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 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.

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.

Large and Dangerous Tornado Sweeps through East Central Kansas and Kansas City Metro

On May 29, 2019, a vicious storm tore through Kansas City and east-central Kansas. The storm spawned tornadoes that downed trees and power lines, damaged homes, and injured at least a dozen people. It marked the twelfth straight day that at least eight tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service.

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.")

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