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.
Continue Reading Can a Marijuana Grow Operation Also Be a “Residence”?

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.
Continue Reading Explaining Depreciation of Personal Property Contents in Colorado

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.
Continue Reading Appraisals: A Comment on the Scott deLuise Post Regarding Colorado Appraisals and Failed Colorado Appraisal Legislation

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.
Continue Reading Colorado House Bill 18-1153 Concerning Appraisals for Insurance Claims Killed in Finance Committee Hearing

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.
Continue Reading Time Limit Considerations as Colorado Approaches the One Year Anniversary of the May 8, 2017 Hailstorm

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.
Continue Reading Denver’s Green Roof Initiative Could Bring Expensive Consequences for Unwary Policyholders

While Colorado Revised Statute § 13-80-101(1) provides that a lawsuit based on a breach of contract must be brought within three years after the cause of action accrues, Colorado allows insurance companies to shorten this period within the insurance contract to as little as six months from the date on which the damage occurred.1

Up next in the state-by-state claims handling tour is the Centennial State – Colorado. Colorado property owners have been devastated by massive hail storms over the last several years so it is very important that policyholders and their representatives are aware of the claim handling requirements of the state. Colorado’s claim handling is governed by Title 3 of the Code of Colorado Regulations. The regulations define their purpose as being “…to describe the procedure and circumstances under which penalties will be imposed for failure to make timely decisions and/or payment on first party claims.”1
Continue Reading Claims Handling Requirements by State – Colorado

While many carriers continue their attempt to exclude overhead and profit from property damage claim payments made on an actual cash value basis, the majority approach across the United States has been to include general contractor overhead and profit in actual cash value payments for losses where repairs would be reasonably likely to require a

Colorado’s statutory bad faith cause of action can be brought in addition to a claim against the insurer to recover an owed contractual benefit. More importantly, as Jonathan Bukowski discussed in a previous blog post, a cause of action under Colorado’s bad faith statute is not limited to a wronged policyholder, but can be made by vendors of the policyholder, such as roofers or restoration contractors.
Continue Reading Calculating Damages Under Colorado’s Bad Faith Statute