Elberon Bathing Co., Inc. v. Ambassador Ins. Co., Inc., 77 N.J. 1, 389 A.2d 439, 8 A.L.R.4th 519 (1978)

Practice Areas: Property Litigation

Insureds under excess fire policy sought entry of judgment on appraisement for partial loss by fire. The Superior Court, Law Division, entered judgment in favor of insureds for $52,000, and insurer appealed. The Superior Court, Appellate Division, affirmed, and insurer again appealed. The Supreme Court, Conford, P. J. A. D. (temporarily assigned), held that: (1) appraisal based on replacement cost without consideration of depreciation does not measure “actual cash value” and is therefore improper; (2) proper standard for evaluating “actual cash value” under New Jersey standard form policy is broad evidence rule; (3) failure of appraisers to deduct depreciation from replacement cost constituted sufficient cause to set aside award; (4) trial court was not required to proceed under and pursuant to Arbitration Act, and (5) it was obligation of trial judge, following fire appraisal, to determine question of liability.

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