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Vehicle Impact Investigation


Higgins & Associates was retained by a national insurance firm to determine the extent of damage to a home that resulted from a vehicle impact and to develop a repair plan, if necessary. The challenges we faced were the limited amount of information related to the original construction of the home in built 1898, and any subsequent alterations made prior to building department code and documentation requirements.         


Our investigation first determined the structure was constructed with multi-wythe masonry and conventional timber-framing with a mortared stone foundation stem wall and incorporated a gable-style roof with exterior finishes that include painted brick masonry, horizontal lap siding, cementitious stucco, and an asphalt composition shingle roof covering. Higgins & Associates determined while the structural damage was moderate and primarily limited to the south exterior wall of the home at the enclosed front porch and southeast bedroom, it did affect several structural components that compromised the integrity of those members.  We also determined the repairs would fall under the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) as adopted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.


Higgins & Associates was able to determine the extent of the damage and provided a 17-point repair plan to the insurance company limited to the damage related to the vehicle impact. This is an important point as during the investigation we also observed unrelated to the vehicle impact, aspects of the home that exhibited long-term deterioration, neglect, or that require maintenance, and code upgrades. In our opinion those maintenance and code upgrades would fall outside of the insurance company’s liability, in accordance with Section R102.7 of the 2012 IRC which reads in part “repairs to any structure shall conform to the requirements for a new structure without requiring the existing structure to comply with all of the requirements of this code”. During appraisal, the Appraiser agreed with our opinion, the insurer successfully prevailed on those items.

I was very pleased with the quick and personal attention I received on the two cases I assigned to the firm. Everyone was very knowledgeable and made it easy to reach my goal of a fair and adequate claim settlement.

Specialist Claims Manager
AGS Construction
Burg Simpson
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Farmers Insurance
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Gordon & Rees
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Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell
Jensen Dulaney
Lewis Brisbois
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Moye White
Murphy Decker
Nelson Law
Parker Lipman
Ross-Shannon & Delaney
Safeco Insurance
Stuart Morse
United Fire Group
Venturi Restoration
American Family Insurance
3.0 Management