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?

Arbitration clauses primarily found in surplus lines policies with a choice of law provision generally selecting New York law and a shortened statute of limitations are a trap for unwary public adjusters and attorneys. A recent federal appellate court case upheld such a clause despite a state law making it illegal. The holding of the case suggests just how complicated of a legal issue this is:

This appeal presents an issue of first impression in this circuit that lies at the intersection of international, federal, and state law: whether the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1011–15, allows a Washington statute to reverse-preempt the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, a multilateral treaty. We conclude that the relevant provision of the Convention is self-executing, and therefore not an “Act of Congress” subject to reverse-preemption by the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s order compelling arbitration.1


Continue Reading Public Adjusters Beware of Arbitration Clauses Changing State Law

Arbitration of insurance claims, whether a homeowners claim or a commercial property insurance claim, is a growing trend in the insurance claims world. Understanding what arbitration is, how to prepare a claim for arbitration, and what to watch out for in arbitration is crucial if a policyholder is going to receive a full recovery. Christina Phillips is a leader in the advocacy for policyholders and will be my guest today at 2 pm EST discussing State Farm arbitration do’s and don’ts.
Continue Reading State Farm Arbitration of Insurance Claims—Christina Phillips Analyzes the Pros, Cons, and How to Go About State Farm Arbitration on Chip at 2 Today

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?

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

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

Arbitration has been showing up as a requirement more frequently in some property insurance policies. A past President of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) recently asked me ‘what exactly is arbitration and how is it different than litigation or a trial?’ I figure that it may be a good time to have a Tuesday at 2 With Chip Merlin session to go over the various dispute resolutions involving trial, litigation, arbitration, appraisal, mediation and department of insurance sponsored mediation.
Continue Reading What Are the Differences Between Mediation vs Arbitration vs Appraisal vs Litigation When It Comes To Resolving a Property Insurance Claim?

Texas law is currently silent on the issue of whether insurance companies may sell insurance policies that require policyholders to bring coverage disputes to an arbitrator rather than the courts. Texas has no statute or regulation in force that prohibits or restricts mandatory arbitration.1
Continue Reading Can Nonsignatories to an Insurance Policy Enforce its Arbitration Provision?

If you have ever appraised a loss in Minnesota, chances are it was more akin to an arbitration than a traditional appraisal under an insurance policy. That might change given the recent opinion by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Oliver v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company., 2020 WL 1041113 (Minn. March 4, 2020).
Continue Reading The Uniform Arbitration Act Does Not Apply to Appraisal