I received a number of comments and private messages about last week’s post, Do Appraisers Legally Need to Be Licensed Adjusters in Florida. One commentator raised the issue about whether umpires have to be licensed as adjusters. That question seemed novel. I cannot find anything suggesting that an umpire has to be licensed. Indeed, the policy does not call for the umpire to be licensed. No regulation on point requires an umpire to be licensed.
Continue Reading Appointment Of Umpires and What Qualifications Matter to a Court?

Neither the Illinois Supreme Court nor the Illinois Appellate Court has weighed in on whether “causation” is appropriate for appraisal. Numerous Illinois federal district trial courts have, concluding that disputes as to (a) causation (whether the damage was caused by a covered peril), (b) the scope of damage (the extent or scope of the physical damage from the covered peril), (c) the scope of repairing or replacing the damage, (d) the cost of repairing or replacing the damage, (e) matching (the cost of repairing/replacing a physically undamaged building component to remedy a mismatch with a repaired/replaced damaged building component), and (f) whether the damage is extensive enough to require employing a general contractor are disputes as to the “amount of loss,” not coverage, and thus appropriate for appraisal.1
Continue Reading Another Illinois Federal District Court Rules That Causation Can Be Determined In Illinois Appraisals

In a follow-up to a post last spring, Appraisals Can Lead to Nasty Legal Battles—Should Appraisers and Umpires Get Insurance Protecting Them, a federal judge has allowed the insurance company to file a counterclaim against the policyholder church, its appraiser, and a unilaterally appointed umpire.1 The counterclaim is one that readers of this blog should study because it raises issues about the propriety of appointing an umpire in a separate petition from a pending lawsuit concerning the controversy, how a new appointment of a new umpire after the first one resigns is to be handled, and whether the umpire was indeed appointed unilaterally.
Continue Reading $56 Million Dollar Appraisal Award Leads to Fraud Counterclaim and Lawyer Hostility

Causation can be determined by an appraisal panel in Minnesota. The controversy involved a hailstorm where the insurance company denied that any damage was caused by the hailstorm. The insurance company refused to go to appraisal and filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration of no coverage. The policyholder countersued seeking the court to compel appraisal to determine the amount of damage caused by the hailstorm.
Continue Reading Causation Can Be Determined in Minnesota Appraisals

The title to this post was my reaction after reading a Virginia trial court opinion sent to me from Karl Dennison of Goodman, Gable & Gould (aka The Three G’s.) Insurance companies always have disputes about what is damaged and not damaged from a hailstorm. They always cite exclusions of pre-existing damage, pre-existing wear and tear, and various other reasons for not paying all the damages claimed from a hailstorm. If the appraisers are not allowed to sort out these controversies, almost no hailstorm loss would ever resolve via an appraisal that is usually, but not always, faster and less expensive than litigation.
Continue Reading Why Go To Appraisal If You Cannot Determine The Loss?

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?