the property’s age, we advised the policyholder on upgrading to an RCV policy for more comprehensive future coverage.


Insurance Carrier Offer: Stated No Coverage Available

Premier Claims Settlement: $1,162,000

 

 

Underpaid Claim for Condo Association: Premier Claims Doubles Settlement

Winding Waters Condo Association

Oswego, Illinois
Hail & Wind Damage
June 2019


Initially, the insurance carrier did not fully recognize the value of the claim, leaving crucial damage underfunded. Our expert team stepped in, meticulously aligning the claim elements with code requirements and policy coverage. Through comprehensive documentation, we showcased the true costs of materials and labor, successfully boosting the claim’s value to its rightful amount.


Insurance Carrier Offer: $842,000

Premier Claims Settlement: $1,910,000

 

 

Apartment Claim Initially Denied: Premier Claims Settles at $2.23M

Tudor Heights Apartments

Omaha, Nebraska
Hail Damage
April 2019


After the insurance carrier initially denied the policyholder’s claim, our team was called in for an expert second opinion. Following a thorough inspection, it became clear that not only was the damage significant but it was also covered under their policy. As a result, the 420-unit apartment complex received comprehensive upgrades, including full roof replacements, new siding, and updated HVAC units, along with additional coverage for outdoor content for the residents.


Insurance Carrier Offer: Claim Denied

Premier Claims Settlement: $2,227,000