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Last Post 12/10/2010 1:56 PM by  ChuckDeaton
Is the insured responsible to keep snow Cleaned off the roof?
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Goldust
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11/29/2010 11:18 AM

    How do the carriers look at a roof on say a camper trailer , mobile home or a regular stick built dwelling if the snow load is heavy enough to start breaking the rafter system? Would this be considered negligence on the part of the insured? How many of you have handled claims like this? What was the out come?

    JERRY TAYLOR
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    mcgrawreed
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    11/29/2010 1:00 PM
    Jerry, I've usually had these type of losses covered under the"weight of ice and snow" peril.

    But this brings up a question in my mind. Please don't take this as a smart ass question because it's not. Having never lived in an area where weight of snow is an issue (and having no desire to as well) do you clean off wet snow from your roof? Is this an accepted practice in these areas or not? I have seen those heater coils along the roofs to melt the snow but I haven't heard of homeowners who regularly broom the snow from the roof. If it is indeed an accepted practice, then you may have a point as far as negligence but I can't remember ever hearing of this being an issue.
    Steve McGraw Professional Adjuster
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    Goldust
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    11/29/2010 1:30 PM
    lets say that it kept snowing for 2 weeks steady as it can do here in Montana. I came home from working claims in California to 3.5' of very wet snow on my roof. the roof was a 4/12 pitch. Being a person who does not want an insurance claim I got up and shoveled off the roof and then inspected all my rafters in the attic.I found no damage but the lady across the street had a substantially older home that did not have truss rafters. The rafters had all split on the top end . Of course because of her age she was unable to and did not think about the snow load. her insurance company first denied the repair then they rescinded their denial because it was a covered peril as for weight of ice and snow. as per the insurance commisioner's office. Yes After the neighbors seeing me shoveling off the roof about 50% of the neighbors got up and started removing the snow.
    After that night we received a Chinook wind and the other neighbors who didn't shovel off their roof had the snow melt off from the chinook wind.
    Lets see what other adjusters feel about negligence on the part of the insured think. Maybe we have some past claims that will put some more light on the subject.
    JERRY TAYLOR
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    HuskerCat
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    11/29/2010 1:46 PM

    When I was staff for a certain carrier, they took a proactive approach to mitigate damages from heavy snows that occurred in Omaha back in about 2001 or 2002.  Prior years we had had a lot of claims from weight of ice/snow as well as ice dams in the gutters or vallleys resulting in interior water damage.  What happened was, the company advised the agents to tell their insureds that we would pay to have snow removed from the roofs if it was over 6" snowfall with drifting (which is generally the case here in Nebr with the winds).  One condition was, it had to be done by the insured or by an approved/insured contractor.  Often times the shingles would be damaged if due care was not taken, thus the reason for using the approved contractors.   As an adjuster, I did not generally see these claims since our agents were given draft authority up to $500 for those occurrences.  My involvement started when the leaks did.

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    Goldust
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    11/29/2010 2:16 PM

    Thanks for the info Mike,

    Was this a non-deductible event? the carrier just had this available coverage to mitigate roof and structure damage?

    Sounds like the carrier was on their toes and had some common sense.

    JERRY TAYLOR
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    Jud G.
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    11/29/2010 3:07 PM

    This scenario is similar to a kitchen fire accidentally started by the insured.  The loss would be covered the same way whether it was negligently/unintentionally ignited by the insured, faulty wiring (third party negligence with subro potential), or lightning (act of god/natural event).

    If that same Kitchen fire gets out of control and burns the neighbor's house, then the insured's Coverage E benefits would apply to take care of their neighbor.

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    ChuckDeaton
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    11/29/2010 3:43 PM
    Most commercial policies will pay for a collapsed roof or damage to parapets from the weight of snow.

    I worked two large claims in Denver several years ago.
    "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
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    Ray Hall
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    11/29/2010 6:23 PM

    I have almost 2 weeks experience on ice claims. so I will not comment. On the winter storm in PA. I did see the large strip shopping centers having workers up on the flat roofs... shoveling. I think most all HO and broad commercial cover this type collapse.

    I never knew about this BEST gutter material, which is ice shield until I was in Mn. one summer on a hail storm. Saw an Owen-Corning super duper roof last week put on and the new no knife valley. One of the crew puts the valley shingles over ice shield and the first cut shingle is not in the valley, but outside.This is not an eye ball operation and takes a little more planing.

    This is a  topic. Disappearing courses of shingle in less than 45 feet of ridge. I have seen as many as 6 disappear

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    wscook
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    12/04/2010 7:52 AM

    I have not been adjusting as long as some in the forum.  Where would I find "weight of ice and snow" as a "PERIL"  in a standard homeowner policy?

    William S Cook

    Public Adjuster

    William S Cook Public Adjuster/Umpire/Appraiser
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    Goldust
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    12/04/2010 11:11 AM

    I will give you a hint. if it isn't listed under the normal coverages is there another place in the policy that shows coverages???

    This is a little exercise in your research ability. keep digging you're getting closer.

    JERRY TAYLOR
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    host
    CatAdjuster.org Founder
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    12/04/2010 12:53 PM
    Just so everyone is using the same policy please use the following link;
    http://server.iii.org/yy_obj_data/b...sample.pdf
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    ChuckDeaton
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    12/04/2010 6:54 PM
    Be specific, Mr. Cook. There are several ISO homeowners policies, some named peril, some all risk except as excluded.
    "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
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    wscook
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    12/04/2010 8:48 PM

    Mr. Deaton

    I considered that we were dealing with building damages under a standard ISO policy, but lets use the one provided by Mr. Culp, as it is handy for review.

    Thanks Mr. Taylor, but I need a better hint than you have provided.  The thread is dealing with structure and not personal property, and since the peril of the weight of  3.5 feet of snow did not produce a claim on your Montana home.  Exactly what covered damage did you anticipate to your home?

    I am here to learn, I learn best when I am found to be wrong.  This forum group is one of the best learning tools in our industry, and I appreciate Mr. Culp allowing my participation and welcome all responses.

    William S Cook

    Public Adjuster

    William S Cook Public Adjuster/Umpire/Appraiser
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    wscook
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    12/05/2010 12:06 AM

    Apologies to Mr. Cupp as I spelled his name wrong.

    William S Cook

    Florida Public Adjuster

     

    William S Cook Public Adjuster/Umpire/Appraiser
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    RandyC
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    12/05/2010 1:41 AM

    The ISO HO 00 03 10 00 policy is all risk except those excluded.

    “2. We do not insure, however, for loss:
    b. involving collapse, except as provided in E.8

    E. Additional Coverages
    8. Collapse
    b. We insure for direct physical loss to covered property involving collapse of a building or any part of a building if the collapse was caused by one or more of the following:

    (1) The Perils Insured Against named under Coverage C”
    Items (2) thru (6)

    Under Coverage C perils we find: 11. Weight of Ice, Snow, Or Sleet This peril means weight of ice, snow or sleet which causes damage to property contained in a building.

    Items (2) through (6) gives coverage back for collapse for hidden decay, insect damage, weight of contents, equipment, animals or people, weight of rain, and defective construction during the construction process.


    Read language from an earlier ISO HO 00 03 04 91 It is very similar except....

    Additional Coverage
    8. Collapse. We insure for direct physical loss to covered property involving collapse of a building or any part of a building caused only by one or more of the following:

    a. Perils insured Against in COVERAGE C- PERSONAL PROPERTY. These perils apply to covered buildings and personal property for loss insured by this additional coverage.

    Note the earlier ISO policy makes it very clear that the named perils listed for Coverage C apply to “covered buildings” insured by the additional coverage for collapse. The newer policy still refers to the perils for Coverage C, but doesn’t specifically mention  the buildings.

    Building damage from weight of ice or snow short of collapse would appear covered as a risk not excluded.

     

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    wscook
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    12/05/2010 6:22 AM

    Randyc

    Since we are seeking comments from all readers regading the issue of damage to a building caused by weight of snow under the policy HO 00 03 10 00 provided by Mr. Cupp, why bring a policy to the table that we can not review and is not applicable in our review.  Since the policy does define collapse and does not define damage "short of collapse" can you define damage "short of collapse" for my  future reference, should we get a weighty ice/snow storm in Orlando, unless it is excluded of course?

    As an ever learning Public Adjuster,  I would still remain out in the cold on representing Mr. Taylor's neighbor on her loss, based on Mr. Cupp's

    provided HO-3 policy.  However I do appreciate the  extra effort that you provided to the group with the details of your response and hope that others will contribute to the thread with specific policy language.

    William S Cook

    Florida Public Adjuster

     

    William S Cook Public Adjuster/Umpire/Appraiser
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    Goldust
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    12/05/2010 8:03 AM

    mr. Cook,

     The context of this question is and was to get everyone to look up the different policies so they would know for sure what was and was not covered I am sure as you are a PA. You are use to finding the exact coverage for your insured. it is an integral part of the business as you are aware.

    The weight of the ice and snow created a claim for my neighbor lady across the street after it cracked all her rafters. That was an example of someone having damage but the question has to do also with negligence on the part of the insured. Which I explained in her claim scenario.

      i used my home as an example of what Montana people watch out for in this situation and how they handle it. Most people try to alleviate damage to keep from having to submit a claim period.

    JERRY TAYLOR
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    RandyC
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    12/05/2010 9:10 AM

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    Jerry, 

    Under exclusions:

    5. Neglect

    Neglect means neglect of an "insured" to use all reasonable means to save and preserve property at and after the time of loss.

    It seems that would trigger at the first discovery of damage.  If the insured heard cracks and moans from the burdened rafters, looked in the attic and saw the intial signs of damage, then they would be required to act in reasonable time and manner.  I leave it to others more experienced with these claims to establish any envelope of "reasonable means."  Good question!

     

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    RandyC
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    12/05/2010 9:40 AM
    Mr. Cook,

    I can't copy and paste from the policy we are reviewing; I have to rewrite...and that is prone to error. "Short of collapse" refers to the same part of the policy you refer to as "does define collapse." That would be under E8.

    The first sub-unit defines collapse as "abrupt falling down or caving in...." The next three lists damage not "considered collapse."

    (4) A building or any part of a building that is standing is not considered to be in a state of collapse even if it shows evidence of cracking, bulging, sagging, bending, leaning, settling, shrinkage or expansion.

    For Jerry's neighbor with cracked rafters, you shouldn't have to worry about the collapse exclusion. Her house is not in a state of collapse. Her rafters appear damaged by a risk not excluded.
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    wscook
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    12/05/2010 9:54 AM

    Mr. Taylor

    I agree one hundred percent in regard to the context of the question to locate covered damage.  Since your elderly neighbor did not have insurance coverage for her loss I am curious why you thought that you would have coverage for weight of ice or snow damage. I can not find insurance coverage under Mr. Cupp's speciman policy.  I would appreciate any professional responses otherwise, quoting policy language as the foundation of the response of course.  Please consider this exchange as one professional attempting to learn from other professionals and not a personal vendetta against  respected professional adjusters  that I have never met.  I monitor this forum group regularly and have enjoyed occasionally challenging claim issues over the past few years. 

    William S Cook

    Florida Public Adjuster

    William S Cook Public Adjuster/Umpire/Appraiser
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