Lammert et al v. Auto Owners Mut. Ins. Co.
Year 2018
Court Tennessee Supreme Court
Case Number M2017-02546-SC-R23-CV
  • Labor Depreciation
  • Tennessee

Tennessee law upholds a policyholder’s reasonable expectations of coverage. Consistent with those principles, the cost of labor should not be depreciated. Depreciation of labor results in policyholders not receiving the full amount that they reasonably are entitled to under their actual cash value coverage, and it often results in policyholders also being unable to collect replacement cost value benefits for which they have paid an additional premium. That is an often life-changing loss for the policyholders and provides a windfall to the insurer. UP argued in its brief that it is not logical to depreciate labor, nor is it permissible to construe ambiguities in an insurance policy in favor of an insurer as to deprive the insured of their bargained for protection. The court reached the right result in their opinion.