Most property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause which reads:
If we and you disagree on the value of the property or the amount of the “loss,” either may make written demand for an appraisal of the “loss.” In this event, each party will select a competent and impartial appraisal. You and we must notify the other of the appraiser selected within twenty days of the written demand for appraisal. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If the appraisers do not agree on the selection of an umpire within 15 days, they must request selection of an umpire by a judge of a court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state separately the value of the property and the amount of the “loss.” If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire a decision agreed to by any two will be the appraised value of the property or amount of “loss.” If you make a written demand for an appraisal of the “loss” each party will:
- Pay its chosen appraiser; and
- Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally.
Appraisal evolved over the years as a simple means to resolve issues related to the amount of loss. Simple, right? So….what is “loss”?
Appraisal is a legal process all to itself. It has different strategies, different players and different legal issues than typical litigation. Hoch Law Firm, PC has handled every aspect of the Appraisal process in commercial property insurance disputes.
Here are a few key issues of which to be aware in Appraisal:
- Who will be your Appraiser?
- Who will be the other Appraiser? Is the other Appraiser biased? Incompetent?
- Who will be the Umpire?
- Will you have a say in the selection of the Umpire?
- What will Appraisal decide? Amount of loss? Actual cash value? Replacement cost value?
- What are the time limits for Appraisal?
- Will Appraisal address an apportionment of damage?
- Will Appraisal address the date of loss?