New U.S. Court of Appeals Case Strikes Blow to Matching Claims

In 2014, SJJ won a landmark case before the Minnesota Supreme Court that required American Family Mutual Insurance Company ("American Family") to pay to repair property damage with reasonably matching building products. That case, Cedar Bluff Townhome Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 857 N.W.2d 290 (Minn. 2014), has been under constant attack by American Family and the insurance industry ever since.

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM IN MINNESOTA?

One of the primary timing limitations found in a property insurance policy is the time limit for suit. Most residential property insurance policies in Minnesota have a time limit of only two (2) years from the date of loss. The 2-year time limit is both statutory and contract based. If a claim isn't settled and a policyholder fails to file a lawsuit (note the deadline is to file a lawsuit, not just make a claim) within that time period, the claim will likely be barred.

Colorado Bad Faith Claims

Under Colorado common law, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to their insureds. When an insurer acts in bad faith, it breaches this implied duty of good faith and fair dealing and a claimant can take legal action against it. To succeed, a claimant must prove that the insurance company unreasonably delayed and/or denied payment of a claim and did so with knowledge or reckless disregard that its actions were unreasonable.

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.")

COURT RULES THAT ONE-YEAR RCV DEADLINE IS NOT ALWAYS ENFORCEABLE

RSJ attorney Tim Johnson recently won another important insurance case. In Anderson v. American Family, the homeowner's insurance policy required that she complete the repairs to her hail damaged house within one year of the storm. Because of circumstances outside of her control, including delays caused by the insurance company, she was unable to complete the work within one year. The insurance company therefore refused to pay the full cost to repair her home.

SMITH JADIN JOHNSON WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE CURT ROEDER ON HIS RETIREMENT

Curt spent over 25 years of litigating insurance and construction claims. He tried more than 100 cases in nine states, at both the state and federal level. During his career, he worked on all aspects of litigation through trial, and even through the appeals process.

INSURANCE PROVIDERS SUED BY MINNESOTA OVER CLAIMS DISPUTES

Homes, cars, possessions - insurance is necessary for a safe, secure lifestyle even without considering medical needs. There are dozens of major insurers that offer hundreds of plans in an effort to offer coverage for every situation. At times, these insurers need extra oversight to make sure this coverage is fair.

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