Nebraska Revised Statute 44-501.02

Chapter 44


Fire insurance; valued policies.

Whenever any policy of insurance is written to insure any real property in this state against loss by fire, tornado, windstorm, lightning, or explosion and the property insured is wholly destroyed without criminal fault on the part of the insured or his or her assignee, the amount of the insurance written in such policy shall be taken conclusively to be the true value of the property insured and the true amount of loss and measure of damages.



  • 1. Constitutionality

  • 2. Character of property

  • 3. Valuation

  • 4. Stipulations in policy

  • 5. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Constitutionality

  • Valued policy law does not deprive company of property without due process of law. Dinneen v. American Ins. Co., 98 Neb. 97, 152 N.W. 307 (1915).

  • Valued policy law is constitutional and applies to mutual as well as stock companies. State ex rel. Martin v. Howard, 96 Neb. 278, 147 N.W. 689 (1914); Farmers Mut. Ins. Co. v. Cole, 4 Neb. Unof. 130, 93 N.W. 730 (1903).

  • 2. Character of property

  • A hail insurance policy is an open one, and recovery thereon rests upon the actual value of the crops damaged. Linch v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 138 Neb. 110, 292 N.W. 27 (1940).

  • Grain elevator is real estate and within protection of statute though erected under lease, for definite term, containing stipulation for removal by tenant at termination thereof. Calnon v. Fidelity-Phenix Fire Ins. Co., 114 Neb. 194, 206 N.W. 765 (1925).

  • 3. Valuation

  • If the property insured was totally destroyed, the plaintiff is entitled to the total amount of the insurance upon the property regardless of its value at the time of the fire. Malm v. State Farmers Ins. Co., 125 Neb. 594, 251 N.W. 260 (1933).

  • Insurer accepting insured's valuation of dwelling, without investigation, cannot thereafter plead that there was a fraudulent overvaluation. United States Fire Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 25 F.2d 40 (8th Cir. 1928).

  • 4. Stipulations in policy

  • This section has no application to a stipulation in policy that insured may apply up to ten percent of amount of policy to cover private structures appertaining to and located on premises described. Morris v. American & Foreign Ins. Co., 150 Neb. 765, 35 N.W.2d 832 (1949).

  • An insurer may lawfully contract in the policy that it is a condition of the policy that the total insurance shall not exceed a sum named, and where there is other valid prior insurance on the property in a greater amount than the total permitted by the policy, the latter policy does not take effect as a policy of insurance. Quisenberry v. National Fire Ins. Co., 132 Neb. 793, 273 N.W. 197 (1937).

  • Valued Policy Law fixes worth of property insured conclusively at valuation written in policy, and, in case of total loss, that sum is measure of recovery. Leisy v. Farmers Mut. Home Ins. Co., 128 Neb. 278, 258 N.W. 481 (1935).

  • As a result of two fires, measure of recovery for final loss is amount written in contract less amounts paid in settlement of previous losses. Fadanelli v. National Sec. Fire Ins. Co., 113 Neb. 830, 205 N.W. 642 (1925); Lancashire Ins. Co. v. Bush, 60 Neb. 116, 82 N.W. 313 (1900).

  • Where there is a total loss, measure of recovery is valuation written in contract. Fadanelli v. Nat. Sec. Fire Ins. Co., 113 Neb. 830, 205 N.W. 642 (1925); Lancashire Ins. Co. v. Bush, 60 Neb. 116, 82 N.W. 313 (1900); Aetna Ins. Co. v. Simmons, 49 Neb. 811, 69 N.W. 125 (1896).

  • In case of partial loss, actual damage is measure of recovery. Lancashire Ins. Co. v. Bush, 60 Neb. 116, 82 N.W. 313 (1900).

  • Section cannot be rendered inoperative. Home Fire Ins. Co. v. Weed, 55 Neb. 146, 75 N.W. 539 (1898); German Ins. Co. v. Eddy, 36 Neb. 461, 54 N.W. 856 (1893).

  • To be total loss, a building need be destroyed only as a building. Insurance Co. of N. A. v. Bachler, 44 Neb. 549, 62 N.W. 911 (1895).

  • 5. Miscellaneous

  • The statute applies only to total losses in real property. Clemon v. Occidental Fire & Cas. Co., 200 Neb. 469, 264 N.W.2d 192 (1978).

  • Recovery limited to actual value of property rather than amount of insurance where policy was issued and loss occurred before section 44-501 was amended in 1973 to reinstate "valued policy" provisions in section 44-380. Zweygardt v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 195 Neb. 811, 241 N.W.2d 323 (1976).

  • Under section 44-501, R.R.S.1943, an insured's recovery on a fire insurance policy is limited by the provisions of the policy as written in conformity with the 1943 Standard Fire Insurance Policy of New York and this section is not applicable. Insurance Co. of North America v. County of Hall, 188 Neb. 609, 198 N.W.2d 490 (1972).

  • Recovery of attorney's fee is restricted to loss by fire, tornado, or lightning. Morton v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 171 Neb. 433, 106 N.W.2d 710 (1960).

  • Recovery under Valued Policy Law cannot be had for destruction by fire of buildings situated on land not owned by insured. Sorter v. Citizens Fund Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 151 Neb. 686, 39 N.W.2d 276 (1949).

  • In action on fire insurance policy where, if insured was entitled to recover at all, it was for the full amount of the policy, the trial court properly refused to instruct the jury that the value of insured's house was its value on the open market and not the cost of replacement. Getty v. North River Ins. Co., 136 Neb. 369, 286 N.W. 271 (1939).

  • Where the insured recovered the face amount of insurance under the Valued Policy Law on a policy insuring against loss by tornado, the insured has no right to recover on a policy on the same building for the same amount insuring against fire or lightning because the claims are inconsistent and the first action is an election. Brady v. State Ins. Co., 100 Neb. 497, 160 N.W. 882 (1916).