The standard appraisal clause required to be in most insurance policies is an important key to resolving disputes with your carrier. Most policyholders are unfamiliar with this important clause and how to utilize it.
This form of alternative dispute resolution is commonly used to the policyholders advantage in lieu of costly litigation.
For example, the appraisal clause required in New York fire insurance policies is “binding on all parties” despite “any other provision of law to the contrary.”
APPRAISAL – If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either may demand that the amount of loss be set by Appraisal. If either makes a written demand for Appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser. Each shall notify the other of the appraiser’s identity within 20 days of the written demand. The two appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial Umpire. If the two appraisers are unable to agree upon an Umpire within 15 days, you or we will ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premises is located to select an Umpire. The Appraisers shall then set the amount of the loss. If the Appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the Umpire. Written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount loss.