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Minneapolis Insurance Law Blog

Fire damage: often at the heart of a property insurance claim

For obvious reasons, fire-related damage is a sobering concern for any owner of a home or commercial property.

Fire is a flatly destructive agent where dwellings and business properties are concerned. As we note on our website’s Fire Damage page at Roeder Smith Jadin, PLLC, “a fire can swallow up and destroy a home or commercial property in just a matter of minutes.”

Given that propensity for destruction, it is an imperative for property owners to have an insurance policy that protects again fire damage.

Legal Administrative Assistant

Roeder Smith Jadin, PLLC is currently looking to hire a Legal Administrative Assistant in our Bloomington, MN Office. This position will provide a full range of legal administrative support to the assigned attorneys in a timely and efficient manner. The successful candidate will have the ability to concentrate on tasks, make decisions and work calmly and effectively in a deadline-oriented litigation environment. You must also demonstrate the ability to work independently, organize and accurately prioritize work, be detail-oriented, understand when urgency is required and use good judgment in varied situations. Your job duties will include but are not limited to:

What are ice dams, and why are they a problem for homeowners?

It certainly seems to be an appropriate time to raise the topic of ice dams and to discuss their potential implications for homeowners in Minnesota and throughout the rest of the Midwest.

If you are perchance a resident of sunny climes outside the snow belt, you likely have no clue what a snow dam is or why mere reference to one can cause distress to a homeowner who is well accustomed to arctic blasts and sub-zero cold in the winter.

Again, that brings us back to Minnesota and, pointedly, to this question:

Why does it seem a yearly recurrence in winter on one or several occasions to see homeowners by the thousands either raking snow off their roofs or standing atop their homes shoveling -- in some instances -- tons of snow onto the ground below?


RSJ notched a victory at the Minnesota Supreme Court in Cedar Bluff Townhome Condominium Association, Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, a landmark insurance coverage case concerning an insurance policyholder's right to have their property repaired with matching building products.

Homeowners: Those warranties of yours bring rights, protections

David versus Goliath.

That -- or a similar scenario -- is what undoubtedly comes to mind for many homeowners in Minnesota when they consider a construction defect on their property and wonder how to contest it.

On one side of the dispute is, of course, the frustrated, irate and deeply concerned owner of the premises -- whether that be a home dwelling or commercial property. Staring across the abyss is a construction company or, perhaps, a large-scale insurer.

How can a single individual prevail in a dispute with foes that command outsized power and resources?

Community associations: singular issues and considerations

Although it is certainly true that the United States is a country of homeowners, that reality is not readily depicted by detached family houses alone.

Dwellings across the country are highly diverse, especially in cities and their surrounding suburbs.

The Twin Cities area of Minnesota, as well as other urban centers in neighboring states like Wisconsin and Iowa, stand as ready examples of environments where legions of residents have chosen living arrangements that feature dwellings other than “standard” family homes.

As to what constitutes standard these days, townhomes, condominiums and cooperatives must certainly be lumped together with detached houses. What was somewhat of a novelty a few short decades ago has now blossomed into a reality for scores of millions of people across the country.

Winter can be harsh for property in community associations

During the cold Minnesota winter, nature can produce a variety of concerns for property managers and boards of directors of community associations. Maintaining property and providing repairs are vital concerns for those who have decision making authority over community associations.

In October, we discussed the benefits of conducting a property review could provide to Minnesota homeowners. The cold weather arrived in full-force a short-time later in Minnesota, and we all know that colder weather is likely as we move through January and February.

Maintenance at community associations is an ongoing process. Properly clearing snow and ice, and ensuring that heating systems are well-maintained are only the beginning of the list of issues that many management companies and community boards of directors should have on their radar.

An appraisal hearing is often the next step after a denied claim

For homeowners who did not get enough of a settlement check from their insurance company after their property was damaged, the prospect of a lawsuit may seem uncertain and onerous. While litigation might eventually be necessary to get justice, often there is a step that can help you get the money you are entitled to that is faster and cheaper than going to court.

Many insurance policies include an appraisal clause. This gives insured people the right to appeal an undervalued settlement. The resulting appraisal hearing gives them the chance to show that their property damage is more extensive than the adjuster claimed, and that their policy entitles them to a larger settlement.

OK, the big storm hit: assessing post-storm damage

Minnesotans and other residents throughout the Midwest who proudly own and maintain their homes are by nature a fairly astute group when it comes to safeguarding their properties against weather-related damage. That sagacity necessarily extends to appraisal of damages that do occur when particularly bad weather strikes.

Readers of our blog know well the elements and fallout associated with dire weather events. After all, states across the Midwest region of the country are regularly visited with recurring patterns of hot summers and cold winters that bring storms of a singular -- and often nasty -- nature.

We’re talking tornadoes and floods, of course, as well as hail storms, ridiculously heavy snow falls, lightning strikes and other adverse offerings from nature.

Construction defects: Sources can be many, highly varied

We alluded to some of the nightmarish scenarios that confront homeowners after they have moved into their dream homes in a recent blog post (please see our September 26 entry). We noted therein that nasty surprises can emerge for homeowners across a wide spectrum of possibilities, ranging from construction and design defects to mechanical and electrical problems.

“Whatever the case,” we noted, “homeowners suffering the results have legal remedies to right the wrongs” that can be invoked through securing the proven assistance of an experienced construction defect litigation attorney.

We expand today a bit on that earlier post by discussing in more detail some of the most common defects that undermine quality of life for homeowners and their families and in some cases render a home completely inhabitable.