A lawsuit filed by Church Mutual seems to be part of a trend of insurers analyzing high-value appraisal awards and not paying them. I recently mentioned the nationwide non-payment of appraisal awards by State Farm in
Why Has State Farm Stopped Paying Appraisal Awards? The instant lawsuit1 argues that the award inherently is subject to coverage determinations of unowned amounts because the appraisal panel said they never applied any of the policy conditions:
Continue Reading Are More Appraisals Being Challenged By Insurers—Why Go to Appraisal If Insurers Will Not Pay the Appraisal Award?

The Property Loss Appraisal Network (P.L.A.N.) is holding its appraisal and umpire and certification course in Denver. It was a pleasure for me to speak at this event.
Continue Reading Should Umpires Be Allowed to Have Ex Parte Communications With Appraisers? — The Colorado 2015 Revision to DORA Bulletin No. B-5.26

The proper and ethical role of an insurance appraiser and umpire has been on my mind as I prepare my presentation for next week’s P.L.A.N. Appraiser & Umpire Certification Conference in Denver, Colorado. I am certain everybody reading this post who has participated in an appraisal thinks they have the correct opinion of these roles. I supported certification for these roles at a time when certification was in its infancy. In the 1990s – before appraisal became such a huge industry and a more common method of property insurance dispute resolution – I chaired a project to study possible ways to make appraisal fairer. So, the topic has been in my head a lot longer than most people have been in this industry.
Continue Reading What is The Role of The Appraiser In An Insurance Appraisal? What is The Role of The Umpire?

Appraisals are a common alternative method to litigation for resolving property insurance disputes. Still, the time to file suit varies from state to state, even when an appraisal is invoked. Policyholders should be wary that even though an appraisal is invoked, some states still allow the time to bring suit to run despite the ongoing appraisal. Statutes of limitation when an appraisal is involved can be a complex and often overlooked aspect of a claim with disastrous results if the issue is not legally analyzed.
Continue Reading When Does the Statute of Limitations Run After a Texas Appraisal?

In a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, a federal judge issued an order denying the property owner’s request for appraisal, holding that the insurance policy’s appraisal provision is “limited to disputes over valuation, not causation or coverage.”1
Continue Reading Wisconsin Federal Court Limits Appraisal to Valuation Only

The United States Supreme Court held in the 1931 case of Hardware Dealers Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Glidden Company,1 that the appraisal clause found in the Minnesota standard fire insurance policy is constitutional. This post follows the recent post, Does the Appraisal Process Violate the Constitution?, where I analyzed a pending case where the insurance company is arguing that the appraisal “process” is unconstitutional.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Has Ruled That the Appraisal Clause in the Standard Fire Policy Is Constitutional

Happy Father’s Day!

Pablo Caceres is an experienced insurance defense attorney from a very reputable law firm who has raised the issue of whether the appraisal process violates the constitution. In an answer to a lawsuit by a condominium trying to enforce the appraisal provision, Caceres made the following argument on behalf of his client, Empire Indemnity Insurance Company:
Continue Reading Does the Appraisal Process Violate the Constitution?

Researching the origins of the appraisal clause, I posted about one found in a 1793 property policy in An Appraisal Clause From 1793. I came across the same clause in a 1761 maritime policy that was found in a virtual Harvard library.
Continue Reading Appraisal Clause in 1761 Maritime Policy and Reflections on Fast Resolution of Controversies