Most of us enjoy the natural light that windows let into our homes and offices. The same windows that make rooms seem fresher, larger, and more open can also be the first items to fail when a natural disaster strikes. Behind their beauty, window systems can be one of the most complex and expensive elements of commercial and residential construction. All too often, the industry takes a simplistic “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” position that disregards the significant latent damage that can occur from high winds, hail and other natural disasters.
We have represented the owners of commercial buildings that have sustained damage to a variety of window systems including:
- Aluminum and other sunshade systems
- Aluminum panels
- Curtain wall systems
- Glazed wall systems
- Metal, composite, and terracotta wall panels
- Store front window systems
- Structural glass walls
- Window wall systems
Identifying damage to complex window and fenestration systems requires extensive experience. Even without obvious damage such as a broken or shattered element, damage can occur. Seals can fail, structural components can become compromised, and building code tolerances can be exceeded. Without a knowledgeable set of experts and attorneys, many policy holders simply accept an insurance payment that fails to provide any allowance for damaged window systems, only to discover leaks and failures when its far too late to secure compensation.
If gale-force winds damage windows, roofs, and other parts of a building, many property owners must deal with the emergency at hand. In doing so, they will do anything to avoid a prolonged battle, and cut their losses. You don’t have to deal with an insurance company alone or without a team of professionals at your side.
Natural Disasters Cause Window Damage
- Hail damage can lead to window shattering, breaking, splintering, and other repairs or replacements.
- Wind damage can come in the form of actual breakage of windows, but also can include damage to seals and the internal components of various window systems.
- Window damage will eventually cause water intrusion by leaking or flooding into your home or commercial property.
- Tornado, hail, and hurricane damage can often cause a catastrophic loss, and the wind speed and flying debris may damage a window system internally and without obvious damage to the naked eye.
- Damage to window systems can involve complex building code requirements that many insurance companies are loath to pay for.
“Not Storm-Related” And Other Bad Faith Insurance Denials
Every property damage insurance policy is a little bit different as to what it does and does not cover. We have heard every reason for the delay, denial, partial payment, or underpayment of legitimate claims. Oftentimes a claims adjuster will say that the damage is not storm-related and therefore does not merit window replacement even though every surrounding structure is getting new windows or a roof. Wear and tear, manufacturing defects, installation problems, prior damage – the insurance industry may throw out every excuse in the book to avoid timely and full payment for damaged commercial window systems.
To win damages for bad faith denial, the claimant must show that the insurance company did not properly investigate the claim and had no legitimate reason to delay, underpay, or deny it. We have won cases for denied storm damage claims, including recoveries for punitive damages on top of the actual losses. Contact Raizner Slania today for help with your window damage claims.