When reading insurance policies it can be confusing to a policyholder regarding the differences in valuation of real property and personal property when terms like “fair market value”, “actual cost value”, and “replacement cost value” are referenced without explanation. Insurance companies use these terms as if everyone should understand their meaning and sometimes, these terms are used in a context that almost seem like they are interchangeable. However, these terms are not interchangeable because these terms may affect the valuation and actually will dictate what is to be paid under the insurance policy.

Continue Reading Does Actual Cost Value Equal Fair Market Value When it Comes to Property Damage?

Sometimes, if not most of the time, a covered peril will only cause partial damage to a structure. For example, let’s pretend an insured inadvertently drops an object on his tile floor and the object cracks a single tile. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the policyholder has continuous tile throughout the house…
Continue Reading How Should Matching Parts of a Damaged Building Be Valued? Florida Valuation Issues, Part 9

Recently, Chip shared some insightful practice pointers on this blog about how to maximize replacement cost benefits. The blog made me wonder whether an insured would be entitled to replacement cost benefits if his claim is denied and the insured cannot afford to repair or replace to comply with the replacement cost provision…
Continue Reading Replacement Cost Value Coverage After a Claim Denial: Florida Valuation Issues, Part 6

(Note: This Guest Blog is by Michelle Claverol, an attorney with Merlin Law Group in the Coral Gables, Florida, office. This is the second in a series she is writing on valued policy laws).

Floridians are very lucky. They have great weather, beautiful beaches and a Valued Policy Law (VPL) that requires insurers to pay the face value of a policy in the event of a total loss, without regard to the value of the property at the time of the loss. Only a third of the States have VPLs in effect, and many of those VPLs are only applicable to fire losses. In Florida, the provisions of its Valued Policy Law will be triggered in the event of a total loss caused by any covered peril, including hurricanes.

Continue Reading Valuation Issues in Florida, Part 2: The Current Florida Valued Policy Law

Kelly Kubiak burst into my office jubilant in her recent victory over Great American Insurance Company. She received an Order granting her Motion for Summary Judgment in a case where the central dispute involved the interpretation of the valuation clause of an insurance policy. We so often talk about the problems of causation that we