Property insurance policies have long-contained appraisal and arbitration provisions.1 Although both avenues offer insureds the ability to resolve their claims through extrajudicial means, each has clear distinctions and similarities. In certain circumstances, some issues may only be resolved through a trial court.
Continue Reading What May and May Not Be Resolved Through Appraisal or Arbitration in Florida?

Dogs and cats harmoniously together? It happens at the Windstorm Insurance Conference where insurance company representatives and policyholder advocates analyze property insurance claims handling trends. Jonathan Held, Steve Badger, and I will present and analyze some of the most cutting-edge issues surrounding appraisals of property insurance disputes. This year’s Conference will be held virtually February 1-4. The live Conference will be held May 24-26.
Continue Reading Jon Held, Steve Badger, and Chip Merlin Discuss the Hottest Appraisal Trends and Controversies At The Windstorm Conference

While appraisal can be used by an insurance company as a method of delaying claims and avoiding complete payment, there are circumstances when entering appraisal is in the best interest of the insured. Whatever the reason for seeking this cost-efficient procedure, it is important to consider what the courts view as prerequisites to utilizing their discretion to compel appraisal.
Continue Reading How to Force an Insurer into Appraisal in Florida – Satisfaction of Post-Loss Obligations

Today‘s 2 p.m. EST Livestream features two former insurance company adjusters turned “good guy” policyholder attorneys. Merlin Law Group attorneys Javier Delgado and Etienne Font worked as insurance adjusters in a prior life. Their practical understanding and appreciating what insurance companies and independent adjusters have to do to resolve claims helps in their practice today

Matching of damaged parts of a building is nothing new. This “Give Me Your Walls” episode from the classic Dick Van Dyke Show demonstrates a typical concern most property owners have about the aesthetics of matching property:

Some insurance companies are now selling “swiss cheese” and “cheap” insurance because they specifically say they will

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has reissued Directive 173 (Revised and Reissued)1 to remind insurers of La. R.S. 22:868(A) and to advise of recent amendments, effective August 1, 2020, made in Louisiana’s Regular Session 2020, which adds “venue” to subsection (A)(2):

Please take note that, pursuant to La. R.S. 22:868(A)(2), arbitration and appraisal provisions that attempt to deprive Louisiana courts of jurisdiction or venue are not permitted in insurance policies or insurance contracts delivered or issued for delivery in Louisiana.
Continue Reading Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Binding Arbitration and Binding Appraisal Provisions Are Prohibited in Louisiana

Friday at 2 With Chip is going to be interesting today. The Executive Director from FAPIA, Nancy Dominguez, sent me a State Farm policy that I have confirmed was the policy used in an appraisal in Florida. Here is the relevant language:

Appraisal. If you and we fail to agree on the amount of any loss under SECTION 1-PROPERTY COVERAGES, either party can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal. A demand for appraisal must be in writing. You must comply with SECTION I – CONDITIONS, Your Duties After Loss before making a demand for appraisal. At least 10 days before demanding appraisal, the party seeking appraisal must provide the other party with written, itemized documentation of a specific dispute as to the amount of the loss, identifying separately each item being disputed.
Continue Reading New Requirements for Being a Property Insurance Appraiser—Are Insurers Going to Change Appraisal With New Policy Language?

I was publicly debating at an appraisal conference in Denver with insurance defense lawyer Steve Badger about various matters regarding appraisals. I answered a question posed that if new evidence came up to the insured’s selected appraiser which indicated that the prior payment by the insurance company was more than enough and the insurance carrier clearly overpaid, did the insured’s appraiser have to agree to an value even lower than what was previously paid?
Continue Reading Do Insurance Companies Select Appraisers Based on Lowered Awards to Their Customers?