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Home / Insurance / What is the legal standard for reversing an assessment in Florida? | Legal insurance blog for property insurance

What is the legal standard for reversing an assessment in Florida? | Legal insurance blog for property insurance



Virtually all first-party property insurance policies include an appraisal clause in which each party, the insured and the insurer appoints an "uninterested" or "impartial" appraiser who in turn selects a judge to resolve the amount of the loss.

Assessment shall provide a cheap and effective way of resolving insurance disputes. But even after an evaluation price has been announced, the underlying dispute is not necessarily resolved.

I have a number of clients with evaluation questions and they often ask me, “will I be able to challenge the results of the evaluation? Chip Merlin's advice to policyholders is: Win the evaluation in any legal and honest way you can because it is unlikely to overturn a poor evaluation price. provided unless it is clear that it was done without authority or was the result of the fraud, mistake or dissatisfaction of the fraudsters. 1

The binding nature of the decision is extremely important because the insured can not use

In Hannover Fire Insurance Company v. Lewis the court declared that:

The parties in this case, in accordance with this valid and binding provision of the policy herewith, entered into a solemn written compact which referred the question of the "amount" of the loss or damage to two arbitrators or assessors of their choice, with the power in them to choose a third as judge in case or their failure e to agree. . . . [P] immediately after the awarding of the prize, they informed the insurers of their determination not to follow the same; but the parties can thus not arbitrarily free themselves from the binding force and effect of their solemn contract. By this award they were bound and to the amount awarded they were limited in their right to recover, unless they could have proved themselves properly appealed to any fraud or other matter which by law would have avoided the same. In the post here, there is not a scintilla of evidence that even tends or attempts to show either irregularities, injustices or frauds in the procurement of this submission or in its conduct or results, and we must therefore argue that, in the absence of anything in such circumstances to Avoid it, it is binding on the extent of the loss for the insured as well as for the insurers. 2

The reasons for amending or revoking an evaluation agreement are also examined in another case in Florida: 3

Unless the trial court finds that one of the statutory grounds listed applies to leave a decision, neither the trial court nor a district court of appeal for that matter has the power to set aside a decision. [19659010] As you can see, as long as an evaluation agreement is approved by both parties – which it usually is – and is not the result of fraud, accident or mistake, the Florida courts will grant an evaluation decision. In my experience, it is very difficult to cancel an evaluation price, so it is imperative that you and your attorney work to ensure that the evaluation process complies with the insurance policy and Florida law.

Today's Thought:

Life's most persistent and urgent question is: & # 39; What do you do for others? & # 39;
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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1 Enzor v N.C. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. 473 S.E. 2d 638 (N.C. Ct. App. 1996); Bowdren v. Aetna Life & Cas. 591 A.2d 751 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1991).
2 Hanover Fire Ins. Co. v. Lewis 10 So. 297, 302-303 (Fla. 1891).
3 American Reliance Ins. Co. v. Devecht 820 So. 2d 378 (3d DCA 2002).


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