What is a Property Insurance Umpire?
An property insurance umpire is a competent, disinterested, impartial individual who is charged with making a decision regarding the value of property or the amount of a property loss.
The WIND Certified Umpire Directory®: Who uses it?
Judges, insurance professionals, appraisers, attorneys, policyholders
Why do judges need to know about the appointment of umpires?
From time to time judges may be called upon to select an umpire, pursuant to an appraisal provision in a property insurance contract.
How is the appraisal process invoked?
The mechanism by which the insured or the insurer may invoke the appraisal process is specifically delineated in the insurance contract.
What matters may be resolved in the appraisal process?
Generally speaking, the appraisal process is not to resolve issues of coverage or liability, but it is the proper methodology for resolving valuation issues, such as the amount of the loss or damage, or the amount necessary to repair or replace property lost or damaged.
An ideal umpire:
• Will render a timely and impartial decision.
• Is competent.
• Observes high standards of conduct.
• Has integrity.
• Has the ability to render an intelligent decision.
• Commands respect.
• Recognizes a responsibility to the public.
• Guards the integrity and fairness of the appraisal process.
• Can promote an efficient and just process.
• Is able to maintain the confidentiality of the process.
• Is trustworthy.
What is the appraisal process?
The appraisal process is a contractual process for resolving valuation issues. Appraisal provisions have been included in insurance contracts for over 100 years. Most appraisal clauses in insurance contracts provide that if the insurer and the insured cannot agree on the value of the property or the amount of the loss, either party may make a written demand for an appraisal. Each party then selects their own appraiser and the appraisers perform their own independent evaluation. Prior to the evaluation, the umpire is selected by the appraisers or the Court is petitioned to appoint an umpire. If the two appraisers can agree on the value of the property or the loss, that amount is established and the process is concluded. If they cannot agree on the value of the property or the amount of the loss, then the matter is submitted to the Umpire for resolution. The Umpire’s decision becomes binding only by a majority agreement (2 of 3).
Please note that it is up to the parties selecting an umpire to check references and credentials and to arrange any payments for services. WIND does not endorse or guarantee the qualifications of any of the listed umpires, nor makes recommendations for any of the listed umpires.