Have you ever tried to get an insurance company to pay for siding replacement of hail-damaged siding? Better yet, have you ever been “lucky” enough to try and convince an insurance carrier to pay for replacement of all siding on a building (even the siding not damaged by hail) so all the siding can match in color? If you have had the pleasure of negotiating such a monetary settlement, you are likely hoping to never receive such pleasure again!
This is exactly the problem faced by Cedar Bluff Townhome Condominium Association in Minnesota. When hail damaged some of the siding in Cedar Bluff and the available replacement siding did not match in color, Cedar Bluff requested that American Family pay to replace all siding in the community. Much to the association’s dismay, American Family refused to pay for the additional siding replacement and the rest is now history.
This dispute went all the way up to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, who issued a ruling in December 2014 requiring American Family to pay for replacement of all siding in the community, even siding not damaged by hail, in order to provide color match. Specifically, the court stated that American Family provided in its policy it would pay for replacement of “comparable material and quality”, which the court interpreted to require a color match between the damaged and undamaged siding panels. The court went on to say that although the color match need not be identical, it must be a “reasonable” color match nonetheless.
What does this mean for Colorado associations? Does this offer us hope that in the future, insurance companies will cover replacement of all siding (damaged or not) to ensure a color match? Or is this nothing more than a catalyst for insurance companies to rewrite their policies to remove the requirement of replacement with “comparable material and quality”?
For more information concerning association insurance, take a look at our article, Understanding Homeowner Association Insurance or call a Altitude Community Law attorney at 303.432.9999.