Insurer Properly Held Back Depreciation Before it was Obligated to Pay for Full Replacement Cost

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In an insurance coverage dispute, plaintiff Jeanette Lanier appealed from a Law Division order granting summary judgment to defendant Farmers Mutual. In Jeanette Lanier v. Farmers Mutual, DOCKET NO. A-1398-19T2, New Jersey (December 31, 2020) the court dealt with the need to actually replace before a homeowners insurer is required to pay full replacement cost.


It is axiomatic that clear and unambiguous language in an insurance policy contract is always enforceable. The language of the policy allowed the insured to collect the actual cash value of the loss and, after completing repairs, request the held back depreciation. She did not do so but, rather, filed an overzealous and early lawsuit – ignoring the ability to have the amount of loss determined by disinterested appraisers but concluded, unilaterally, that the calculation of the insurer was based upon would “do bad, shoddy work.”