Is an Insurer's selection of an Appraiser important?
Categories: Insurance Litigation
Hi, my name is Nate Meyer, I'm a partner at Jaburg Wilk. My primary practice areas are insurance coverage in bad faith, commercial litigation, and professional liability.
Appraisal of First Party Property Claims in Arizona - Part 2: Is an Insurer's selection of an Appraiser important?
Absolutely. An insurer's selection of appraiser is critical for our least two reasons. First, if the appraisal process drags on and takes a long time we know, inevitably, the insurer's going to be blamed for that delay. Therefore, you need to select a diligent, meticulous appraiser that's going to move that appraisal along to a prompt resolution in the appraisal process and the claim.
The other reason that selection of a appraiser is absolutely critical is that the files of the appraiser and the files of the umpire, you can't obtain them in a subsequent bad faith action. Every appraiser or umpire with whom I've interacted is taken the position that they cannot produce their files and they cannot be deposed, much like jurors or a judge cannot be deposed because appraisal is this quasi-judicial process.
So, if you're sued after the appraisal process and you want to do all this discovery to figure out what happened during appraisal, it's essentially a black hole, you really don't have any evidence of that. So you want to have a meticulous, diligent appraiser that's going to move that process along and avoid any delay.
About the Author: Nathan D. Meyer is a Partner at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. One of his specialties is insurance coverage and bad faith. Nate advises and represents insurance clients in coverage, bad faith, contribution and liability matters.