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Total Loss Claim and Florida’s Valued Policy Law

To establish a total loss under the Florida Valued Policy Law, the insured must establish that the dwelling was an actual total loss or a constructive total loss. State Farm Florida Ins. Co. v. Ondis, 962 So.2d 923 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007).

Fla. Stat. section 627.702 – Valued Policy Law, which states: “In the event of the total loss of any building… the insurer’s liability under the policy for such total loss, if caused by a covered peril, shall be in the amount of money for which such property was so insured as specified in the policy and for which a premium has been charged and paid.”

Actual Total Loss: “[A] building is an actual total loss when it no longer retains its identity and the specific characteristics which define it as a building.”  Id.  It must be so far disintegrated that “it cannot be possibly designated as a building, although some part of it may remain standing.” State Farm Florida Ins. Co. v. Ondis, 962 So.2d 923 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007).

Constructive Total Loss: “[A] building is considered a constructive total loss when the building, although still standing, is damaged to the extent that ordinances or regulations in effect prohibit or prevent the building’s repair, such that the building has to be demolished.” Id.

At Haahr Law Group we have experience with litigation both actual total loss and constructive total loss issues with the insurance companies in Florida. If you believe a claim has been undervalued, please call us for a free consultation to determine if we can help you obtain the proper payment for your loss.