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

One of the things I enjoy is learning from so many really brilliant people in the insurance coverage business. One of those I am fortunate enough to work with: Ed Eshoo, out of our Chicago office. The other is insurance educator Bill Wilson who writes an extraordinary blog.
Continue Reading Is There a 180-Day Replacement Cost Notice Rule in the Standard ISO Policy?

I’ve run into this situation a handful of times recently in the Naples/Fort Myers area following Hurricane Irma. Generally, the policyholder is a retiree with ample spare time on his hands, a bit handy, and takes on the task of performing mostly cosmetic interior repairs himself (e.g., painting, drywall, flooring).
Continue Reading I Performed The Work Myself, Am I Entitled To Labor Costs?

Larry Bache and I are currently handling a devastating fire loss to a powder coating and plating facility located in Watertown, South Dakota. Our clients purchased a replacement cost value policy of insurance – the purpose being to allow them to rebuild after a loss. Unlike actual cash value coverage, which has the intent of placing an insured back in the position it enjoyed prior to a loss, but never allowing it to benefit because a loss occurred, replacement cost coverage is not a pure indemnity agreement. It reimburses an insured for the full cost of repairs, even if that results in placing the insured in a better position than it was before the loss.1
Continue Reading Determining Actual Cash Value in South Dakota

What is the replacement cost value of my classic brown dress shoes? How would you go about determining their actual cash value? You can see them in the photo above along with some Sperry Topsider shoes I have yet to take out of the box. As I am writing this post, I am looking at my Weber gas grill which has been getting a workout since our social distancing started. What questions and considerations should be made for that item in a property insurance adjustment? How are those questions and considerations different when considering replacement cost value and actual cash value if the damage were to real property? What are the considerations if the loss were to a commercial insured rather than covered under a personal property insurance policy?
Continue Reading What Do Chip Merlin’s Old Dress Shoes, New Sailing Shoes, and Weber Grill Have to Do With Replacement Cost Value, Actual Cash Value and Depreciation of Labor?

A class action lawsuit filed against Allstate in South Carolina raises the newly raised practice by some insurers of depreciating labor when repairs are made.1 I thought that the lawsuit was very well plead and was surprised to see citations to a law review article written in part by public adjuster Don Wood, and another citation to the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog.
Continue Reading Can Labor Be Depreciated? Class Action Lawsuit Cites this Blog!

California is a beautiful state. When I was meeting with our California attorneys and staff at our holiday party, I mentioned that there are so many different and beautiful areas, it is no wonder California is our most populated state. Unfortunately, with wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, and floods, California has its share of insurance problems—especially a recurrent problem of homeowners finding they are underinsured and without sufficient policy limits after large scale catastrophes.
Continue Reading Should Homeowners Policies Have No Policy Limits?

Insurance company adjusters often leave off the reasonably expected acquisition costs when determining replacement cost. While the actual pricing can become theoretical, the bottom line is that these acquisition costs can be a material cost and every adjuster should include them when determining the top line replacement cost value.
Continue Reading All Acquisition Costs Should Be Included For Replacement Cost Values

Many policyholders do not have enough insurance to replace their buildings or homes after a total loss. Often these policyholders were assured by their agents or insurance companies at the point of sale that their limits were sufficient. And many times these assurances were based on estimates that fell below the minimum standards set by law.
Continue Reading California Insurers Are Violating Replacement Cost Estimate Laws