Photo of Timothy Burchard

Prior to joining Merlin Law Group, Tim began his career as a consultant examining one of the largest banks in the country for malfeasant activity in its mortgage servicing and foreclosure processes. Expanding his toolkit and continuing his passion to help, Tim next worked for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Finance, adjudicating home modification claims for the benefit of Colorado’s low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Through this work, Tim reconfirmed his belief that the average consumer needs an advocate. To that end, Tim is now engrossed in advocating for policyholders and providing quality representation on their behalf.

Tim has been a member in good standing of the Colorado Bar since 2015. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, master’s degree from the University of Denver – Sturm College of Law, and his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law. When not advocating on behalf of policyholders, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, going to concerts at Red Rocks, snowboarding, or reading a good book.
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Photograph taken during the Waldo Canyon Fire

After a fire loss you would expect your insurance company to complete a full and fair adjustment of the damages, right? So did the Normans, however, as admitted by a corporate representative of State Farm, “had State Farm not received additional information [from an industrial hygienist], the payments made in July 2012 would have been the settlement of the Normans’ claim” stemming from smoke and soot damage to their home as a result of the infamous Waldo Canyon fire of 2012 in Colorado.1 Eventually State Farm did pay a lot more in covered damages in May of 2013.
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Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Owners Ins. Co. v. Dakota Station II Condominium Association,1 on appraiser impartiality. Specifically, the court discussed the meaning and interpretation of impartiality under the insurance policy and whether a contingent-cap fee agreement between the appraiser and Dakota Station rendered the appraiser not impartial as a matter of law.
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After filing a claim, insurance companies will at times request a substantial amount of information, leaving many Coloradans feeling overwhelmed. However, a failure to respond to the requests (aka “failure to cooperate”), could cost an insured their owed insurance claim benefits. Recently the United States District Court, District of Colorado, discussed this issue in its review of a Motion for Summary Judgment in Cribari v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company.1
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Director Chlora Lindley-Myers

Director of Missouri’s Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (“DIFP”), Chlora Lindley-Myers, oversees the regulating and monitoring of insurance activities, companies, and agents in Missouri. She was appointed on April 13, 2017. Within the DIFP, the Division of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) serves as a resource to Missouri consumers by providing consumers with insurance related information and the investigation of consumer complaints against insurance companies and producers for most types of insurance. DCA provides responses to insurance-related questions and complaints, assistance in resolving complaints, and assistance to Missouri consumers in understanding their options in handling insurance-related matters.
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The Director of Idaho’s Department of Insurance, Dean Cameron, oversees the regulating and monitoring of insurance activities, companies, and agents in Idaho. Appointed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Mr. Cameron has been serving Idaho residents since June 15, 2015. Within the Department of Insurance, the Consumer Affairs Section (“CAS”) serves as a free resource to Idaho consumers including provision of general information and responding to consumer inquiries and complaints.
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Take your pick: water is pouring through your ceiling like Niagara Falls, your kitchen looks like the dying embers from last night’s campfire, or your roof looks like it has been sitting on a driving range instead of the top of your house. If anything of that sort is happening to you, contacting your mortgage company is probably the last thing an average home owner is worried about is however, its likely required. Not only that, your mortgage company likely has a right to participate in the insurance claim and repair process, hold and disburse insurance proceeds, and inspect the work as it progresses through completion. For these reasons, it is important for policyholders to also know what their mortgage requires after a loss.
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Balancing the cost of insurance premiums and the potential costs related to being displaced from your home, repair costs required by local building code, or higher replacement costs can be challenging for a homeowner. For Colorado homeowners, it is important to understand that they have rights to additional and/or enhanced insurance coverage options if they so choose.
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The State of Colorado has always been an attractive destination for people who enjoy the outdoors. Now more than ever, it seems people are choosing Colorado not just for a winter getaway, but as a place to call home. As a result of the market pressure that the ever-increasing population has caused, property values have skyrocketed in the Rockies. For homeowners that means two things: 1) your home is likely worth a lot more than when you purchased it; and 2) you could be woefully underinsured.
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You purchased a condo, closed on the mortgage loan, and are now ready to move in to your new home. But what happens if a pipe bursts and floods your unit or an electrical short causes fire damage to your unit? Should you call the insurance company or your Condo Association? Are you covered by your Condo Association’s master policy of insurance? What kind of insurance is required under your mortgage? Are you required to have an HO-6 insurance policy? All these important questions need to be answered before you move into your new home.
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Many of us in Central Colorado remember the hail storm that wreaked havoc on the Denver metro area in May 2017. What happens when hailstorm damage to your property does not manifest itself for a period of months, or even a year later? Should a claim be denied for being reported once discovered? Unfortunately, the standard surrounding late notice continues to be unclear in the Colorado courts today.
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