Florida Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value: A Study by Michael Cassel

In a paper worthy of law review publication, Michael Cassel has written an excellent review of Florida’s changing law regarding replacement cost and actual cash value. Exploring The Application of Actual Cash Value Versus Replacement Cost Value in Florida Property Insurance Claims, is a must read for anybody wanting to have a full understanding of Florida’s somewhat complex and changing treatment of replacement cost recovery versus actual cash value.

Cassel explains his analysis in part of his introduction:

In this exploration, we will consider the terms of the standard and generally uniform Loss Settlement provision, specifically as it relates to the definitions of the replacement cost value and actual cash value of losses, looking at the both the history of such terms and the more recent applications by courts throughout the state. In doing so, we will attempt to reconcile the various inconsistencies in existing precedent, both inter- and intra-district, examine aspects related to the enforcement of the provision on which no opinions exist, and provide potential solutions to an issue that has quickly become the most hotly contested topic in first party property litigation.

The paper is full of subtle analysis of matters not often discussed. For instance, he discussed the phrase “work is performed:”

It must be noted that the Loss Settlement provision does not mandate that the repairs must be completed before reimbursement is due, only that “work is performed.” Most contractors will enter into agreements which provide for draws and distributions as work is performed. If the insured enters into a contract for repairs, the insured has incurred the costs and, as such, should be able to recover the amount of each draw as long as work is being performed. That will prevent the insured from having to come out of pocket and seek reimbursement in full as the average insured likely does not have the dispensable income to issue payments without the assistance of their insurance carrier. For this reason, the insured must know exactly what is covered before becoming liable to a contractor which means it is of paramount importance for the carrier to adequately adjust the scope of the loss at the onset of the claim.

When I was speaking to Michael about his paper and getting permission to publish it, I also told him that I would put in a good word for his wife, Hillary Cassel, who is running a Florida House of Representative seat. Hillary is a policyholder attorney. In a past life, she worked in a political position in Tallahassee. She personally helped get me around Florida’s Capitol building to testify about changes to Florida’s property insurance laws when all kinds of access restrictions were in place during Covid. She is a policyholder advocate and knows her way around politics. I wholeheartedly support Hilliard Cassel.

Here is a link to Hillary Cassel’s campaign.

Thought For The Day

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
—Aubrey Hepburn
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