Archives: Appraisal

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Drones and Insurance: How Unmanned Aircraft Systems Can Assist Insurers in Timely and Effectively Evaluating Property Damage Claims

A typical claim for a homeowner will involve some type of damage to the property, which, in turn, prompts the insurer to perform an inspection of the insured property, so as to assess the cause and extent of the alleged damage. Depending on the nature of the claim, insurers may be able to have a … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Reference Award and Alleged Chapter 93A Violation Addressed By Federal District Court Opinion

The Massachusetts reference process is a creature of statute designed to provide an expeditious method to resolve disputes over the amount of loss covered by a property insurance policy. While a reference panel cannot decide coverage issues, its calculation of the amount of loss is “conclusive and final” under the governing statute, and courts have … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms Court’s Limited Power To Review Appraisal Awards

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently handed down an important decision reiterating the high bar to overturning arbitration awards while, at the same time, clarifying a portion of the applicable statute providing for vacating an arbitration award as well as a prior ruling concerning the timing of payment of heldback depreciation. In Kellogg v. Middlesex Mutual … Continue Reading

Appraisal Award Unenforceable Where Suit Limitation Period Expired Prior To Filing Suit: New York County Dismisses Storm Sandy Coverage Suit

Suit limitation provisions in insurance policies shorten the statutory period of time that a plaintiff may bring a suit against an insurer for certain causes of action. A New York court recently held that an appraisal award issued a few months after the suit limitation expired was unenforceable where the insured failed to file suit … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Drones May Be Hitting the Skies

Back in March, our Data Privacy + Security Insider blog reported an increase in the use of commercial drones by State Departments of Transportation across the country. Now, insurance companies are also getting in the game. Using drones for underwriting, determining property values and conditions for policy issuance, inspections and risk evaluations may be more economical, may … Continue Reading

Insurance Fraud Case: Second Circuit Addresses Adverse Inference Instruction, Restitution For Prior Payments

In insurance fraud cases involving actual or alleged destruction of evidence by the insured, an issue often arises regarding whether an adverse inference instruction is appropriate, and, if so, what form it should take. The Second Circuit recently approved a “light” form of adverse inference instruction that allowed the jury to make an adverse inference … Continue Reading

Florida Second DCA Rules That Payment Of Appraisal Award Satisfies The “Favorable Resolution” Requirement For A Bad Faith Action

In Florida, bad-faith actions against insurers pursuant to Section 624.155 cannot be brought until (1) the insured files a civil remedy notice (CRN) accepted by Florida’s Department of Financial Services; and (2) the underlying breach of contract lawsuit is “resolved in the insured’s favor.” See Blanchard v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 575 So. 2d 1289, … Continue Reading

Florida Administrative Rule Requiring Notification of Mediation Program Within Five Days Deemed Invalid

Administrative regulations enacted pursuant to a state statute often impose strict deadlines by which insurers are required to perform a variety of tasks, including the prompt issuance of a reservations of rights, notification of coverage determinations, and advising of an insured’s right to file a complaint with the state’s insurance department.  Often overlooked is the … Continue Reading

When is an Appraisal Demand Premature? Southern District of Florida Addresses a Post-Litigation Appraisal Demand

When is an Appraisal Demand Premature?  Southern District of Florida Addresses a Post-Litigation Appraisal Demand Biscayne Cove Condominium Association, Inc. v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5194 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 14, 2013), involved a Hurricane Wilma property coverage dispute at a condominium complex. In this case, the court denied the insurer’s (“QBE’) motion to dismiss … Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees and Prejudgment Interest Recovery in Appraisal Context: Florida Federal Court Determines Attorneys’ Fees Are Appropriate, but Prejudgment Interest Is Not

The ability to recover extra-contractual damages such as attorneys’ fees, costs and interest in insurance coverage cases varies widely in jurisdictions nationwide. The Southern District of Florida’s recent decision in Sands on the Ocean addresses the recovery of attorneys’ fees and prejudgment interest in an appraisal context in Florida. In Florida, a statute generally provides … Continue Reading

Florida Appellate Court Upholds Appraisal Rights, Finding Lower Court Improperly Relied Upon Administrative Rule

This case generally reaffirms the commitment of the Florida courts to contractual appraisal rights in the absence of waiver. In First Protective Ins. Co., v. Schneider Family Partnership, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 19701 (Fla. 2nd DCA, Nov. 14, 2012), the court addressed a claim for insurance coverage for property damage sustained during Hurricane Wilma. The … Continue Reading

Appraisal Rights Upheld in Face of Premature Litigation, Notwithstanding Florida Statutory Mediation Notice Requirements

Consistent with its general support of Alternate Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) procedures, Florida promulgated a mediation procedure for property insurance claims. Fla. Stat. § 627.7015 (2010). This statute contains a provision which, should the insurer fail to comply with mediation notice requirements, can result in a waiver of the insurer’s appraisal rights under the insurance policy. … Continue Reading

Appraisal Award, Standing Alone, Does Not Entitle A Policyholder To Judgment Against An Insurer In The Amount Of The Award, According To Texas Appellate Court

The Texas Court of Appeals has reaffirmed established Texas law, holding that the entry of an appraisal award in favor of the policyholder does not, by itself, establish that the insurer is obligated to pay the award or that the policyholder is entitled to judgment in the amount of the award. Security National Ins. Co. … Continue Reading

Appraisal award in favor of insured was not a “final determination” of insurer’s liability under policy, and Florida court dismisses bad faith claim as premature

A few weeks ago, we reported on the Florida appellate court’s decision in Trafalgar At Greenacres, LTD v. Zurich American Ins. Co., No. 4D11-1376 (Fla. 4th DCA, Sept. 5, 2012), in which the court permitted a policyholder to sue its property insurer for bad faith even though the trial court had ruled that the insurer … Continue Reading

Judicial Review of Appraisal Awards: Sixth Circuit Identifies Proper Standard of Review Under Michigan Law

As previously mentioned in my blog posts on May 3, 2012 and May 17, 2012,  courts are frequently asked to determine whether an appraisal award should be overturned or vacated. Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that, under Michigan law, judicial review of an appraisal award is limited to instances … Continue Reading

New York Appraisal Award Upheld by Federal Appellate Court

As mentioned in my May 3, 2012 blog post, courts are frequently asked to determine whether an appraisal award should be overturned. Recently, the Second Circuit was asked to consider the timeliness of an appraisal demand, whether the determination of the period of restoration implicates a coverage issue of the type appraisers cannot decide, and whether an … Continue Reading

North Carolina Insurance Appraisal Award: Federal District Court Invalidates Appraisal Award Implicating Causation Issues

Insurance appraisal awards are frequently the subject of court decisions because of difficulties appraisal panels face when tasked with determining the amount of a loss, especially when the loss implicates potential coverage issues.  In the most recent decision coming out of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, an appraisal … Continue Reading