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Property Damage Policies: Valuing Complex Claims, Avoiding Valuation Mistakes, Managing Policyholder Expectations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide counsel through complex loss valuation issues under property damage policies when property - including real property and improvements - has been partially or completely destroyed. The program will discuss the methods for calculating replacement cost value (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV) losses, highlight and discuss special considerations and problems that arise when valuing certain types of losses, and review relevant case law. The panel will also offer best practices for avoiding common valuation errors and how insurance counsel can manage policyholder expectations.


The goal of property insurance is to protect the insured when there is a covered loss by returning the insured to essentially the same condition (financial or otherwise) enjoyed before the loss. The insured and the insurance company often have differing views about how to determine value.

The typical property policy will pay the insured the ACV of the loss, but many policies do not define "actual cash value," leading to litigation. Property owners can purchase RCV policies, but the insurer is often obligated to make an upfront payment based on the estimated ACV. And what constitutes "replacement" can be a complex and disputed issue. Equally critical is avoiding valuation mistakes.

Listen as our experienced panel brings clarity to this complicated and often litigated issue of value property losses.



  1. Actual cash value vs. replacement cost coverage defined and distinguished
  2. Actual cash value coverage
    1. Introduction
    2. Calculation of actual cash value
    3. Application to a total and partial loss
  3. Replacement cost coverage
    1. Introduction
    2. The requirement of actual repair or replacement
    3. Related replacement cost valuation problems: partial losses
    4. Contractual time limits on replacement of damaged property
    5. Quality issues
    6. Location restrictions
    7. Effect of code changes
  4. Co-insurance
  5. Endorsements


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What constitutes a "loss"?
  • What is the "broad evidence" method of calculating ACV?
  • What is "replacement" coverage, and why are policyholders often surprised?
  • Does the insured's intention about the future use of the damaged property matter?
  • How does the analysis change if there is only a partial loss of property?
  • What are common types of valuation mistakes, and how can they be avoided?


Herman, Mark
Mark D. Herman

Covington & Burling

Mr. Herman advises policyholders on insurance coverage and represents clients in complex commercial litigation and...  |  Read More

Middlebrooks, Ethan
Ethan W. Middlebrooks

Anderson Kill

Mr. Middlebrooks concentrates his practice in insurance recovery, exclusively on behalf of policyholders. He also works...  |  Read More

Dyschkant, Alexis
Alexis N. Dyschkant

Covington & Burling

Ms. Dyschkant represents policyholders in complex insurance coverage disputes and civil litigation in federal and state...  |  Read More

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