Case Law Wednesdays – Waiving Appraisal

Insurance policies usually have an appraisal clause which states that appraisal is mandatory if an insurance company or an insured properly demand it after property damage. Properly demanding appraisal is extremely significant as your insurance company may waive their right to appraisal.

In Kennedy v. Frontline Insurance [1], the insureds reached out to Frontline Insurance just two months after hurricane damage to place them on notice that their windows would have to be completely replaced. Frontline suggested that the insureds source the replacement glass themselves and have the windows repaired, however the insureds explained that their window model was no longer manufactured. After several months of disputes regarding the windows and the photographs taken by Frontline’s adjuster, Frontline issued a written demand for appraisal pursuant to the insureds’ policy. Frontline’s written demand for appraisal was delivered to the insureds before any notice to the insureds of their right to mediate.

The Court referred to Section 627.7015, Florida Statutes (2018), that mandates insurance companies to provide notice to the insureds of their right to mediate. The court reasoned that before any demand for appraisal can be made, the insurance company has the burden of providing proper notification of the right to mediate to the insureds. The right to mediate notice is important to insureds because it notifies them of an informal, nonthreatening forum that they can use to avoid the potentially expensive and time-consuming appraisal process. The Court concluded that once a dispute has arisen, insureds may not participate in the appraisal process without first receiving proper notice of their right to mediate from the insurance company.

If an insurance company does not provide a notice to the insured of their right to mediate before demanding appraisal, it automatically waives its right to appraisal. Therefore, it is important as an insured to retain any and all documents that an insurance company sends you throughout the process.

If you would like more information on what exactly appraisal is, head to our prior Case Law Wednesday Blog Post titled “What is Appraisal.”

If you would like to discuss the appraisal or mediation process, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Alvarez Law Group today. Call us at (786) 620-2820 or email to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. *

[1] Kennedy v. First Protective Ins. Co., No. 3D18-1993 (Fla. 3d DCA March 6, 2019)

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