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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The Colorado Supreme Court issued two opinions favorable to Colorado policyholders earlier this week:

  1. American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. Barriga; and
  2. Rooftop Restoration, Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company.

Both cases address the unreasonable delay or denial of insurance benefits statute in Colorado. This post addresses the Barriga opinion, and the Rooftop Restoration, Inc. will be discussed in the coming days.
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The case of Weingarten v. Auto Owners Insurance Company,1 may have raised some interesting ideas about insurance policy interpretation, yet it was ultimately decided by a number of case-specific facts. Connie and Edward Weingarten sued their homeowner’s insurer, Auto-Owners Insurance Company, arguing that the company had improperly denied their insurance claim, which sought coverage for property damage due to an illegal marijuana grow operation. The Weingartens alleged breach of insurance contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, and statutory unreasonable delay or denial.
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Whether your insurance company forced you to sift through soot and ash, trying to recollect what has just been stolen, or trying to identify items damaged by water, going through damaged contents and creating an inventory is an emotionally draining experience that typically comes with little to no guidance by the insurance company. After spending countless hours substantiating lost personal property contents, the insurance company responds with random, and sometimes substantial reductions in the value of the personal property for depreciation, often with little to no explanation as to how it arrived at that conclusion.
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American politics and government can make people extraordinarily upset. The very nature of democracy, modern regulation, those being regulated and those regulating promotes active and emotional disagreements of what is the best public policy and how it should be determined. So, my first observation from yesterday’s post, Colorado House Bill 18-1153 Concerning Appraisals for Insurance Claims Killed in Finance Committee Hearing, is that Scott deLuise is very upset that the recent legislation he worked to draft with others and believed in, did not become law in Colorado—his lifelong and beloved state. I have been in similar losing situations and can empathize with him.
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Note: This guest blog is by Scott deLuise. Scott deLuise has been a public adjuster in Colorado since 1985, and licensed since Colorado implemented licensing. He is licensed in 28 states and Puerto Rico. He is a past president of NAPIA, and founding president of RMAPIA.

Monday before last was a sad day for the property insurance industry for carriers, but mostly for consumers.
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Image courtesy of NWS-Lubbock

With less than sixty days until the one-year anniversary of the most expensive hailstorm in Colorado history which hammered west metro Denver on May 8, 2017, many individuals, business owners, and community associations members continue the difficult task of negotiating with insurance companies in an effort to return property to pre-storm conditions.
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Initiated Ordinance 300 – better known as the Denver Green Roof Initiative – was passed in November 2017 with a total of 137,917 votes. The ordinance requires that all buildings within the City and County of Denver in excess of 25,000 square feet, must now dedicate a percentage of the building’s roofing area to a combination of vegetative space and solar. Unlike larger cities with similar requirements, such as San Francisco or Toronto, Denver’s Initiative applies both to new buildings as well as existing buildings at the time of roof replacement or major repair. While certain limited exemptions do exist,1 all exempted buildings are required to provide a cash-in-lieu payment to the Denver Office of Sustainability equal to the cost of constructing the green roof.
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