Realtors and other real estate professionals play an important role in assisting buyers and sellers in transactions involving homeowners associations ("HOAs"). Smith Jadin Johnson is here to help professionals ensure that their clients have all of the information they need to make an educated decision about their particular situation, and to make sure their transaction goes as smoothly as possible.

Texas is top state for hail damage insurance claims

Texas leads the nation in hail damage insurance claims, according to an analysis released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The analysis looked at claims data from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018.

According to the analysis, there were almost 2.9 million hail loss claims filed within the study period. Of those, 811,000 were filed by property owners in Texas, making it the top state for claims of that type. In addition, San Antonio and Plano placed first and fifth on the list of top five cities for hail loss claims, with 75,000 and 43,000 claims, respectively. Meanwhile, Colorado was the second leading state for hail claims, with 395,000. Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas rounded out the top five, with 163,000, 153,000 and 146,000 claims, respectively.

Association Insurance Deductibles

Insurance claims can create financial burdens for homeowner association who have to pay often-substantial deductibles under their master insurance policies. While every insurance policy is different, many HOA insurance policies now have separate deductibles for wind and hail claims that can be as much as 1%, 2%, or even 5% of the total insured value of the property. For example, a condominium building valued at $15,000,000 with a 2% deductible for wind and hail claims would have a $300,000 deductible for insurance claims involving wind or hail damage. Most associations cannot easily cover this deductible.

Colorado hailstorms cause insurance costs to spike

Colorado homeowners may be concerned about their insurance premiums, especially as hailstorms are causing even more damage throughout the state. In 2018, Colorado suffered the greatest hail losses across the country.

This devastation exceeded Texas, which is the state with the second-largest amount of hail damage according to a report from the State Farm insurance company. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said that insurance companies in the state paid out a substantial amount in damages due to hail.

Colorado Matching Law

What happens when your property's exterior is partially damaged by a covered event, but the original roofing or siding materials are no longer manufactured? Mismatched repairs can have a huge impact on the value of your home, but is your insurance company obligated to match the repair materials to the existing materials? While the law in Colorado is not fully developed on this issue, there are legal trends indicating that your homeowner's policy may entitle you to a reasonable match and, when one is unavailable, to repair of even undamaged materials to ensure a uniform finish.

Top 5 ways to avoid risk as a general contractor

Working as a general contractor can be quite rewarding. You get to be your own boss, set your own hours, pick the projects you want and work with your hands. However, you are also at risk of finding yourself accused of making mistakes or doing a bad job by a client after you have already done the work on their home.

As a contractor, you shouldn't have to risk damage to your reputation or lost income because of issues you could easily prevent. Here are five ways to protect yourself from claims by clients.

Minnesota District Court Grants Insureds Permission to Amend Complaint for Bad Faith Denial of First-Party Benefits

One of the most common questions our clients ask us is whether there is any way to make an insurance company pay for the legal fees and costs they have incurred in order to secure the coverage they're entitled to. Because claims are based upon the insurance policy, the answer to that question is, "usually not, except in rare circumstances."

Preparing for disaster

Natural disasters in the United States result in billions of dollars in property damage. However, not many people take the necessary precautions.

Almost 90% of insurance agents think that less than half of their clients have a comprehensive hurricane preparedness plan in place. A majority believe that less than half of their clients comply with orders to evaluate when a Category 3 hurricane, which has sustained winds of 111 to 119 miles per hour, is set to strike their location. This is according to a survey of 96 agents who represent of 2,000 clients with a high net worth.

Hail Storm Hits South Metro

A vicious storm tore through the south metro early this morning July 18, 2019, with high winds and large hail (1"-2+") in some parts of Burnsville, Prior Lake and Savage. After a storm rolls through, cleanup and repairs begin, and many don't know where to start.

Big Changes to the Colorado Appraisal Process

One of the most cost-effective tools for resolving disputed claims with insurance companies is the insurance "appraisal" process. Appraisal is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in most Colorado insurance policies. It is designed to resolve claims outside of court, and consists of an appraisal panel reviewing and resolving a disputed claim amount. The appraisal panel is made up of one appraiser for the policyholder, one appraiser for the insurance company, and an umpire. Until just now, the two appraisers were generally on the "side" of either the insurance company or policyholder, while the umpire is a true "neutral." That all changed in the Dakota Station v. Owners Ins. Co. case.

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