The person that can qualify as an appraiser for a policyholder in Colorado is still a guess with policyholders not exactly knowing what to do about the selection of their appraiser. One Colorado insurance company law firm has their clients select very biased appraisers against their own customers and then challenges almost all policyholder appraisers as biased. This firm with their clients’ blessings, then tries to have the customer collect nothing arguing that the customer breached the policy by selecting a “biased” appraiser while having a “polecat” selected in the wings as their own appraiser.
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Last week, the Texas Second Court of Appeals issued Lambert v. State Farm Lloyds,1 which follows the Texas Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Barbara Technologies Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds.2

In a recent blog post, Payment of an Appraisal Award: Is There More, I reviewed Barbara Tech and its companion case, Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds.3 These two landmark cases hold that an insurer’s full and timely payment of an appraisal award, bars an insured’s causes of action for breach of contract and any common law and statutory bad faith claims, to the extent the bad faith claims seek only actual damages that are considered lost policy benefits.
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Steve Badger and Chip Merlin

Steve Badger has certainly made his mark Texas property insurance law over the last decade. Bob Norton has similarly made a name for himself over the same period of time by forming the Insurance Appraisal and Umpire Association (IAUA) and getting some of the top legal talent and practitioners in the insurance industry teaching at IAUA programs.
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The Florida Third District Court of Appeals recently held that the policyholder’s public adjuster cannot be the policyholder’s appraiser.1 This decision will have a major impact on appraisals because many public adjusters act as their own appraisers. It should be assumed that the insurance company’s adjusters cannot act as appraisers as well. The decision should be reviewed by all public adjusters, appraisers and umpires that handle appraisals.
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Steve Patrick

Appraisal was the topic of conversation between Steve Badger and me at the Denver IAUA conference. Colorado appraisals have been a matter of much litigation and controversy in Colorado. For some reason, appraisal law has been in great flux and controversy in Colorado versus the vast majority of states where appraisals seem to go along just fine, and claims go away. The recent Colorado Supreme Court case was blogged about in Appraisal and the Impartiality of Appraisers.
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Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Owners Ins. Co. v. Dakota Station II Condominium Association,1 on appraiser impartiality. Specifically, the court discussed the meaning and interpretation of impartiality under the insurance policy and whether a contingent-cap fee agreement between the appraiser and Dakota Station rendered the appraiser not impartial as a matter of law.
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