Those handling fire losses and dealing with Florida’s Valued Policy Law may not have come across a provision in the statute dealing with the insurance carrier’s option to rebuild. It seems counter-intuitive that a statute meant to address the measure of damages in total losses would provide a provision giving insurance carriers the right to rebuild the property. But, Florida’s VPL statute1 does have such a provision:

(7) Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting an insurer from repairing or replacing damaged property at its own expense and without contribution on the part of the insured except, as provided in subsection (6), when an insured has elected to purchase stated value coverage. Such repair or replacement of damaged property shall be in lieu of any liability created by subsection (1); and any insurer so repairing or replacing shall have no liability pursuant to subsection (1), provided such insurer returns to the named insured a portion of the premium, for all policy terms during which the policy limits were the same as those in effect on the date on which the loss occurred, equal to that portion of the premium paid for limits of insurance on the structure in excess of the cost of replacement.

Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law – Right to Rebuild in the Statute

Last week we started a discussion on Florida’s Valued Policy Law.1 Florida’s Valued Policy Law has many intricacies; too many to discuss in a single post. We will be looking at a few of the statute’s interesting parts in the next few weeks. Hopefully these discussions will cover areas of the law that you may deal with regularly, as well as parts of it that are a little more unusual, while providing useful insight to you in both scenarios.

Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law–What Is A Total Loss?

Several states have valued policy laws (“VPL”) that address situations when policyholders should be paid policy limits for total losses. I have recently had discussions with several experienced adjusters encountering unique circumstances involving Florida’s VPL. As I mentioned to them, it is amazing how you can practice for years in this area of the law and still have unique situations arise. So I thought I would write a series on Florida’s VPL.1

Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law–Partial Loss By Fire Or Lightning

In recent years, Florida has fortunately avoided major disasters. However, when major disasters strike, or even when smaller scale disasters devastate one or two homes, policy holders are wise to investigate whether the damage to their home would constitute a total loss. This designation can have incredibly drastic effects as insurance companies are required by law to tender policy limits for a building which is a total loss. In Florida, this statutory requirement is called the Valued Policy Law.1

Continue Reading What Constitutes A Total Loss in Florida?

Florida Statute §627.702 is Florida’s Valued Policy Law. In short, the Valued Policy Law provides an insurer is liable for policy limits if a covered loss destroys a covered structure. This is significant because when disaster strikes, policyholders do not want to be entangled in disputes with their carrier.

Continue Reading The Value in Florida’s Valued Policy Law: The Importance of Being Adequately Insured

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company v. Mathis
— So.3d —-, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D868a, 2010 WL 1542631
(Fla. 1st DCA April 20, 2010)

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company appealed a final judgment in favor of the Mathises, awarding them their homeowners policy limits. Hurricane Ivan caused substantial wind and flood damage to the Mathises’ home. The home was insured with a flood insurance policy with policy limits of $250,000, issued pursuant to the National Flood Insurance, and with a Florida Farm homeowners policy with policy limits of $295,600, which covered windstorm damage but excluded flood.

Continue Reading Florida’s First District Court of Appeal Issues an Opinion on Valued Policy Law

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

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

“Actual Cash Value = Replacement Cost – Depreciation” is one of the most common insurance valuation mantras. However, when dealing with Actual Cash Value (ACV) provisions, insurance professionals should keep in mind that that, in Florida, this formula is more fluid and lenient than it sounds.

Continue Reading Valuation Issues in Florida, Part 4: Actual Cash Value and The Broad Evidence Rule