Sandy Eloranto and Lily Nierenberg prevailed on summary judgment in a property damage bad faith dispute case stemming from the June 19, 2018 storm in Aurora, Colorado. Plaintiff, a contractor with an assignment of the insureds’ post-loss claim benefits, claimed the insurance company’s refusal to pay to replace the entire concrete tile roof was unreasonable, alleging that the tiles were discontinued and local code prohibited repairs. The insurance company retained an engineer during the claim who found 57 damaged tiles, only 5 of which he attributed to the storm. The engineer further determined the damaged tiles could be replaced individually with tile available at a nearby distributor. The insurance company advised the insureds only repairs would be covered based on the input from the engineer and provided them with the name of the local distributor. Plaintiff’s arguments mirrored the arguments that often come from roofing contractors and other industry professionals who include uncovered damage to soft metals on the roof and rely on code requirements to justify replacement of a complete roof without acknowledging that a permit is not required if the repairs are limited to a certain number of tiles.
The Court did not accept Plaintiff’s argument, stating “there is no genuine dispute that, if the roof damage is limited to the replacement of [the storm damaged tiles], no permit would be required to complete the work and the replacement tiles which [the engineer] found to be available locally could be used to complete the repair.” The Court went on to note the “Arapahoe County Building Code exempts from permitting requirements any roof repair of less than one square (90 tiles) and thus does not require any particular materials be used for such repairs. The evidence further shows that replacement tiles are locally available.” The court dismissed all claims and awarded costs to the insurance company.