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Dean Wallace

Is your Homeowners Insurance Refusing to Pay for New Roofing or Siding Material?

Is there a Minnesota law requiring insurance companies to “match” your shingles or siding in an insurance claim?

Sometime protection companies insist on only changing a portion of a roof or siding, particularly the area that has direct physical damage. This may be one slope of a roof or one side of a house. Is there a Minnesota law requiring insurance companies to match existing material?

Minnesota statutory or legislative law address this issue in this manner:

(8) except where limited by policy provisions, settling or offering to settle a claim or part of a claim with an insured under replacement value provisions for less than the sum necessary to replace the damaged item with one of like kind and quality, including all applicable taxes, license, and transfer fees;   72A.201 REGULATION OF CLAIMS PRACTICES Subd. 5.Standards for fair settlement offers and agreements. (bold emphasis added by Daryl)

I am not aware of any other statutory law requiring insurance companies to match existing material.

I added bold emphasis to the above statutory law to emphasize some key component that have been litigated and thereby establishing case law in Minnesota. Other states may have similar statutory law and resultant case law but I typically provide Public Adjuster services in Minnesota, therefore this post addresses only Minnesota law.

“excluding where limited by policy provisions”. What does this mean? Insurance companies are starting to add endorsements to their policies that limit or eliminate the wording of “like kind and quality”. Insurance policy are contracts between the insured and insurer. Litigation is settled under contract law principles. Therefore, the insurance policy (contract) may make the above quoted clause, irrelevant with your claim.

A typical ISO (Insurance Services Organization) replacement cost policy will have wording like this: “Repair, rebuild or replace the property with other property of like kind and quality”. Sometimes this is worded in this manner: “comparable material and quality”. 

In the last fifteen years there has been at least three major Minnesota court cases involving the issue of “matching”, “like kind and quality”, “comparable material and quality” and “direct physical damage”. A summary of these cases (chronological order) are as follows.

In 1999, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch filed a complaint in District Court against American Family alleging false advertising, deceptive trade practices, consumer fraud and violating the above quoted statutory law. At this time American Family’s replacement cost policy contained wording in this manner: “the cost to replace the damage building with like construction for similar use on the same premises”

The court concluded:

Defendant’s (American Family) practice and policy of limiting the amount paid to settle claims under the replacement value provisions of its homeowner’s policies to the cost to repair only the damage areas, when the repairs result in mismatches in materials because of the unavailability of matching materials, violates the requirement under Minn. Stat. {72A.201, Subd. 5(8) (1988) (Bold emphasis added by me)

The court ordered:

The State is awarded partial summary judgment against American Family Mutual Insurance Company for declaratory relief that American Family’s obligation to pay claims under replacement value provisions of its homeowner’s insurance policies, based upon American Family’s policies and Minn. Stat. {72A.201, Subd. 5(8) (1988)  (bold emphasis added by me)

  1. requires American Family to pay for full replacement with materials of like kind and quality;
  2. is not satisfied by the replacement of only those materials that are physically damaged by a storm, if the replacement materials do not or would not reasonably match in terms of color, quality, texture or type of material the existing materials on the policyholders’ home; and
  3. when the materials replacing the physically damaged materials do not or would not reasonably match the existing materials, American Family must also pay the sum necessary to replace the existing materials so there is a reasonable match, except where the mismatch is attributable to the natural weathering of the existing materials.

While this is a very good ruling in favor of the insured there are some limits to this ruling. The wording reasonable match is important. The ruling also has an exclusion for mismatches attributable to the natural weathering of the existing materials.

View the entire court filing here.

In 2014, the United States District Court – District of Minnesota in Trout Brook South Condominium Association v. Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company, the court gave the following opinions:  (Note: The attorneys for Harleysville moved this from Sherburne County District Court to Federal Court. This case also involved an appraisal award with an attempt to overturn the award)

These were some of the opinions given:

In the event of a loss to covered property, the Policy obligated Harleysville to pay for its “replacement cost,” defined as the lesser of (1) “the cost of repair or replacement with similar materials for the same use and purpose, on the same site” or (2) “the cost to repair, replace, or rebuild the property with material of like kind and quality to the extent practicable.”

First, it is predicated on an unsupported definition of the term “covered property.” By Harleysville’s logic, each individual roof shingle on Trout Brook’s buildings constitutes “covered property,” undermining any obligation to pay for shingles not damaged by hail. But in the Court’s view, this reads the term “covered property” too narrowly. Harleysville points to no Policy definition supporting its argument, and in fact the Policy’s “Property Covered” section indicates coverage extends to “buildings and structures.” Moreover, the Policy’s “location schedule,” which defines the extent of Trout Brook’s “property coverage,” simply lists the association’s eighteen buildings. Accordingly, the Policy suggests that “covered property” is each of Trout Brook’s buildings, and not individual items (such as shingles or siding) attached or appurtenant to them. And it is undisputed that each building sustained “direct physical loss” from the 2010 hail storm.

 Accordingly, the Court does not believe the terms “like kind” and “similar” can be so easily “divorced” from color.

The terms “similar materials” and “material of like kind and quality” simply cannot be defined, as a matter of law, to preclude consideration of color.

View the entire court filing here.

In 2014, the Minnesota Supreme Court in Cedar Bluff Townhouse Condominium Association vs American Family Mutual Insurance Company gave the following opinions and conclusions: (Note: This case also involved an appraisal award and the refusal by the insurer to pay the award)

The appraisal panel did not err in determining that the replacement of respondent’s damaged siding panels with siding of comparable material and quality required replacement of all of the siding on respondent’s buildings to achieve a reasonable color match.

A dispute arose as to whether the policy language providing for the replacement of “damaged property with other property . . . [o]f comparable material and quality” requires the replacement of all siding, even undamaged siding, in order to provide a color match. Because the appraisal panel properly concluded that siding of comparable material and quality required a reasonable color match between the damaged and undamaged siding, we affirm the court of appeals’ decision.

At the time of the hail storm, the siding was approximately 11 years old, and the color of the panels had faded. Replacement panels were available from the same manufacturer with the same specifications, but the panels were not available in the same color.

Replacement cost is to be determined based on the cost to replace “the lost or damaged property with other property . . . [o]f comparable material and quality.”

replacement cost of the damaged property, based on the cost of “other property . . . [o]f comparable material and quality.” American Family, however, uses the phrase “other property . . . [o]f comparable material and quality” interchangeably with the phrase “other property of like kind and quality.”

The court of appeals added that the value of the covered property was to be “determined based on the cost to replace the ‘damaged property with other property . . . [o]f comparable material and quality,’ ” and determined that “a reasonable person could understand that ‘comparable material’ means material that is the same color as the damaged property.”

Thus, we conclude that on the spectrum of resemblance, “comparable material and quality” requires something less than an identical color match, but a reasonable color match nonetheless.

Therefore, in accordance with the plain meaning of the policy language, we construe the phrase “comparable material and quality” to mean a reasonable color match between new and existing siding when replacing damaged siding.

Because of the color mismatch resulting from the inability to replace the hail-damaged siding panels with siding of “comparable material and quality,” the covered property—Cedar Bluff’s “buildings”—has sustained a “distinct, demonstrable, and physical alteration.” Thus, we conclude that the covered property sustained a covered loss.

Of course, all storm-related property damage claims present their own facts. In this particular case, the spot damage to multiple siding panels on multiple buildings, along with the appraisal panel’s assessment of the particular color mismatch, applied to the policy language at issue, lead to our conclusion that there is coverage. In summary, we hold that, under the terms of its insurance policy with American Family, Cedar Bluff is entitled to have all of the siding panels on each of its 20 buildings replaced. Consequently, we affirm the appraisal panel’s award.

Once again this is a very good ruling on behalf of the insured. In my opinion, the State of Minnesota has been consistent with its court decisions regarding the legal interpretation of contract language of “like kind and quality” and “comparable material and quality”.

It is important to understand that in the Supreme Court decision quoted above, an appraisal panel determined the question of “reasonable color match” and the appraisal did not use the term identical match to suggest that insurance policies require and identical match of color. I believe this assessment of reasonable match can also be determined and agreed to between a Public Adjuster and company adjuster.

Even when you can find replacement siding with the same specifications, fading over time can affect the ability to reasonably match the existing color with the replacement product.

In addition, the Supreme Court determined that a “wider view of damage” is correct, such as considering damage to the building as covered property in lieu of damage to “one side of a building”.

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury damages are classified as “compensatory,” meaning that they are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for what was lost due to the accident or injury. A compensatory damages award is meant to make the injured plaintiff “whole” again from a monetary standpoint (to the extent that’s possible). This means trying to put a dollar figure on all the consequences of an accident. Some compensatory damages are relatively easy to quantify — like reimbursement for property damage and medical bills. But it’s harder to place a monetary value on pain and suffering or the inability to enjoy hobbies because of physical limitations caused by lingering accident-related injuries.

Here’s a rundown of the different types of compensatory damages that are common in many personal injury cases.

Medical treatment. A personal injury damages award almost always includes the cost of medical care associated with the accident — reimbursement for treatment you’ve already received and compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you’ll need in the future because of the accident.

Income. You may be entitled to compensation for the accident’s impact on your salary and wages — not just income you’ve already lost but also the money you would have been able to make in the future, were it not for the accident. In personal injury legalese, a damage award based on future income is characterized as compensation for an accident victim’s “loss of earning capacity.”


Personal injury cases – VIEW ALL

Property loss. If any vehicles, clothing, or other items were damaged because of the accident, you’ll likely be entitled to reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of the property that was lost.

Pain and suffering. You may be entitled to get compensation for pain and serious discomfort you suffered during the accident and in its immediate aftermath — also for any ongoing pain that can be attributed to the accident.

Emotional distress. Usually linked to more serious accidents, emotional distress damages are meant to compensate a personal injury plaintiff for the psychological impact of an injury — including fear, anxiety, and sleep loss. Some states consider emotional distress as part of any “pain and suffering” damage that is awarded to a personal injury plaintiff.

Loss of enjoyment. When injuries caused by an accident keep you from enjoying day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities, you may be entitled to receive “loss of enjoyment” damages.

Loss of consortium. In personal injury cases, “loss of consortium” damages typically relate to the impact the injuries have on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse — the loss of companionship or the inability to maintain a sexual relationship, for example. Some states also consider the separate impact on the relationship between a parent and their child when one is injured. In some cases, loss of consortium damages is awarded directly to the affected family member rather than to the injured plaintiff.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

In cases where the defendant’s conduct is deemed particularly egregious or outrageously careless, a personal injury plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages on top of any compensatory damages award. Punitive damages stem from a rationale that is quite different from the justification tied to compensatory damages, which attempt to “make someone whole.”

Punitive damages are awarded to the injured plaintiff, but the real goal of these kinds of damages is to punish the defendant for its conduct — to “hit them in the pocketbook,” so to speak — and to act as a deterrent. Since it isn’t unusual for punitive damage awards to top tens of millions of dollars, most states have set some type of cap on punitive damage awards in personal injury cases.

How Plaintiff’s Actions (or Inaction) Can Affect a Damages Award


In some cases, an injured person’s role in causing an accident — or their inaction after being injured — can diminish the amount of damages available in a personal injury case.

Comparative negligence. If you’re at fault (even partially) for the accident that caused your injuries, chances are that any damage award will reflect that. That’s because most states adhere to a “comparative negligence” standard that links damages to degree of fault in a personal injury case.

Contributory negligence. In the small handful of states that follow the concept of “contributory negligence” for personal injury lawsuits, you may not be able to recover any compensation at all if you’re deemed partially to blame for the accident.

After the accident: failure to mitigate damages. The law in most states expects plaintiffs in personal injury cases to take reasonable steps to minimize or “mitigate” the financial impact of the harm caused by the accident. If an injured plaintiff just sits back and rests on their proverbial laurels when it isn’t reasonable to do so (by failing to get necessary medical treatment after an accident, and making their injuries much worse, for example) a damages award might be significantly reduced. (For more information on defense strategies that can counter an injury

Discharge In Bankruptcy

A permanent order that releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts, thereby releasing the debtor from any legal obligation to pay any discharged debts. The discharge in bankruptcy order also prohibits creditors from taking any form of collection action on the discharged debts. However, valid liens on specific property to secure payment of debts that have not been discharged, will remain in effect after the discharge, and a secured creditor has the right to enforce the liens to recover such property.

What is Discharge In Bankruptcy

All debts are not discharged in a discharge in bankruptcy. In fact, there are 19 types of debt that are exempted from discharge for bankruptcy filings under chapters 7, 11 and 12, with a more limited list of exceptions applicable for Chapter 13 filings.

The timing of the discharge also varies, depending on the chapter under which the bankruptcy filing is made. In individual cases under chapters 11, 12 or 13, the court typically grants the discharge as soon as practicable after the debtor completes all payments under the plan.

Bankruptcy is a federal court process. Bankruptcy lets individuals and businesses either get rid of debts or repay debts according to a payment plan.

The person or business that has filed a bankruptcy case is called the debtor. A creditor is any person or business owed a debt on the date the bankruptcy case was filed.

A bankruptcy discharge is a court order that eliminates certain debts. The discharge bans creditors from taking collection action on discharged debts. Thus, creditors may not take legal action or even communicate with the debtor about the discharged debts.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is one type of bankruptcy. It normally governs liquidation of a debtor. Liquidation is a form of relief afforded by the bankruptcy laws that involves taking control of the property of the debtor, selling it and distributing the money to creditors. If the debtor is an individual, the process ends in the discharge of the debtor.


A discharge lets an honest debtor begin a new financial life. In the typical chapter 7 case, the court grants a discharge early during the course of the case. Generally, even before any money is paid to creditors. The discharge gets rid of all of the debtor’s debts unless they are exceptions.

A debtor who gets a bankruptcy discharge is no longer responsible for the payment of debts included in the discharge. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the debtor to liquidate assets and pay creditors according to certain priorities, with most unsecured debts subject to discharge.

Need assistance with bankruptcy or legal advice?  – Set up a free 1 hour consultation

Broken Bones Injury Attorney


Broken bone injuries can be caused by a variety of different traumatic accidents including car accidents, slip, trip and falls, construction site accidents and many others.

The two most common types of bone breaks are simple and compound fractures.  A simple fracture occurs when the bone breaks but does not puncture the skin.  A compound fracture (usually more serious) happens when the bone breaks and pierces the skin.

Knee injuries and torn ligaments are often different from broken bones, but may lead to the same types of debilitating consequences.

When broken bones or knee injuries are caused by the negligence of others, you may be compensated for severe pain and suffering, loss of wages and major medical bills.


Do not accept any claim before you speak with an attorney.  Many large insurance companies have adopted settlement policies that encourage their adjusters to offer quick payments to persons involved in an accident.  Insurance adjusters will contact you or your family shortly after an accident to try to gain your confidence.  In doing so, insurance adjusters often try to present themselves as the friend of the injured person or the family of the person who was killed in an accident.  The goal of such contact is to settle the case on terms as favorable as possible for the insurance company.


We are Minnesota’s largest personal injury law firm.  We maintain a national reputation for achieving substantial settlements and jury verdicts for our broken bone injury clients.

Our success is attributed to the combination of experience, expertise, and exceptional dedication to the needs of every client.  Many accidents are caused by negligence, so it is imperative that anyone involved in an accident contact an experienced injury attorney.  Please remember that it is vital to act swiftly after you’ve been injured.  The sooner you involve a personal injury attorney, the better we will be able to preserve evidence, gather essential witnesses and address any other important factors.


  • Medical reimbursement
  • Payment for past and future income loss
  • Full compensation for pain and suffering
  • Peace of mind in knowing your financial interests are being protected


  • Same day, evening and weekend appointments
  • Home and hospital visits
  • Never a fee until we receive a settlement for you
  • We will go to trial if a fair settlement is not obtained

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