Insurance issues delay R.I. rebuilding after Sandy

By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Researcher

Since the remnants of Hurricane Sandy hit the Ocean State, Matthew O. Davitt and his staff of 16 have been busy helping property owners looking to rebuild homes damaged by the storm. More

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NEWSMAKER

Insurance issues delay R.I. rebuilding after Sandy

COURTESY DAVITT DESIGN BUILD INC.
PREPARED FOR IT ALL: Matthew O. Davitt, president of Davitt Design Build, says that trying to prevent storm damage is like trying to “stop the tide from coming in.”

By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Researcher

Posted 2/4/13

Since the remnants of Hurricane Sandy hit the Ocean State, Matthew O. Davitt and his staff of 16 have been busy helping property owners looking to rebuild homes damaged by the storm.

Davitt is the owner of Davitt Design Build Inc. and Property Restoration Services Inc., South Kingstown companies that specialize in coastal homes.

Since the storm, his team has been working closely with insurance adjusters to outline the scope of work for damaged properties. They are also in regular contact with town officials and agencies, such as the Coastal Resources Management Council, serving as a go-between for all parties and working to attain approval for client plans to rebuild. It’s slow work.

As of last week, Davitt had yet to get the go-ahead to rebuild on any local properties damaged by the storm that hit the Ocean State three months ago.

PBN: Hurricane Sandy was responsible for millions of dollars worth of damage in Rhode Island. Tell us about the range of projects your business has taken on as a result of the storm.

DAVITT: Property Reconstruction Services, or PROS, handles the reconstruction part of design losses, while Davitt Design Build handles the consulting. We are building consultants to insurance carriers who specialize in properties on the coast. We write the damage appraisals for the insurance carrier and in that we’ve seen everything from minimal damage where a dock or structure close to the water was taken down, or a beach walkover, all the way to flooding right through the existing houses where you have pretty much lower-level and first-level total losses.

PROS, handles property-reconstruction surfaces, which is where we do the insurance-reconstruction work. All we’ve done to date, because of waiting for projects to settle with insurance companies, has been shoring things up to make sure they’re not falling, or tarping to make sure they’re not flooding, but we have not started any rebuilding.

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