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Operations Update: How J.S. Held is continuing to support clients during COVID-19.

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The Effect of COVID-19 on Active Construction: Project Restarts

Though it is not yet clear how long site work will be suspended or whether certain markets will begin to open up earlier than others, there are several considerations that any Owner can take during COVID suspensions to best position their Project and Project teams...

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FEMA’s Commonly Misinterpreted ‘50% Rule’

Did you know that a residential structure is three times as likely to experience a flood than a fire over the 30-year life of a mortgage? In fact, flooding is the most common type of natural disaster in the United States and worldwide. Within the...

Technical Topics

Cyber Claims: A Guide to Calculating Business Interruption

While cyber was incorporated in some general liability policies (GL) of the 1980s, the first cyber standalone policy was written in 1997 through AIG. Though groundbreaking, as it was the first to address cybersecurity, it was a third-party liability policy only. According to Statista, standalone...

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The Effect of COVID-19 on Active Construction: Project Suspensions

As the headlines continue to rock an already stressed construction industry, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to cause further impacts, varying in both type and magnitude, on active project sites, both immediately and for the months to come. Over the last few decades, the modern...

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The Effect of COVID-19 on Business Interruption Losses

In general terms, the intent of commercial property insurance is to indemnify against losses sustained as a function of covered peril to covered property. Business interruption loss is measured as a function of continuing operations, if any, deviating from probable levels but-for such property damage...

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The Effect of COVID-19 on Time Element Claims

Time element claims, including both business interruption and rental value loss are typically measured from the date of physical damage sustained to a property until the date when the damaged or destroyed property should be put back into service. Insurance policies covering such economic damages...

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The Effect of COVID-19 on the Insurance Claims Market

In this first edition, we seek to provide a brief summary of the key topics arising from the current pandemic that will affect insurance claims. Future editions of this series will provide details into how the current situation is likely to affect claim measurement for...

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Food Forensics & Safety: It’s Not Always a Gut Feeling

You get out of bed in the middle of the night with an upset stomach and think to yourself “wow, I must have eaten something bad yesterday.” If you have done this, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates...

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Cannabis & THC: Understanding the Effects & Liability

State legalization of cannabis (i.e., marijuana) for medical and/or recreational use has spurred many questions regarding exposure concerns and drug testing concerns (e.g., what constitutes positive cannabis tests and how do results relate to impairment). Answers to these questions are applicable to: Site inspectors, whose...

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Water Damage Restoration: A Guide to Advanced Structural Drying

Advanced Structural Drying (ASD) is the effective, efficient drying of water-damaged buildings and dwellings, using comprehensive knowledge and tools. The process includes the collection of appropriate data for utilization and application of scientific and technical principles. Psychrometry - the science of drying, helps to track...

Technical Topics

Common Causes of Electric Space Heater Fires & Methods of Prevention

We all love staying warm in winter. We turn up the thermostat, burn logs in our fireplace; heat up the bed with an electric blanket, and sometimes use electric space heaters to keep the temperature cozy. When it comes to space heaters, it’s important to...

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The Impact of Construction Vibration on Adjacent Structures

In the last four decades, significant research has been performed and major progress has been made in the study of earthquakes, mining, and offshore engineering. From these advances, engineers have a better understanding of the stress-strain relationship of soils as they are affected by static...

Technical Topics

Fact or Fiction: Can You Trust Your Fire Investigator’s Report?

What separates a reliable fire cause determination from just another speculative opinion? An objective report rooted in scientific facts. In this report, we will examine key considerations that must be top of mind when developing or reviewing investigative reports following a fire....

Technical Topics

The First Step in a Proper Site Evaluation: Health & Safety Analysis

While some hazards are readily visible and easily noticeable, others are hidden. Whether it’s a roof evaluation or a major fire to a manufacturing plant, being properly prepared for site hazards with adequate equipment for access and personal protective equipment (PPE) is paramount. But how...

Technical Topics

The Vulnerability of Dams: A Rising Threat to Life & Property

There is an increasing risk of dam failures which result in loss of life and property throughout the United States. As metropolitan areas continue to grow there is greater need for stormwater control and a reliable source of clean drinking water, which dams can provide...

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How Technology is Revolutionizing Complex Roofing Assessments

Whether a commercial roof with massive expanses that cover acres of area or a single-family residential structure with two roof slopes, combining expertise with cutting-edge technology better supports the scientific analysis of roofing matters. ...

Technical Topics

HVAC & Refrigeration: What To Look For & Where

Heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) equipment is often included in building damage loss claims or forensic building assessments, especially those system components that are installed outdoors. If you write or review large estimates, this paper will explain the most common HVAC&R systems and how...

Technical Topics

Environmental Considerations in the Claims Process

Following notification of impact to a property through the claims notification process, restorers are regularly called upon to make necessary initial decisions regarding water extraction and drying and impacted material removal. Prevailing documentation, including the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC’s) S500 Standard...

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Hairline Cracking Within Concrete Block Walls

Hairline cracking within concrete block walls, often referred to as stair-step cracking or mortar joint cracking, is an example of an imperfection or distress but does not typically compromise structural integrity. Hairline cracking within concrete block walls is the result of internal stresses resulting from...

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Environmental Issues Following a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters occur all over the world, and with the presence of 24-hour media, we often have a close-up view of the conditions following a disaster. These disasters can have significant environmental consequences, posing risks to human health and property, which need short- and long-term...

Technical Topics

Infrared Testing

Infrared Thermography is the process of acquiring and analyzing thermal image information captured by a non-destructive thermal imaging device, often referred to as an infrared camera or an IR camera. These devices detect the heat energy emitted and reflected by objects and present this information...

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Exposure Analysis: The Performance Bond Cost to Complete

When faced with a performance bond claim, the Surety will often seek to determine its overall exposure or expected loss. Once determined, the Surety can use this information to make educated decisions as to how to address its obligations under the bond. The analysis to...

Technical Topics

Do Hail-Caused Dents “Damage” Steel Roof Panels?

Following a hail storm, adjusters, engineers, and roofing consultants are often brought in to inspect roofing systems. In instances involving galvanized steel roof panels, the term “damage” is often used (or misused) to describe conditions following a hail event. In reality, the consultant can tell...

Technical Topics

Keys to an Effective Project Scope

Effectively determining scope is the most important task for a building consultant. Without an accurate scope of work, a definitive cost estimate cannot be completed. An accurate scope includes determining an accurate quantity of damages, grade/quality of materials, and pertinent jobsite conditions....

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Storm Damage Repair Requirements

When performing inspections of buildings or structures after a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane, several types of damage conditions may be encountered. The unpredictability of storms can present many challenges when determining how to repair a storm damaged structure, a few examples of which...

Technical Topics

Ice Dams - Formations and Fixes

As we approach the cooler change of seasons, we look forward to many things; the stunning change of foliage, football, and atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes, more commonly known as snow. If you live in the north...

Technical Topics

Does the Building Code Apply to Mobile Homes?

Mobile home, Manufactured Building, Manufactured Home, Premanufactured Home, Single-Wide, Double-Wide, Trailer; these are all words we tend to use to describe the semi-permanent, transportable, economical structures that many people simply call “home.” However, it is these terms that create the confusion we face when identifying...

Technical Topics

Uses and Abuses of Testing Application Standard TAS 106

The forensic engineering and roof consulting community is seeing a number of individuals recommending the use of the Florida Building Code’s Test Application Standard TAS 106 (Standard Procedure for Field Verification of The Bonding of Mortar or Adhesive Set Tile Systems and Mechanically Attached, Rigid...

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Project Monitoring - The “Eyes & Ears” of Construction

A Project Monitor is key on projects incorporating national remediation and/or construction companies. The potential of large time and expense invoicing or extended production schedules is greatly reduced with the presence of a Project Monitor. The importance of a Project Monitor is to keep the...

Technical Topics

Florida Building Code 25% Rule (Roofing)

An in-depth review of Florida’s 25% Reroofing Rule and how it impacts repair and replacement. ...

Technical Topics

Equipment Costs - Civil Construction

In an ideal world, the insurer will be notified of a builder’s risk loss in a timely manner and prior to completion of repair work. This allows for discussions with the contractor on appropriate methods of tracking incurred repair costs and the documentation that will...

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Defining Indemnity in the Context of Actual Cash Value Calculations

The concept of indemnification for loss is at the core of property insurance reimbursement. Insurance policies are designed to put the policyholder in the same position he or she would have been in had no loss occurred. In the modern era, however, insurers have created...

Technical Topics

Evaluating Equipment Replacement Costs for Gas Station Losses

In recent years, evaluation of damage to gas station equipment is one of the most highly requested reviews the J.S. Held equipment division receives. Fuel station technology is evolving rapidly. Fuel dispensers, underground storage tank monitoring systems, and point of sale systems are closely integrated...

Technical Topics

General Electrical Safety

This white paper is intended to cover general electrical safety information in relation to understanding electrical systems and best practices in being safe around electrical equipment. This is not an in-depth study of all requirements for electrical safety procedures and practices, but more of a...

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The Appraisal Process: An Outline for Making Awards Useful & Final

Over the past decade, appraisal has become a popular method to settle disputes regarding the value of a loss. Its main perceived advantages over litigation are that it is considered fast, inexpensive, and relatively final. But one of the most widely held criticisms of the...

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The What, When & How Much of General Conditions (Overhead) and Markup (Profit)

Overhead and profit (or O&P as it is most often referred to) is frequently a misunderstood term. It can often be the subject of misapplication and dispute, and in connection with the alleged custom and practice in the insurance claims world, has become the subject...

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Builder's Risk - Measuring Delay

Measuring delay from a loss under a builder’s risk insurance policy is perhaps the most complicated of all time element measures in the claims world. Setting aside the numerous complex issues of coverage, builders risk time element losses require a complete understanding of the period...

 
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