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Property Law
 provision, the appraisers are required to be “independent,” “disinterested,” “impartial” or neutral. They are to evaluate the claim and try to resolve it. They are not supposed to be advocates on behalf of the insured or carrier.
 Arbitration would change that into a process where each side appoints an advocate. Appraisals are expensive. Arbitration is likely more expensive. If arbitration provisions become more common, look for fee shifting statutes to emerge.
 Finally, while it is hard to overturn an appraisal award, it is really hard to overturn an arbitration award. Moreover, now carriers could be looking at a non-appealable coverage determination as well.
  Christina May Bolin is an FDCC Defense Counsel Member and Chair of the FDCC Property Insurance Section. She contributes regularly to the Section’s monthly case law update. She is also a Partner, Christian & Small, LLP, Daphne, AL.
Contact her at:

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