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Last Post 02/27/2013 11:27 AM by  pondman
Question about wildfire claim
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QuitMyDayJob
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01/23/2013 6:32 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I am relatively new to the field--starting my "second career"--and I am assisting with my first wildfire claim. The homeowners live about 100 feet from a substantial burn area (forest and houses) and are claiming window damage. I have been assigned as the researcher to gather information as to whether or not such damage can result to windows from radiant heat of a wildfire. They are claiming blown seals, warping, and discoloration of the vinyl. Any suggestions on research or experiences you could share? Thanks in advance!

    Atfulldraw
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    01/24/2013 2:36 AM
    Heat and/or smoke can do all of the things that they are claiming happened to their windows.

    Whether it did or not in this case would be based on what you are seeing on site.

    I would, at the very least, photograph and examine every window on the dwelling to determine if the windows closest to the burn area look or operate differently than the windows on the the opposite sides of the building.  

     

    Are there any other damages? Smoke, soot, siding, soffit, etc?


    Rod
    QuitMyDayJob
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    01/24/2013 4:16 PM
    Thanks for the response! Yes, I do see physical damage. I can see the discoloration, warping, and there is condensation forming between the windows panes in cold weather. There is smoke damage to all interior walls, as indicated by a chemical sponge test, and there is soot on the inside windowsill of each window. The challenge is that there isn't damage to the exterior, which is painted wood siding. We are struggling with the question, can there be damage to the windows from heat but not to the wood siding? Or, are we just looking at regular wear of the windows resulting from exposure to sunlight? Any thoughts on this? Any resources that may guide us in making this determination? Thanks again!
    Atfulldraw
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    01/25/2013 3:57 AM
    Are the windows on the side closest to the burned area different from the windows on the opposite side?
    If there are any windows in protected locations (covered porches, etc), how do they look?

    Is this the South or West side of the structure ?

    To answer your question, vinyl starts to melt at about 160 degrees - the same is not true for wood siding.
    Rod
    CatAdjusterX
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    01/26/2013 12:11 AM
    Posted By QuitYourDayJob on 24 Jan 2013 04:16 PM
    Thanks for the response! Yes, I do see physical damage. I can see the discoloration, warping, and there is condensation forming between the windows panes in cold weather. There is smoke damage to all interior walls, as indicated by a chemical sponge test, and there is soot on the inside windowsill of each window. The challenge is that there isn't damage to the exterior, which is painted wood siding. We are struggling with the question, can there be damage to the windows from heat but not to the wood siding? Or, are we just looking at regular wear of the windows resulting from exposure to sunlight? Any thoughts on this? Any resources that may guide us in making this determination? Thanks again!

    ........................................

    Yes there can be damage to the windows sans any wood siding damage. Have you had any air samples taken from an industrial hygienist (probably butchered the spelling)?

    Are you working in this capacity as an IA or a PA or restoration contractor? I worked hundreds of wildfire claims in SoCal in both 2007 and 2009. There were billions in insured losses and damage. The soot, smoke damage was just huge in scale and for every risk that burned to the ground you had 50 risks inundated with soot smoke etc...

    In regard to regular wear from windows exposed to sunlight you pretty much have to use common sense, if these risks are newly constructed or within 10 years or so, damage could indeed be from a heat source. If we are looking at a risk that is 30/40/50 years old owned by Joe S**T the Rag Man, well could be deferred maintenance or regular wear

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
    ChuckDeaton
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    01/26/2013 11:39 PM
    The key is coverage, policy language, the insured should submit a supported Proof of Loss and let the insurer prove that the claimed damage was not caused by the wildfire. Once suit is filed, mediation will force payment of supported claimed damages.

    In most states if the insurer failed to provide a Proof of Loss form, Proof of Loss is not required to be presented in/on any set form.

    Use the USP to deliver the supported Proof and mail it certified, return receipt requested.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    pondman
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    02/27/2013 11:27 AM
    Putting the pressure on them again are ya Chuck.

    We, had a wildfire, the heat and flames, and soot caused my damage. Here's my proof of loss per policy language. Please advise when I can expect check.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. & Mrs. Jon Q. Policyholder
    Give them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it !
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