The summer of 2017 has been filled with severe weather storms across Minnesota. Thousands of homes have been affected by hail and wind damage. For those with homeowners insurance policies, one of the most common issues is whether the policy provides coverage for “matching” the existing material (like siding, roofing, windows, etc.) when repairing the storm damage. For example, whether an insurance company can replace broken pieces of white siding with yellow siding.
In 2014, RSJ handled a case before the Minnesota Supreme Court on this very issue in Cedar Bluff v. American Family. See full case here. The Cedar Bluff case involved a Homeowners Association that could not obtain reasonably matching material to replace storm-damaged siding. The only product available for repair was one shade lighter or one shade darker. An appraisal panel determined that was not a reasonable match to the existing siding and the Association was therefore entitled to full replacement of all siding to restore the property to its uniform appearance. The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed, and held that the mismatch between storm-damaged building components and existing building components constitutes “direct physical loss or damage” that is covered by the policy.
Whether there is coverage for matching is policy specific, but virtually all policies issued in Minnesota have the same “like kind and quality,” “comparable material,” or “similar material” requirements that provides for material matching. In the event your insurance company denies coverage to replace storm-damage materials with matching products, you should request a copy of your policy from your agent and set an appointment with us to review your options.