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(a) Any person transacting a business of insurance who participates in the investigation, adjustment, negotiation, or settlement of a first-party property claim shall:
(1) apply one of the following settlement methods if coverage provides for the adjustment of a claimant's property loss on the basis of actual cash value or replacement with other property of like kind and quality;
(A) offer specific comparable and available replacement property, with all applicable taxes, charges, and other fees incident to the transfer of ownership of the property at no cost to the claimant other than the deductible amount, if any, as stated in the coverage; the offer of replacement property shall be in writing if rejected by the first-party claimant; or
(B) make a cash settlement based upon the actual cost of comparable property, including all applicable taxes, charges and other fees incident to transfer of ownership, less the deductible amount, if any, as stated in the coverage; the cost shall be determined by:
(i) the cost of comparable property in the local market area to the claimant, if such property is available in that area; or
(ii) the average of two or more cost quotations obtained for comparable property from two or more qualified dealers, suppliers or contractors located within the local market area, if comparable property is not available in that area; or
(iii) settle a loss on a basis that deviates from the rules set out in (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph, if the deviation is supported by documentation in the claim file which gives the particulars of the condition of the property involved; the valuation, including salvage value of the property lost, if any, must be in an adequate and appropriate amount; the basis for settlement shall be fully explained to the claimant;
(2) provide to a first-party claimant a reasonable written explanation of the valuation of the damages to the property;
(3) include the first-party claimant's deductible, if any, in a subrogation demand unless the first-party claimant requests that it not be included or unless the deductible has been otherwise recovered by the first-party claimant; no deduction for expense may be made from any deductible recovered unless an outside attorney or other outside expert witnesses have been retained and deduction may be for no more than a pro rata share of their cost less attorney fees and costs recovered; any recovery of prejudgement or postjudgement interest shall be shared pro rata.
(b) Any person transacting the business of insurance who participates in the investigation, adjustment, negotiation, or settlement of a third-party property claim:
(1) shall provide to a third-party claimant a reasonable written explanation of the valuation of damages to property which is the basis of any settlement offer;
(2) may not recommend that a third-party claimant make a claim under the claimant's own coverage in order to delay or avoid paying a claim where liability and damages are reasonably clear.
(c) Any person settling or adjusting a property claim may not require a claimant to travel unreasonably either to inspect replacement property, obtain a repair estimate, or have the property repaired at a specific facility.
(d) Any estimate of the costs of the repair of the property must be a fair and appropriate amount for which the damage can be reasonably expected to be repaired at one or more conveniently located repair facilities, dealers, or contractors.
(e) Any person who reduces the amount claimed as damage to property on the basis of betterment or depreciation shall itemize each deduction. The basis for the reduction shall be documented in the claim file.
(f) If a person adjusting or settling a claim elects to have repaired a claimant's property and chooses a specific repair facility, dealer, or contractor, that person shall guarantee the repairs and cause the damaged property to be restored to its condition before the loss, at no additional cost to the claimant, and cause the repairs to be completed within a reasonable period of time.
History: Eff. 5/6/89, Register 110
Authority: AS 21.06.090
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Last modified 7/05/2006