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.

Elina B. Gilbert, Esq.
3 responses to “Insurance Carrier Required to Replace Undamaged Siding to Provide Color Match
  1. Very interesting! So, could such a ruling be extrapolated to apply to manufacturers, as well? We had a situation at a condo in which the siding faded excessively and chalked. We filed a claim with the manufacturer, and the rep came out and said that it needed to be replaced. So the sections that failed were only on the south and west sides, and he said the manufacturer would replaced the product on those sides ONLY. BUT, the color we had was discontinued (It always is! That’s the law!), and so it would mean we’d have 2 sides of the building in one color, and 2 sides in another. Plus, people should know that, when a manufacturer warrants siding, it only applies to the product, not to the labor. With siding, labor is the bulk of the cost. All things considered, we ended up painting the siding. People told me that you can’t paint vinyl siding; it won’t adhere. Well, that is not true. If you use a good-quality 100% acrylic paint, it adheres just fine. In fact, it holds up better than the paint on the non-sided portions of the building, and doesn’t have to be re-coated as often. But the REAL moral of the story is: Do NOT use vinyl siding! In fact, in my opinion, it should be outlawed in Colorado, due to the intense sun light, the fluctuations in temperatures, and the lack of humidity. Do not ever be fooled by claims of a “lifetime” warranty. In Colorado, that means 7 years, and remember, it covers the product ONLY. Now, there is a relatively-new product, called Plasti-Kote (Same as Plasti-Dip). I talked to the manufacturer and was told this would work great for a long term coating over vinyl. It is expensive, but might be worth further study by someone in our industry. People are now painting their cars with it. And when you get tired of it, you just peel it off. That’s correct–it’s permanent until you want to take it off. Now, if they can just figure out how to make my computer work correctly. . .
  2. I’m the owner of Garcia Roofing in Kansas City. I’m currently working on a claim where I will replace the siding along with other items. The insurance company (American Family as well) approved only 30% of the house for new siding. I am having trouble finding the matching siding. I will have to fight them to get the complete siding of the house approved. If necessary, I will make a complaint to the Missouri Insurance Commissioner. Hopefully this can be settled without going to court. I hope the Insurance Commissioner can settle this without going to court.

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