COLUMBIA RECYCLING CORPORATION
Columbia Recycling Corporation
In 2007, a catastrophic fire devastated Columbia Recycling, a carpet recycling plant located in Dalton, Georgia. Over 200,000 square feet of the plant was destroyed including its machinery, equipment, stock, and business offices.
The senior owner of Columbia Recycling, Mr. Albert Goldberg, had previously utilized the adjusting services of a Member at MLA Claims. However, local ownership was hesitant to engage a “hired-gun” from the Northeast.
Local ownership attended an initial meeting with insurance company representatives. The insurance company representatives at this meeting advised that the 90% co-insurance provision contained within the applicable insurance policy would likely prevent Columbia from receiving insurance payments for all of its losses.
(Co-insurance is an insurance policy provision under which the insurer and the insured share losses incurred after the deductible is met, according to a specific formula. The formula is typically the amount of the insurance carried divided by the amount of insurance required. The amount required varies by policy, but typically ranges from 50-100% of the total values of the applicable property categories, e.g. building and/or contents. When an insured carries less insurance than required, it receives only the fraction of the actual loss sustained that the formula yields.)
Adding a wrinkle to the aforementioned complicated potential co-insurance payment penalty, Columbia was advised that an endorsement to the applicable policy issued several months prior to the fire by an agent of the insurance company, that increased Columbia’s insured values carried by $2,400,000, was in fact not approved by the insurance company itself thereby increasing the likelihood of a co-insurance penalty and/or the percentage of the co-insurance penalty. Finally, in addition to the local fire department investigation, Columbia was told that it would need to work with the insurance company’s representatives, including two adjusters, a forensic accountant, a cause and origin specialist, a machinery and equipment specialist, a subrogation attorney, a salvage expert, a civil engineer, and a construction consultant.
After this meeting, local ownership determined they were in need of professional assistance to maximize what Columbia was entitled to receive under the policy benefits, and to reduce the amount of time that was necessary to work on compiling, assembling, proving, and/or negotiating the insurance claim. The ownership wanted to appropriately focus their time and recovery efforts on resurrecting Columbia’s business from the ashes.
While Columbia’s personnel immediately selected and equipped temporary facilities, and continued business as usual with clients, vendors and employees, MLA Claims’ personnel scheduled and attended meetings and worked cooperatively with all insurance company experts to promptly secure a multi-million dollar partial payment to alleviate the cash-flow burden caused by the fire.
Once claim submissions were finalized, MLA Claims was able to arrange a settlement meeting at the insurance company’s home office to ensure that the decision-makers came to the proverbial table. Upon settling the eight figure claim, Mr. Goldberg turned to Mr. Landow and stated that, “Columbia’s business could not have recovered so quickly without MLA Claims’ assistance and the settlement was in fact going to cover all of Columbia’s losses!”