In 2016, State Farm came out with a new appraisal provision for its homeowner insurance policy.1 This new provision makes the appraisal process extremely burdensome for policyholders. While I have always felt the new provision violates the Standard Fire Policy, a Michigan federal district court recently reached the same conclusion.
Continue Reading State Farm’s Appraisal Provision Violates the Standard Fire Policy

The reaction and calls from those involved with appraisal to the post, Is Appraisal Governed Under the Federal Arbitration Act? have generated a great deal of concern. The emotion was near panic from those who make a living as appraisers asking how to get approved as an arbitrator. Others simply asked what does this practically mean—will the process change
Continue Reading If Appraisal Is Governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, What Is the Process?

Louisiana Act 345 will have an immediate impact on Louisiana property insurance claims from Hurricane Ida. The law just became effective on August 1, 2021, without much publicity. Hurricane Ida has done significant damage in Louisiana, and everybody involved in the claims process should carefully consider this new law.
Continue Reading New Louisiana Property Insurance Law Impacts Hurricane Ida Claims

INTRODUCTION: Appraisal provisions have been a feature of insurance policies in Texas for well over a century.1 Indeed, in the Texas Supreme Court’s 2009 opinion of State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson, the court noted that it has only addressed insurance appraisal provisions a total of five times between 1888 and 2002.2 Since Johnson, insurance appraisal law has grown substantially and now has claimed a front-row seat in Texas property insurance coverage litigation. The Randel case, discussed below, is the most recent appraisal opinion.
Continue Reading Texas Appraisal Law Update

Many insurance policies contain an appraisal provision which provides a mechanism to insurance companies and policyholders to resolve disputes between themselves relating to the amount of the loss resulting from a storm or loss causing event without a formal lawsuit. The appraisal is “an act of estimating” or “a valuation of property by the estimate of an authorized person.”1 The provision permits a panel of qualified and disinterested individuals to review the loss and determine a fair valuation of the loss without influence or direction from the parties.
Continue Reading How to Avoid Waiving Your Right to an Appraisal to Determine the Amount of Damage to Property in Iowa

Appraisal is a dominant form of dispute resolution for first-party property insurance losses throughout the United States. While at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) I was provided a White Paper1 the Association produced in 2019, which is something I suggest everybody in the appraisal business read. Some views, especially the view against contingent contracts for appraisers, are not in agreement by all public adjusters throughout the country. Yet, the philosophy and views are important because they are expressed by the oldest longstanding association of public adjusters in the United States. The purpose of the White Paper is an effort by NAPIA “to safeguard the integrity of the appraisal process, which plays an important role in resolving first party claims.”
Continue Reading Appraisal White Paper by National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen deserves a big shout out for issuing a Bulletin on July 26 warning policyholders of the impending statute of limitations for a derecho that struck Iowa on August 10, 2020. He is calling on insurance companies to be liberal granting extensions to file lawsuits and warning derecho claimants to file suit or get an extension before August 10—next week! This Bulletin provides:
Continue Reading Iowa Derecho Statute of Limitations Quickly Approaching—Policyholders, Public Insurance Adjusters, and Contractors Beware!

A decision by the Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that an insured may electronically record an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection of the insured’s property.1 In the current case, a Florida policyholder appealed an order denying her motion for summary judgement, ruling that unless all participants consent, no one may record an insurer’s appraiser inspection in their home. The trial court reasoned that under Florida law, “the only way to record by way of video or by audio is with the full consent of all parties participating.”2 The appellate court disagreed.
Continue Reading Policyholders Can Record Appraisal Inspection