"Actual cash value" isn't fair market value, says George v. Automobile Club of Southern California

Here's one from the backlog stack, but it isn't too exciting, so you didn't miss much.  In George v. Automobile Club of Southern California (December 12, 2011), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Eight) reviewed the trial court's decision to sustain a demurrer without leave to amend in a putative class action alleging it was impropre for defendant to declare the "actual cash value" of a vehicle in an insurance policy but then refuse to pay that amount in the event of a total loss, instead paying the fair market value of the car at the time of the loss.   The result didn't seem to be in doubt, based on the policy language noted by the trial court and Court of Apeal:

The declarations page, when read together with the rest of the policy, unambiguously provides that in the event of a total loss, the policy will pay the actual cash value of the car up to $25,000, less the deductible. The ordinary meaning of these words is that if the car is stolen and forever lost, the policy will pay the fair market value, or actual cash value, of the car on the date of the claim, less the deductible, but in any event, not more than $25,000.

Slip op., at 16.  This isn't really a class action case in that the issue was solely one of contractual interpretation, but I include it as a cautionary note for anyone else looking into bringing such a claim.