Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - Insurance

Don't Get Soaked by Flood Insurance

Last week I argued a case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. My client owns a hotel on the Oregon Coast. Several years ago, a hundred year storm flooded the lowest floor of the hotel. My client participated in the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a FEMA backed flood insurance program. The majority of the claim was denied because the bottom floor of the hotel was deemed to be a "basement." The insurance company also argued that the proof of loss, which was submitted by the insurance company's agent, was not timely. The District Court agreed with the insurance company and held that despite the insurance company's appointed agent taking control of the process, essentially my client should have ignored the insurance company's instructions. read more

TAGS: Insurance, Oregon

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

You are sitting comfortably when out of the blue, the floor starts to shake and pictures fall from the wall. One of two things is happening: you are at my house for Thanksgiving and I've just ambled toward a third plate or you are experiencing an earthquake. In the last week alone, Oregon has experienced more than 30 small earthquakes. Washington has had 33. A recent NBA summer league basketball game had to be evacuated when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California. Most experts believe the "big one" in the Northwest is a question of when, not if. read more

Insurance Industry Responds, and Owners May Pay the Price

Events of casualty damage, even when some of the damage is covered by an association's insurance policy, can be very expensive for condominium and homeowners associations, primarily because association insurance deductibles are typically tens of thousands of dollars per claim. The deductible expense is really just the portion of the cost to repair that is not covered by insurance, and is often a common expense paid by all owners. Whether an association can pass that expense—often the amount of the association's deductible—directly to the owner who caused the damage, or to the owners whose units were damaged, often depends on the provisions of an association's recorded declaration. read more

Complete Coverage Should Not Be an Alien Concept

I recently read an article stemming from NASA's discovery of seven exoplanets, three of which may support life. The article discussed an insurance company called Budget Insurance that is now issuing policies protecting policyholders against alien invasion. After doing some digging, I also discovered that another insurer is selling alien abduction insurance. The latter company has already sold more than 30,000 policies (I was unable to verify whether any of the policies have paid out). read more

Protestors Are Such a Riot!

Regardless of your political persuasion or tolerance for political activism, it is evident that protests are becoming a routine experience around the country. Portland alone has had seven separate organized protests since January 19th. This number does not include spontaneous demonstrations or protests. The thing about protests is that the protestors rarely stop to ask whether your home, business, or auto agree with their particular cause. I hope that those reading this will avoid personal injury or property damage resulting from any protests. For those less fortunate, it might be reassuring to know whether your insurance will provide coverage. read more

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