“How much am I owed?”

“How did the insurance company come up with that figure?”

“Do I need help to make certain I am not getting ripped off?”

These are the questions I answer all the time. And that answer to how much is owed to the policyholder is a never-ending study. For everyone representing policyholders, you should feel the same as me and be deeply passionate about it. If not, do something else.
Continue Reading How To Evaluate What Is Owed Following Property Damage

A federal court ruling earlier this year discussed a fairly common scenario of an insurer claiming that no roof damage occurred and even if it did, the policyholder failed to introduce evidence of actual cash value because it only had a replacement cost estimate.1 The point of this post is to show that the safest way to present a property insurance claim in Florida is with a combined replacement cost estimate and an actual cash value estimate. However, fully understanding those concepts and Florida statutes on the subject is important.
Continue Reading Do You Have a Florida Property Insurance Dispute Over Valuation? Understand the Differences Between Replacement Cost Value, Actual Cash Value and How the Broad Evidence Rule Works

Whether labor can be depreciated in arriving at an actual cash value property loss settlement has been a hot topic of debate over these past six years, and the subject of many Merlin lawyer blogposts, including the one I wrote last July discussing the Appellate Court of Illinois opinion in Sproull v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company.1
Continue Reading The Illinois Supreme Court Concludes That Labor Cannot Be Depreciated In Arriving At An Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement

In his August 10, 2021, blog, Chip Merlin discussed the recent FC&S Bulletin addressing the relationship between replacement cost coverage and the increase in construction costs. For background on this discussion and to better understand the significance of the FC&S bulletin, I suggest reading his blog post, Can You Get Paid More on Your Insurance Claim When Prices Rise After a Loss?
Continue Reading Replacement Cost Coverage: Why You Can Get Paid More on Your Insurance Claim When Prices Rise After a Loss

Merlin Law Group attorney Drew Houghton is licensed in Missouri. We were discussing a Missouri hail case he was working on while at the International Roofing Expo. I mentioned that Missouri has the weirdest rules for determining actual cash value in the country and how difficult it makes Missouri hail claims, which always involve roofs.
Continue Reading Missouri Property Insurance Losses Are Different—An Update on Missouri’s Fair Market Value Method of Actual Cash Value

In unique situations, actual cash value (“ACV”) or replacement cost (“RC”) coverage may not be the best match to meet a property owner’s needs, or even be available. Policies that provide functional replacement cost (“FRC”) valuation, or endorsements that do so, offer an alternative. This valuation method is most commonly used to insure older structures built with obsolete materials and by outdated or custom methods; structures where the RC often exceeds the market value. One ISO endorsement defines FRC as:

‘Functional replacement cost’ means the amount which it would cost to repair or replace the damaged building with less costly common construction materials and methods which are functionally equivalent to obsolete, antique or custom construction materials and methods used in the original construction of the building.1
Continue Reading Functional Replacement Cost – When Will You Encounter It and What To Be On the Lookout For

On August 27, 2020, one month ago, Hurricane Laura made landfall causing catastrophic damage in Southwest Louisiana and beyond. For those who remained or were able to return quickly, it must seem a lot longer. Many of those may have been able to notify their insurers of their loss as soon as communications were restored. And, soon the damage estimates based upon the insurer’s investigation of their losses will begin to trickle in.
Continue Reading Determining Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value in Louisiana

A recent case involving replacement cost value and actual cash value was recently decided—wrongly.1 The case involved an automobile, and GEICO ripped off its customer by successfully arguing that various items should not be included in actual cash value unless the car is actually replaced. Theoretically, replacement cost and actual cash value are the exact same when an item is brand new. But not if you are insured by GEICO in Illinois.
Continue Reading Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value Should Be The Same For a Brand New Item—But Not If You Are Insured By GEICO