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  • Writer's pictureTanner Curtis

Insurance Claims After a Construction Setback

Ever dreamt of developing real estate? Well, get ready for the unexpected! Today, we're diving into the murky world of insurance claims, specifically through the lens of a (hopefully rare) construction mishap.


Multitenant building under construction

Construction projects, by their nature, are a dance with potential problems. From surprise foundation issues to rogue weather events, things can go sideways fast. Knowing how to navigate an insurance claim can be the difference between a minor setback and a financial meltdown.

Let's face it, insurance policies can be dense and confusing. The claims process itself can feel daunting, filled with paperwork and waiting games. Many people throw their hands up in frustration, leaving them on the hook for unexpected costs.

 

Here's the story of how I tackled a frustrating claim, and the steps you can take to ensure a smoother ride:

Scene: A vacant lot, primed for a new multi-tenant drive-through.  (You know I love a good drive through) Enter: Me, the proud developer, with a vision and a permit ready to go. The building is up and all we are waiting on is the switch gear to show up to get power into the building (Click here for more on the wait for power) Cue the Plot Twist: Someone rolls in under the cover of darkness, stripping the copper wire from the newly installed light poles!


Copper wire pulled from lights

My Initial Reaction: Pure outrage! Followed by a sinking feeling in my gut. Replacing those wires wouldn't be cheap, and the project was stalled without them.


Step 1: Review the Policy

We dug out our builder's risk insurance policy (a tedious task, I'll admit), and pored over the construction coverage section. Thankfully, vandalism was covered!  If you deal with great insurance agents give them a call and talk through the process with them.

Step 2: Contact the Insurance Company

Don't waste any time here. The sooner you file, the better. We needed to get a police report as soon as possible.

Step 3: Gather Documentation

This is where things got a little hairy. I needed police reports, electrician estimates, and even photos of the crime scene. In our case, this turned out to be easy. We are local to the development and got photos within hours and, luckily, the city of West Valley City has you report it online and you can get a police report instantaneously!

Step 4: Patience (Ugh!)

The claim process took some time – there were questions, reviews, and negotiations. But by staying organized and persistent, I eventually got the green light for repairs.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • Read Your Policy: Don't wait until disaster strikes! Understanding your coverage beforehand saves tons of stress.

  • Document Everything: Pictures, receipts, reports – the more proof you have, the stronger your claim.

  • Be Patient (but Persistent): Insurance companies have processes but don't be afraid to follow up if things get bogged down.


By following these steps, you'll be well-equipped to handle those inevitable construction hiccups. Remember, a little preparation can save you a lot of heartache (and money) down the road. Now, back to that development project... stay tuned for the grand opening!


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