Many insurance policies contain an appraisal provision which provides a mechanism to insurance companies and policyholders to resolve disputes between themselves relating to the amount of the loss resulting from a storm or loss causing event without a formal lawsuit. The appraisal is “an act of estimating” or “a valuation of property by the estimate of an authorized person.”1 The provision permits a panel of qualified and disinterested individuals to review the loss and determine a fair valuation of the loss without influence or direction from the parties. Continue Reading How to Avoid Waiving Your Right to an Appraisal to Determine the Amount of Damage to Property in Iowa

The defense of late notice has increasingly been used as a technical defense to preclude coverage for covered losses caused by covered perils. While some states have issued bulletins (targeting these strategies,1 often the determination of whether coverage will be afforded will depend upon whether a particular state requires that an insurance company demonstrate that the untimely notice caused prejudice in the investigation of the claim. While it would seem the denial of coverage due to an action that has no material effect on the insurer would further the purpose of having insurance, several states still apply a traditional notice rule that does not require a showing of prejudice.2 Continue Reading Montana Requires Insurance Company to Demonstrate Prejudice When Denying a Claim for Late Notice

We are often asked by insureds about the timeframe in which they must file a lawsuit against their insurance carrier related to property damage caused by a storm where the insurance carrier refuses to fully pay for the damage or has denied the claim for damage. This is referred to as the statute of limitations in the legal realm and typically starts at the time of the breach or failure to do the thing that is the subject of the insurance agreement.1 Continue Reading Time Limit for Filing Lawsuit in Nebraska Related to Insufficient/Nonpayment of Your Property Damage Claim

It is not uncommon for a hail or windstorm to cause damage to only one or two sides of a structure, leaving the remaining sides undamaged. Expecting replacement materials to match in color and quality, many policyholders are perplexed when their insurance carriers suggest they owe only for the damaged materials without any consideration for the altered appearance of the mismatched building.1 The result is magnified where damaged materials are no longer available, resulting in an obvious aesthetic difference between the undamaged and repaired areas of the structure. Continue Reading Line of Sight Rule for Matching of Undamaged Materials in Iowa

It is important that a policyholder review and understand the various conditions and duties required of them in the event of a loss. One of the most important conditions contained in many insurance policies is the limitation placed on a policyholder’s right to sue an insurance carrier when there is a disagreement on the amount of damage or loss caused by the event. Continue Reading Understanding Your Colorado Insurance Policy – Legal Action Against Us Clause

Every insurance policy outlines certain duties a policyholder is required to perform following a loss. However, the prompt notice provision appears to be increasingly gaining traction by opportunistic insurance companies and their defense attorneys who seek to use this as a technicality to avoid liability for an otherwise covered loss. Continue Reading New Mexico Requires Insurance Company to Demonstrate Substantial Prejudice Before Denying a Claim for Late Notice

Southwestern South Dakota has experienced a series of severe hail storms over the past several months with multiple reports of hail well in excess of 2-inches in diameter. These storms have prompted various questions concerning South Dakota, including time limit considerations that should be considered by policyholders that have been impacted by these hail storms. Continue Reading South Dakota Hail Claims and Insurance Disputes—Do Not Let Hail Damage Dollars Go Unpaid, and the South Dakota Statute of Limitations

Colorado protects its policyholders as well as any other jurisdiction in the United States.1 Most policyholder advocates are familiar with Colorado’s statutory bad faith claims that give policyholders a fighting chance against insurance carrier’s malfeasance. Whether it is incompetence or intentional, claim results are often unreasonable and policyholders are harmed with few remedies to make them whole. Continue Reading Colorado Insurance Companies Do Not Have a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” For Delayed and Underpayments Following Appraisal

Nearly two years ago, Albuquerque was struck by one of the largest hailstorms in its recent history. With the two-year anniversary of the July 2018 hailstorm quickly approaching, policyholders in New Mexico should be mindful to review their insurance policies for time limit considerations that could prevent them from pursuing delayed or denied insurance benefits for damages from the hailstorm. Continue Reading New Mexico Allows an Insurance Policy to Reduce the Statutory Period to File a Lawsuit