Some insurance companies seem to be in a race to the bottom by searching and questioning every possible way to pay their customers less following a loss. Taking depreciation on labor charges is a fairly new method for these companies. If you are a public adjuster and want to know all the arguments against this practice, you should be in Las Vegas with me next week.

Depreciation of labor is one topic that struck me as having a lot of materials that I did not know existed. For example, I was going through the 186 page handout booklet yesterday afternoon and came across an Insurance Bulletin from Vermont that specifically prohibits the practice and indicates that the depreciation of labor is an unfair claims practice.

It is the Department’s position that depreciation of labor costs is prohibited by 8 V.S.A. § 4724(9)(F) and therefore is an unfair claim settlement practice in violation of8 V.S.A. § 4723 {the Vermont Insurance Trade Practices Act) when committed or performed with such frequency as to indicate a business practice. While the value of the property as a whole may be considered in order to put a claimant in the same position as the claimant was before the loss occurred, labor of any kind related to the repair, rebuilding or replacement of covered property should not be subject to depreciation.

Insurers are reminded that the justification for the adjustment of a claim must be contained in the claim tile. Title 8 V.S.A. § 3568 requires that every insurer preserve their business records in accordance with the rules adopted under this section. Additionally, Regulation 99-1, Section 4(A)(3) specifically requires that all claims records be maintained so as to show clearly the inception, handling and disposition of each claim. Claim records must document the adjuster’s determination of the amount of any depreciation as it relates to that specific claim.

There are other bulletins on the topic from other states–but you will have to show up to learn about them.

So, if you have been wavering on attending, just make a commitment to help yourself. This seminar that has been valued at $10,000 by the insurance industry as noted in Insurance Company Representative Says Merlin Law Group Las Vegas Seminar Worth $10,000. I think it is worth a lot more to public adjusters.

To register, call 813.229.1000, or

Quote For The Day

"The reason you should go to Las Vegas is because…they have rebuilt Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s back!! And you have the opportunity to see it before it turns to salt."
         —Lewis Black