A brief and to-the-point appellate resolution is worth it studying relating to precise money worth in Florida.1 The “as decided by us” trailing language within the coverage’s definition was the insurance coverage firm’s undoing: 

Tower Hill’s accountability beneath the coverage was to pay the ‘precise money worth’ of the loss. Ordinarily, ‘precise money worth’ is outlined because the ‘alternative value minus depreciation.’ Trinidad v. Fla. Peninsula Ins. Co., 121 So. 3d 433, 443 (Fla. 2013). On the shut of SFR’s case, Tower Hill moved for directed verdict, declaring that the fee to restore introduced by SFR was inadequate proof of ‘precise money worth’ as a result of it didn’t account for depreciation.

Underneath totally different circumstances, Tower Hill’s level is likely to be well-taken. On this case, nevertheless, Tower Hill’s coverage defines ‘precise money worth’ as:

[t]he value to restore or change coated property, on the time of loss or injury, whether or not that property has sustained partial or whole loss injury, with materials of like sort and high quality, topic to a deduction for deterioration, depreciation and obsolescence as decided by ‘us.’…

The language of the actual coverage at subject on this case positioned the burden to ascertain the depreciation on Tower Hill. Underneath this coverage, SFR didn’t have the preliminary burden to show the quantity of depreciation.

A concurring opinion went even additional:

Whereas I agree with the consequence reached, I write to state that there’s a separate cause the trial courtroom shouldn’t have granted a directed verdict. When an insured is entitled to ‘precise money worth’ of a loss beneath the phrases of an insurance coverage coverage, Florida courts have held that the ‘broad proof rule’ applies. See Worcester Mut. Hearth Ins. Co. v. Eisenberg, 147 So. 2nd 575, 576 (Fla. 3d DCA 1962) (‘Florida will adhere to the so-called ‘Broad Proof Rule.’ Underneath this rule, any proof logically tending to ascertain an accurate estimate of the worth of the broken or destroyed property could also be thought of by the trier of info to find out ‘precise money worth’ on the time of loss.’).

SFR admitted into proof an estimate ready by Mills Mehr & Associates, Inc. for Tower Hill. That estimate supplied the idea for Tower Hill’s dedication of ‘precise money worth,’ and it included a 21% deduction for depreciation. Underneath the broad proof rule, I see no cause why that proportion couldn’t be used along with SFR’s estimate. Tower Hill argues that the calculation of a 21% deduction for depreciation can’t be used as a result of SFR’s estimate was for alternative of a larger variety of tiles. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a indication that the tiles included within the Mills Mehr estimate have been of a distinct age or had further put on and tear than every other tile on the roof. In any occasion, Tower Hill’s argument would bear upon the load afforded such proof, not its admissibility.

Tower Hill pursues exactitude the place Florida legislation doesn’t require it. See McCall v. Sherbill, 68 So. 2nd 362, 364 (Fla. 1953) (‘[D]amages are usually not rendered unsure as a result of they can’t be calculated with absolute exactness. It’s ample that there be an inexpensive foundation of computation though the consequence could also be solely approximate.’); W. Boca Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Marzigliano, 965 So. 2nd 240, 244 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007) (‘The ‘affordable certainty’ rule for the calculation of damages doesn’t require mathematical precision[.]’).

This concurring opinion is vital. Not often are damages actual when figuring out what’s owed following loss to actual property. Contractors cost various quantities for a similar scope of labor. The standard and assurances of workmanship by the contractors differ as nicely. The methodology of restore might even be at subject. The theoretical damages of loss are often a variety of “affordable” for approval at adjustment. Nevertheless, juries and judges can solely present one quantity on the time of verdict. 

For these wanting to review Florida legislation relating to precise money worth, I counsel you learn, Do You Have a Florida Property Insurance coverage Dispute Over Valuation? Perceive the Variations Between Alternative Value Worth, Precise Money Worth and How the Broad Proof Rule Works.

The above photograph depicts Merlin Legislation legal professional Dennis Bailey subsequent to me at his Indian-themed marriage ceremony final evening. Dennis grew up in a household of trial legal professionals. His father was a trial lawyer. His brother Tim continues to be a choose, as Dennis Bailey was earlier than becoming a member of our agency as our Basic Counsel and Trial Workforce member. 

Thought For The Day

Quick is okay, however accuracy is every thing.

—Wyatt Earp

1 SFR Companies v. Tower Hill Prime Ins. Co., No. 6D23-118 (Fla. 6th DCA Might 26, 2023).


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