Are there specific instances when you can file a mechanic's lien?

As a contractor, you probably take great pride in the work you do for your clients. Whether you enjoy bringing a project to fruition or helping others in their time of need, working in the construction field can be fulfilling in numerous ways.

However, while contracting on several projects with a wide variety of people, you probably want to do everything you can to protect yourself and those who work with you. Although you take every possible safety precaution, you may need to protect yourself financially as well. In some cases, a payment dispute could lead you to put a lien on someone’s property. But do you know the conditions under which you may legally do so?

Steps to take when an insurance claim gets rejected

When a home is damaged, a homeowner's first move is often to file a claim with his or her insurance company. In some cases, that claim may be denied even if an individual believes that the damage is covered by the policy. If a claim is denied, it is important to review the terms of the policy carefully to see if the damage actually was covered. It may be best to do so prior to filing the claim.

Typically, claims are denied because a homeowner failed to fully document the damage or didn't do enough to prevent it. Failure to pay insurance premiums could also be a reason to deny a claim. The insurance company is required to provide a reason as to why a claim was denied, and it should be stated in a written letter. Policyholders have the right to dispute the denial or ask for further clarification.

Iowa Court of Appeals Rules Contractor With Assignment of Benefits Improperly Acted as an Unlicensed Public Adjuster

On February 6, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals published its decision in 33 Carpenters Construction, Inc., v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 17-1979, a case involving a post-loss assignment of a property damage claim to the insured's contractor. The case has important implications for both insureds and contractors performing insurance restoration work with an assignment of benefits (sometimes also referred to as an "assignment of claim.")

Who is responsible for storm repairs in a townhouse?

As summer rapidly approaches, we tend to think about shorts, barbeques and warm weather finally coming after a dreadful winter. However, a significant part of summer is the massive storms that happen all season long.

Summer storms often afflict significant damage on roofs, exteriors to houses and even the roads. But who pays to repair storm damage when it happens to a townhouse?

Hail damage may be covered by insurance

After a storm, damage to a home or building may not be evident right away. In May 2018, a hailstorm struck York County in Pennsylvania, and many buildings sustained damage. While the owners of these buildings may have insurance coverage, there is a deadline by which they must file an insurance claim. Generally speaking, the deadline is one year from the event that caused the damage to occur.

One school was able to get its entire roof replaced under the terms of the insurance policy that it had. Prior to filing a claim, it is necessary to have an inspection done to determine the extent of the damage as well as the cause. The inspection itself is often free, and property owners don't need to have the work done before the statute of limitations runs out. Therefore, there is little risk to asking someone to take a look at a property.

KonMari Your HOA - Decluttering your Documents with a Records Retention and Request Policy

Being a member of the Board of Directors at your Homeowners Association can be a thankless job. With all of the issues the Board has to deal with, responding to document requests from homeowners should be an easy one. Still, one of the major complaints we hear from Boards is the overwhelming amount of paper, documents, and other files that Associations retain over the years. While many Associations have been able to convert their files to electronic format, many others still maintain paper files.

How contractors can protect themselves with better contracts

Working as a contractor in the construction industry can mean that you do a lot of work for homeowners and property managers. From repairing damages that result from storms to helping people remodel and update properties, your job helps people maintain or increase their property value. There's nothing quite as satisfying as a job well done when you have helped a homeowner fix or change part of their house.

Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who are unhappy with the work you do or the service you provide. Taking a proactive stance on protecting yourself from claims from unhappy clients is one of the most important legal things you can do for yourself as a contractor. Here are three suggestions for critical inclusions in your next contract.

Insurance companies refuse payouts after hailstorms

Colorado homeowners are facing serious damages as a result of hailstorms throughout the state. However, when they file a claim with their homeowners' insurance policies for the storm damage, they are facing delays, denials and lowered estimates that could hinder their opportunity to recover from the damage caused by the hail. In the past decade, homeowners and businesspeople in the state have sustained over $3 billion in insured damages due to hail alone.

However, it can be particularly important to understand what a homeowners' insurance policy covers or excludes as well as to prepare to take action in case an insurance company meets a legitimate claim with a refusal to pay. In 2018 alone, there were 142 claims related to hail damage payouts filed with the Colorado Division of Insurance; 21 of those were related to one company, American Family Insurance. Several of these complaints related to insurance companies that declined to renew a homeowner's policy after he or she filed a claim for storm damage.

Ice Dams and HOAs

With the record setting snow fall of the last few months in Minnesota, many homeowner associations are starting to see ice dams. An ice dam is a chunk of ice on the edge of your roof line and is usually caused by inadequate insulation or ventilation which allows escaping heat to melt snow on the roof. When the melted snow reaches the cooler roof line, the water refreezes creating a dam of ice.

What to know about storm damage claims

When a storm hits in Colorado or other states, it is possible that it could cause damage to a person's home. However, there is no guarantee that an insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing that damage. In some cases, an insurance policy will damage caps or other limits that may leave a homeowner paying for some repairs out of his or her own pocket. For instance, if a tree falls in a yard, the homeowner is generally responsible for having it removed.

If that same tree were to fall on the house, an insurance policy could pay for the damage that the tree causes. The same could be true if a neighbor's tree fell and caused damage to a home. It is important for those who have experienced property damage to contact their insurance company immediately. In addition to paying for repairs to a home, a policyholder could be reimbursed for additional expenses.

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