Noa v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 3787, *4 (Fla. 3d DCA Mar. 22, 2017)

You only get one bite at the “appraisal” apple.

The Third District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s denial of a homeowner’s motion to compel a second appraisal of his windstorm claim. The appellate court agreed that an insured was not entitled to have the appraisal panel reconvene to consider his claim for additional proceeds under the law and the ordinance provisions of the policy. In Noa, the carrier and the homeowners agreed to appraise the scope of the loss, namely the extent of damage to the home’s roof. After the appraisal award was entered and paid by the carrier, the homeowner submitted a request for additional funds, which he contended were required due to code requirements. Suit was filed, and the homeowner sought to have a second appraisal for the additional law and ordinance damages. The court explained, “In order to perform competently as an appraiser for this purpose, and to be designated by a party or by other appraisers or the court (as an umpire), logic and common sense require that an appraiser must have experience in the estimation of materials and labor costs for the repair and replacement of damaged property. In the case of roof work, appraisers must consider the requirements of the applicable building codes in order to estimate the cost of repair or replacement. This is an area for professional construction industry expertise and should be ‘baked into’ the appraiser’s and umpire’s computations, and not left open for a re-appraisal or for a determination by the court.” If you are participating in the appraisal process, the award should make it clear that it is addressing any and all aspects of the claim or specifically identify any parts of the claim the participants are leaving open to be determined at a later date. Otherwise, an insured is not entitled to re-open an appraisal or demand a second appraisal.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2017

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