When a fire destroyed the 295-unit senior living complex during construction, the project managers of the Reserve at Lynnwood discovered they not only had to start from scratch, but they also had a new, more urgent timeline to continue to receive federal funding for the project. To add to the struggle, AVS Communities, the developer based in Laguna Beach, California, and Exxel Pacific Construction, the contractor based in Bellingham, Washington, were not in alignment on how to process their claims; as the insurance policy insured both entities despite their distinct financial interests and responsibilities
The developer’s interests included loss of income and soft costs—such as architect fees; whereas the contractor’s interests were aligned with increased costs of construction and the cancellation and subsequent renewal of the contract. Their strategies further diverged over the issue of whether to hire a public adjuster. AVS Communities felt strongly enough that professional advocacy was essential to their recovery, whereas Exxel was inclined to try to manage their portion of the claim.
- To determine what percentage of the project had been completed, compared to the percentage that had been funded and paid for.
- To establish a method to calculate the true costs of reconstruction: either by new estimates or based on invoices and receipts for payments already made.
- To determine whether the policy included reimbursement of soft costs and extended leasing costs.
- TGC/AI's forensic accounting department was able to precisely determine the completed progress of the construction project using a complex, proprietary system developed by The Greenspan Co./Adjusters International. This forensic accounting system has been successfully utilized on multiple Course of Construction claims.
- TGC/AI's in-house construction cost estimators prepared their own estimates of what it would cost to replace the damaged property at the time of the loss, demonstrating to the insurance company that those costs would exceed the original expenditures for the construction. As a result, Adjusters International was successfully able to argue for increased payment for repair costs and reconstruction of the apartment complex.
- After re-analyzing the insurance policy, TGC/AI determined the insured was entitled to full extended leasing reimbursement and that soft costs were also insured. TGC/AI successfully argued against the insurance company’s initial position and collected the full and fair settlement within the policy limits.
The priority for the Reserve at Lynnwood’s stakeholders was a quick claim resolution to be able to continue to receive federal funding for the senior housing project. TGC/AI expedited the negotiations, enabling reconstruction to be completed within the planned deadline. Although the contractor was initially reluctant to engage a public adjuster, Exxel Pacific Construction recognized TGC/AI’s value as a result of the overwhelming settlement we obtained and has subsequently recommended TGC/AI to other companies with construction claims. The efforts of the team at TGC/AI settled the claim for $27 million, compared to the insurance company’s original proposal of $15 million.