AI/BLC Helps the Village of Watkins Glen and Schuyler County Maintain Public Works Operations And Rebuild After Fire
In the spring of 2013, the Village of Watkins Glen and Schuyler County suffered a devastating fire to its new, 15,000-square-foot Shared Services Building. This services facility was the headquarters or central location of key departments for the county’s and village’s operations. The Adjusters International/Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro public adjusting team was chosen to manage the county’s and village’s property damage insurance claims while ensuring that public services continued unhindered. After initial offers from both insurance carriers at much lower levels, AI/BLC was able to negotiate and secure a total recovery amount of $3.2 million dollars.
A large plow spreader truck within the building’s main garage experienced a malfunction, which caused it to catch on fire. The fire spread throughout the rest of the building, destroying or damaging essentially every element of the building, including its steel structure, new office space, and electrical and plumbing systems. The destruction included extensive smoke and water damage to the building and its vehicles.
This was the county’s and village’s main shared services building. The county’s plows and vehicles, village vehicles, equipment, and supplies were stored and maintained here while 50 employees for the village and county worked out of this building for several departments — including the county Soil and Water Conservation District, the Watershed Protection Agency, and the Highway Department and the village’s Public Works Department, Code Enforcement Office, and the Electric and Street Departments.
● Services by the county and village to its communities were going to be less efficient until a solution was created and executed to get up and running quickly.
● The employees working out of this building had to be relocated to temporary offices.
● With the loss of the main garage, the sources, expenses, organization, and maintenance of replacement tools and equipment had to be determined at once.
● Both the county and village were involved in this insurance claim process. It was a unique situation of two insurance claims. The overall damages could have become a troublesome experience to separate and identify for each insured party in order to avoid duplication.
● Consistent communication about the damages, situation, and solutions had to be launched and maintained between the county and the Village of Watkins Glen to make sure recovery was not delayed.
● Both Schuyler County and the Village of Watkins Glen hired Adjusters International Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro to manage their property damage insurance claims.
● AI/BLC were hands-on in helping both insured parties create immediate, short-term, and long-term insurance recovery plans.
● AI/BLC initiated monthly and bi-weekly meetings with both insured parties to keep everyone on track and guide them every day on what to do and what not to do in the insurance claim process.
● Immediately, alternate locations and means for operation — including temporary structures — were secured while AI/BLC made sure the insured parties got paid for this under their insurance coverage. There were no out-of-pocket costs.
● AI/BLC worked with the county to discover the cause of the fire (a malfunction on a large plow spreader truck) and then worked with the carrier and its divisions to examine the machine and its parts. The truck had to be secured and taken off the premises for this, untouched.
● Our firm’s team of Public Adjusters, building estimators, and content specialists proactively got into the details of everything damaged or affected. We intricately dissected the numerous layers to accurately prove every part of the building’s damages and the associated extra expenses for each claim.
● In every step of the insurance claim process, AI/BLC advised the county and the Village of Watkins Glen on what their options were within their policies, and helped narrow those options based on the clients’ needs. This included possible building upgrades — all to be covered — when the time came to rebuild.
● With the fire causing substantial logistical and financial setbacks for the county and village, Adjusters International Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro identified and proved the true extent of the damage, confirmed that the initial valuation was highly underrated, and secured an insurance settlement of over 3 million dollars.
● This settlement was secured within four months so that our clients’ could recover sooner.
● Because of the temporary and long-term solutions provided by AI/BLC during the insurance claim, there was no loss of services to the people, families, businesses, and governing bodies of Schuyler County.
● By AI/BLC identifying options in the construction of a new building, long-term consequences were avoided. Our clients were not left with a damaged building, and instead now had the opportunity to redesign it for better functionality, the way they originally wanted it.