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evidence of value;" proof of cost price of articles in use for an indefinite period is not sufficient.?
1. Sun Fire Office v. Ayerst, 37 Nebr. 184, 55 N. 'W. Rep. 635. And see Huston v. State Ins. Co., 100 Iowa, 402, 69 N. W. Rep. 674.
2. Rademacher v. Greenwich Ins. Co., 75 Hun, 83, 27 N. Y. Supp. 155; Cheever v. Scottish Union Ins. Co., 86 App. Div. 328, 83 N. Y. Supp. 730; Glaser v. Home Ins. Co., 93 N. Y. Supp. 524.
3. Germier v. Springfield F. & M. Ins. Co., 109 La. 341, 33 So. Rep. 361.
Market Value of Stocks of Merchandise
The market value of stock of goods or merchandise is a proper measure of damage;' and the opinion of a merchant who is acquainted with stock of goods destroyed is competent evidence of value;- but not where the witness merely “recollects of being in store several times when he saw a good sized stock of goods
1. Manchester Ins. Co. v. Feibelman, 118 Ala. 308, 23 So. Rep. 759, 27 Ins. L. J. 855; Fowler v. Old North State Ins. Co., 74 N. C. 89; Grubbs v. North Carolina Ins. Co., 108 N. C. 472, 18 S. E. Rep. 236.
2. Burnett v. American Central Ins. Co., 68 Mo. App. 343 ; Enos v. St. Paul Ins. Co., 4 S. D. 639, 57 N. W. Rep. 919, 23 Ins. L. J. 258.
3. Metzger v. Manchester Assur. Co., 102 Mich. 334, 63 N. W. Rep. 650. And see Teerpenning v. Corn Exchange Ins. Co., 43 N. Y. 279.
Loss of Stock of Merchandise, how Estimated.
Where stock of goods or merchandise is destroyed by fire, the amount of the loss may be established by proving the amount of the stock and value at a previous date, and adding thereto the amount of purchases to
date of fire, or cost of manufacturing and delivery, from which is deducted the total amount of sales during the same period less the percentage of profits;' books of account and invoices are in most cases the only means of arriving at amount of loss and liability of the insurance company;? the books themselves are the best evidence of their contents. The question of percentage of profit is one of fact.*
1. Scottish Union & National Ins. Co. v. Keene, 85 Md. 263, 37 Atl. Rep. 33, 26 Ins. L. J. 963; Reade v. State Ins. Co., 103 Iowa, 307, 72 N. W. Rep. 665.
2. Niagara Ins. Co. v. Forehand, 169 Ill. 629, 48 N. E. Rep. 830,
3. Dohrman Co. v. Niagara Ins. Co., 96 Wis. 38, 71 N. W. Rep. 69, 27 Ins. L. J. 357. And see Rule 23. 4. Wells Whip Co. v. Farmers' Ins. Co., Pa. St.
58 Atl. Rep. 894.
This rule is given as expressed by the courts in the cases cited, but obviously must not be construed as limiting the elements to those specifically named.
For instance, the amount of an inventory as taken may include value of store fixtures or other items not covered, all of which should be first deducted before amount of purchases is added to date of fire.
To the total amount of sales (less the percentage of profits) should be added the invoice price of all stock or merchandise saved undamaged, and same which has been used by the insured or his family, or removed from the store for sale or disposal elsewhere, before the deduction of amount of sales is made. And after such deduction is made it is proper to consider and make or allow as further deductions, according to the facts and circumstances, a certain percentage for depreciation and for shop or shelf-worn goods, and the value of the merchandise saved in damaged condition as agreed upon or appraised, also discount when it has been allowed for time purchases. Freight also is a proper item for consideration. There may be even other elements which should be considered or proper to be considered, impossible to state or anticipate here.
The following “ Statement of Loss” is inserted as a proper model or basis. Credit is given to Mr. W. H. Lowden, of San Francisco, for the form, and is also due to Mr. R. J. Taylor, of New York city, manager of the loss department of the Continental Insurance Company, for clear elaboration of the same. It is legally correct, and conforms to the principle of above rule:
STATEMENT OF Loss.
Amount of inventory taken January 2, 1886, at
cost, and freight Less value of store fixtures and furniture included in inventory
$1,100 00 Less also freight
on balance ($18,900.00) included in inventory, ascertained rate at 5 per cent.
Leaving actual invoice price of inventory.. $18,000 00 Add cash and credit purchases at invoice price.. 15,000 00
Invoice price of merchandise to be accounted
DEDUCTIONS TO ASCERTAIN INVOICE PRICE OF
Total cash and credit sales, as per books ..
. . $16,800 00 Less agreed profits over invoice cost at 20 per cent....
Leaving invoice price of sales to
3,000 00 Mdse. used by assured at invoice
price during 54 months at $100 per month .
Giving as a result the invoice price of stock
injured (either totally destroyed or dam-
$15,450 00 FURTHER DEDUCTIONS AND ADDITIONS TO ASCER
TAIN ACTUAL VALUE. Depreciation on $15,450.00 at 10 per cent. . .
$1,545 00 Discount for time purchases
$11,587.50 (three-fourths of the goods having been bought on time) at 2 per cent.
231 75 Actual appraised (or agreed) cash
value of the damaged merchandise, 1,125 00
Which gives the loss on mdse. at invoice price, less
the agreed deductions for depreciation and
credit purchases ... To this add freight on $15,450.00 (the stock in
jured by fire) at 5 per cent...
And the loss to the assured, on a cash basis, is
Inventory of Goods as Evidence.
An inventory of goods totally destroyed is admissible in connection with the testimony of the parties who made it as tending to show the amount and value thereof;' when made shortly before the fire, though not made by the insured, but by another party for the purpose of sale to him, it is admissible as a basis of determining the loss;- where there is no other or better evidence, same having been destroyed in the fire, an inventory taken six and a half years before the fire, with subsequent purchases and sales may afford proper basis of determining value destroyed.”
1. West Branch Lumbermen's Exchange v. American Ins. Co., 183 Pa. St. 366, 38 Atl. Rep. 1081, 27 Ins. L. J. 305; Wallach v. Commercial Ins. Co., 12 Daly, 387; Alleghany Ins. Co. v. O'Hanlon, 1 Walker (Pa.), 359; Stevens v. Queen Ins. Co., 32 N. B. 387; Phænix Ins. Co. v. Public Parks Amuse ment Co., 63 Ark. 187, 37 S. W. Rep. 959.
2. Scottish Union & National Ins. Co. v. Stubbs, 98 Ga. 754, 27 S. E. Rep. 180.
3. German Ins. Co. v. Amsbaugh, 8 Kans. App. 197, 55 Pac. Rep. 481.
Estimate of Loss May be Based on Original Bills when no Books
and no Inventory.
When assured kept no books, and has no inventory, the estimate or evidence of loss may be based upon original bills representing amounts paid for stock during the time the business has been conducted; evidence that sales during same time averaged a certain amount weekly, that a certain percentage of the proceeds of the sales was profit, and that there remained a stated quantity of the stock after the fire, damaged in a certain amount; such evidence is aided by proof of a general custom among insurance adjusters as to method of ascertaining the loss in such a case;a bill of goods purchased fifteen months prior to the fire may be a proper basis of estimate.2
1. Sherlock v. German-American Ins. Co., 21 App. Div. 18, 47 N. Y. Supp. 315, affd., 162 N. Y. 656, without opinion; Home Ins. Co. v. Baltimore Warehouse Co., 3 Otto (U. S.), 527. And see Williams v. Niagara Ins. Co., 50 Iowa, 561.
2. St. Paul F. & M. Ins. Co. v. Gotthelf, 35 Nebr. 351, 53 N. W. Rep. 137, 22 Ins. L. J. 34.
Inventory and Books Must be Verified as Correct. Inventory and books of account are competent evidence as to value of stock destroyed only when verified as correct or authenticated;1 but this does not