Court of Appeals Upholds Material Matching Exclusion in Minnesota Policy

In an opinion issued today by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, it upheld an insurance company's exclusion against repairing a policyholder's hail-damaged property with reasonably matching materials in Pleasure Creek vs. American Family. The Court relied heavily on the recent decision from the Federal 8th Circuit in Noonan v. American Family that upheld a similar exclusion. In relevant part, the matching exclusion states that:

What's the Right Insurance Policy for my Homeowners Association

Insurance is generally the largest budgeted expense for most homeowners associations (HOAs). But not every insurance policy is the same. So how do HOAs know whether the insurance policy they've purchased meets their needs? These are just some of the things HOAs need to be consider when they're deciding which insurance policy to purchase.

WHY DOES MY INSURANCE ESTIMATE HAVE AN ACV AND RCV NUMBER?

After you've made a claim, the insurance company's adjuster will inspect your home for damage and prepare an estimate. When you receive the insurance company's estimate, you see that it lists two amounts for "RCV" and "ACV." How much money do you have to make repairs?

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.

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