As I have noted in the past, the appraisal process has become a hot topic in the property insurance world in the past few years. Colorado has become ground zero for many of these disputes. While many states have statutory or appellate precedent to define the scope and workings of the appraisal process, Colorado is one of the few that does not.
It seems that every few years the appraisal process becomes a hot topic across the country. While there are a number of disputes that can arise, the scope of what is determined in the appraisal process is often at the forefront of the argument.
Insurance litigation can take on a life of its own. While pointed exchanges between attorneys is not altogether uncommon, judges typically stay above the fray, even when they believe a claim or defense has little chance of prevailing. This is not always the case, however, as noted in a recent appellate court ruling.1
There are currently a large number of condominium and homeowners associations pursuing property damage claims in Colorado. With the number of wind and hail storms over the past couple of years, many of these claims are coming with higher dollar values than most policyholders have submitted in the past. One question I continually receive is what obligations an insurance company has in adjusting and paying a claim.
As with most important rulings, a recent appellate court decision in favor of a Florida condominium association has been making the rounds through the national insurance news. In Slow, Late, and Delayed Replacement or Repair – – A Case That Helps Policyholders, Chip Merlin wrote about a recent Florida appellate decision in Axis Surplus Insurance Company v. Caribbean Beach Club Association.1 While the trial court rulings in favor of the association were upheld on multiple grounds, the appellate court wrote to highlight why the insurance carrier waived certain time limitation provisions in the policy.
Roofing contractors and adjusters have been at the center of an ongoing debate in Texas. As I noted in Texas Moves to Limit the Role of Roofing Contractors, Texas enacted H.B. 1183, prohibiting insurance adjusters from doubling up as roofing contractors and preventing roofing contractors from acting as adjusters, or advertising to act as an adjuster, on any property they perform work.
Since the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in State Farm v. Curran, practitioners and courts alike have been trying to sort out exactly how far the opinion goes. While many argue that Curran only applies to independent medical examinations, others point out that the Fifth District Court of Appeal specifically certified conflict with an earlier decision dealing with the application of the Examination Under Oath provision.
Nothing is more familiar to individuals living in condominium and homeowner associations than the laundry list of rules and regulations that have been adopted. As a friend of mine can attest, even putting a rope swing in your yard can result in a hefty fine. So what happens when your association rules require you to do certain things in reconstructing after a loss? Does your policy cover these expenses?
My last post talked about new developments that may have a significant impact on the way property insurance is issued in Florida and what role property managers may play in the future. As I stated in that post, property managers often play an important role in the insurance process. Nothing is more evident than the manager’s involvement in the claims process. While it is important for managers to be involved in the claims process, they should understand the effect their actions can have.
Like other types of businesses, community associations rely heavily on their relationship with property managers. Most, if not all, day to day tasks are delegated to managers and management companies. In some instances, management companies have even been tasked with procuring insurance for the properties they manage with the hopes of using a large portfolio to obtain lower premiums.