This case involved an insurance coverage dispute. Appellant-church was located in St. Paul. Respondent-insurer insured appellant. The policy provided replacement cost coverage for damage to appellant’s buildings. In June 2017, a storm damaged the property of appellant, including the building’s drywall. Respondent agreed to cover repair costs for the damaged property caused by the storm, including removal and replacement of the damaged drywall. When the damaged drywall was removed, cracks in the masonry were discovered. There was no dispute that the cracks in the masonry preexisted the storm. However, because the cracks in the masonry violated the city’s building code, the city would not allow appellant to replace the drywall without also repairing the masonry. Appellant requested that respondent reimburse it for the cost of repairing the masonry. At issue was the interpretation and application of Minn. Stat. § 65A.10, subd. 1, which generally requires replacement cost insurance to cover the cost of repairing any “damaged property in accordance with the minimum code as required by state or local authorities.” In “the case of a partial loss,” replacement cost insurance is required to cover only “the damaged portion of the property.” Here, appellant and respondent disagree about whether respondent must cover the cost of repairing the masonry (which had preexisting, non-storm-related damage) merely because the city would not allow appellant to replace the drywall without also repairing the masonry.
The Supreme Court held that (1) under Minn. Stat. § 65A.10, subd. 1, when a partial loss occurs, an insurer’s obligation to bring the damaged portion of the property up to minimum code is limited to repairs necessary to bring up to code only that part of the property that was damaged in the insured event; and (2) the insurance policy did not provide broader coverage than the minimum level of coverage required under Minn. Stat. § 65A.10, subd. 1. Affirmed.
Marcus Anton Jarvis was conditionally reinstated to the practice of law and placed on probation for a period of 2 years.