Appraising Appraisers and Appraisals

In many property-insurance policies, a party has a right to demand an appraisal, which is procedure in which the value of lost or damaged property is determined. Typically, an appraisal takes the form of what I call a 1 + 1 + 1 structure – each party appoints its own appraiser, and if the two party-appointed appraisers cannot agree on a number the two together then select an umpire (or a court will select an umpire to decide if the two cannot agree on one). That some form of alternative dispute resolution is used for valuation, however, does not mean that there is no room for judicial intervention in disputes involving insurance policies with appraisal provisions.

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