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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Ruling goes against insurer that applied depreciation discount in partial vehicle loss claim

Insurer Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples must justify the legality of any depreciation discount that applies to claims for a partial loss on vehicles, as in an accident, a San Juan Superior Court judge ruled this week.

By The Star Staff

Judge Iris L. Cancio González of the San Juan Superior Court ruled Thursday that Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples (CSM by its Spanish initials) must justify the legality of any depreciation discount that applies to claims for a partial loss on vehicles.

The decision was issued following a lawsuit filed by Lynette Rodríguez Flores.

“This type of outrageous conduct must be eliminated from any insurance claim process in Puerto Rico,” attorney Ari Kresch of 1-800-LAW-FIRM said in a written statement. “Insurance regulations in Puerto Rico only allow a depreciation deduction when the vehicle is declared a total loss.”

The court also found that CSM must explain the reasonableness of the methodology used to calculate depreciation on auto parts and present the database used to apply the discount. The decision allows the lawsuit to move forward into a potential class action, under Rule of Civil Procedure 20.1.

The case originated when the plaintiff’s vehicle was damaged in an accident in October 2020. CSM estimated the repair costs, but applied an additional deduction of $681.61 based on the depreciation of the parts to be replaced. CSM argued that the Office of the Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner had authorized such deductions, but the court rejected that claim.

A conference meeting on the status of the case is scheduled for Sept. 4.

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