When Can an Appraisal Award be Changed or Revised?

By Mario E. Lopez Esq. 

Most insurance policies contain an appraisal provision as a means of alternative dispute resolution. An appraisal provision usually provides that in the event of a disagreement as to the amount of a loss, each party has the right to choose an appraiser to determine the amount of a loss, and if the appraisers cannot reach an agreement as to the amount of a loss, the appraisers must submit their differences to a neutral umpire. Most appraisal provisions contain the same or similar language but are applied differently from one jurisdiction to another. For instance, it is usually understood that any decision agreed to by either of the two appraisers or one appraiser and the neutral umpire is binding on all of the parties involved.

But what happens when the parties agree to an appraisal award but then one of the parties seeks to modify or challenge the award?

The general rule is that once the umpire has issued a final award, the umpire lacks any continuing power to revise the award or issue a new one. However, in most states, an award may be challenged when the award is made without authority or results from fraud, accident, or mistake. In most states, after a party receives notice of an appraisal award, the party may make a motion to the court for an order confirming the award at which time the court shall issue a confirming order unless the award is modified or corrected.

MAIN TAKEAWAY

The important thing to note here is that if you find that there is an issue with your final appraisal award, you must file a motion with the court as soon as possible in order to challenge any miscalculation or error in the award. While appraisal can be a useful tool in the resolution of property insurance claims, it can sometimes become a difficult process due to errors in the calculation of appraisal awards. As advocates for insureds, the attorneys at Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez work closely with our clients to ensure the appraisal panel has a well-defined scope and specific instructions concerning the parties’ expectations to ensure a smooth process.

Reach Out to Us Today for Assistance

It’s important that you understand the terms of your homeowner’s insurance policy so that you know your rights and obligations under Florida law, including the appraisal process. If you feel that the insurance company is paying you too little for your damages or has invoked appraisal in your insurance claim, contact one of the attorneys at Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez! We provide representation to clients facing a wide range of insurance claim issues.

Contact our law firm today at (305) 300-3000 for a free consultation!