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Property & Casualty Insurance/Flooring & carpeting depreciation


We had water damage in the house from a pipe in the attic that burst.  I have 517 sq. ft. of laminate flooring that needs to be replaced.  The house is 6 years old with only two adults living in the house.  The insurance is depreciating the flooring at 40%.  That seems quite excessive to me.  What would a reasonable depreciation be?  The floor was in excellent condition prior to it being inundated with water through the canned lights and ducts.

Since my carpeting has been discontinued I was requested to sent a 12" x 12" sample of it as well as the pad underneath it so that they could determine the quality and price.  I have been getting indications that they also want to depreciate the carpet around 50%.  I have a great room, in part of which I have a table and chairs and the adjuster called it a dining room and wanted to piece the damaged carpeting,176 sq. ft., to the main great room when there is no delineation (separate wall, etc.) making this a "dining room".

I would appreciate your comments on this situation.  Thank you.


Thanks for the question. I want you to know, your absolutely right to question your insurance adjusters interpretations and assessments. You've obviously done something that has made this adjuster wary of you and your intentions. I've been involved in the business of adjusting claims for 25+ years, and anytime a claimant doesn't follow the adjusters path that he has been trained to get you following they become somewhat aggressive in there interpretations of claims adjusting. You simply equipped with common sense, sniffed it out, and rightfully so.
The depreciation is certainly excessive but without knowing what exactly you want to accomplish my advice varies on how to handle the claim.
Reading your question, I'm going to take the position that you want to simply do all the work that needs to be done, without regard to you making out on your claim but simply getting the job done with materials that were of the same quality as you previously had previous to the damage. The depreciation along with the all the issues your having would go away if you found
the carpeting and flooring you wanted to put in your home and asked the flooring people a recommendation of a contractor or you interviewed a contractor the your adjuster recommends (which would magically solve all your issues) if you only wanted the job done. You wouldn't have to argue with the adjuster about these petty issues and your hiring the contractor based upon him doing the job precisely how you want it done, with the carpet you've chosen, your in the drivers seat until you hire a contractor and you get this all agreed to before signing the contract. If you sign the contract to do the work before these things are dealt with you are no longer going to get them.
Handling your job like this takes you out of dealing with the adjuster, on issues that you have little experience, good common sense only takes you so far with an adjuster that wants to pull the wool over your eyes. Depreciation is one of a plethora of tools used by an adjuster to short change your claim. Even though this way might cause you to swallow your pride, don't lose track of what your ultimate goal.
I would typically never recommend this route. I'm basing this plan for you on certain conditions that I'm assuming exist. Your main goal I assume is to get the work done properly and timely with the materials of your choice. I also assume that the total damage is not in excess of 10K making a plan of getting the money and separately hiring out the people to do the job is not something your looking at doing. If my assumptions are wrong, or for some reason you want to accomplish something I'm not understanding from your question. Please write me back as that is one of the options and I'll get right on it giving you a plan that more suits your goals. This answer is based solely on my belief that all you want is the highest quality job done in the most timely matter without of the headaches of dealing with an adjuster who seems bent on shorting your job.

Good Luck,
Jim C

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James R Carrier


I'm an insurance adjuster. If you have had an insurance loss your in the right place. Insurance coverages is not my forte, you would want to ask one of the other experts who are insurance agents. I'm able to answer questions regarding coverage, damage valuation, basically anything to do with property & casualty. My expertise is accessing damage putting a valuation on that damage and proving damage to an insurance company adjuster on behalf of a homeowner or business owner. I'm able to answer or get the answer regarding underwriting. Please no questions on automobile coverage you know more than me in that area.


20 years as a licensed adjuster, handling 1000's of homeowners and commercial claims in Michigan, Louisiana, and Florida. I own a Public Adjusting Company, Advanced Adjusting LLC in Milford MI.

Business degree with an emphasis on accounting from Arizona State University, graduating in the Fall of 1984. I have taught and participated in continuing education courses in the field of property and casualty.

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