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 Iowa Insurance Division (IID) “supervises all insurance business transacted in the state of Iowa.”1 It does this by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters to ensure compliance with Indiana state law been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise improperly managed, you can file a complaint with IID requesting an investigation into the matter.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Iowa Insurance Division

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen deserves a big shout out for issuing a Bulletin on July 26 warning policyholders of the impending statute of limitations for a derecho that struck Iowa on August 10, 2020. He is calling on insurance companies to be liberal granting extensions to file lawsuits and warning derecho claimants to file suit or get an extension before August 10—next week! This Bulletin provides:
Continue Reading Iowa Derecho Statute of Limitations Quickly Approaching—Policyholders, Public Insurance Adjusters, and Contractors Beware!

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

On February 14, 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court dismissed the case of 33 Carpenters Construction, Inc., (“33 Carpenters”) against State Farm Life and Casualty Company (“State Farm”).1 33 Carpenters approached the insureds after a hailstorm to see if they would allow them to inspect their roof. 33 Carpenters found hail damage and entered into a series of contracts to help the homeowners complete the repairs, including an assignment of benefits (“AOB”).
Continue Reading No Love for the Contractor’s Assignment of Benefits in Iowa

Ashley Harris

The Iowa Supreme Court determined that “appraisers may determine the factual cause of damage to insured property to ascertain the amount of loss,” in Walnut Creek Townhome Association vs Depositors Insurance Company.1 I am proud that Ashley Smith (nka Ashley Harris) was cited by the court for her analysis of the issue.
Continue Reading Ashley Harris Cited by Iowa Supreme Court Regarding Causation Issues in Appraisal Proceedings

Whether defective workmanship is an occurrence in a CGL policy was recently addressed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in Decker Plastics, Inc. v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company.1

Continue Reading An insured’s defective workmanship is an ‘occurrence’ and covered by a CGL policy in Iowa