Diminished value of real estate
Here’s a big development in the area of diminished value law. A unanimous Georgia Supreme court held that property insurers have to pay diminished value damages to their policyholders when real estate is damaged. Georgia has been a leader to some degree in the area of diminished value claims. In Georgia, unlike most other states, an auto policyholder can make a claim against his own insurer for lost value of a vehicle after it has been in an accident. Most other states only allow a claim for lost value against the party who caused the accident. If the accident is a one car collision, or if the policyholder is the one at fault, these other states don’t permit a recovery of money. The reason this Georgia Supreme court decision is important, is that the reasoning behind the diminished value argument in Georgia has been extended to real estate by the Supreme Court of Georgia. As Georgia has been a leader in this area, it’s not too hard to imagine that other states may follow their lead. Furthermore, it reinforces that argument in other states that loss of value from damage to real estate is a legitimate claim. Here’s a link to an article that discusses this case.