The Insurance Appraisal Process: Strategies for Resolving First-Party Claims Effectively and Decisively

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide counsel through the facially simple appraisal option for settling disputes between the policyholder and insurer over the value of a loss. Each party hires an appraiser to value the loss, and the appraisers pick an "umpire" to decide the issue if the appraisers disagree.


Counsel must not fall into the trap of thinking that the appraisal is always as simple and inexpensive as it seems. An appraisal is beneficial when approached carefully and thoughtfully with a full understanding of potential legal issues that should be addressed.

What is to be appraised is often hotly contested. The value of the loss depends on what is covered by the policy, and coverage may turn on causation. The parties may dispute whether an appraiser may determine causation or what the terms of the policy mean. Selecting a competent and qualified umpire is essential, but those standards are not defined in the policy. Policyholders may have to sue the insurer to get paid, and payment of the appraised amount does not always extinguish claims for bad faith or extracontractual liability.

In complex cases, counsel must anticipate and adequately describe how to resolve issues, such as coverage, sub-limits, division of insurable interest, etc. Counsel must know when separate appraisals are necessary and what types of experts may be required for a given loss.

Listen as this experienced panel provides the insight and strategies for making appraisal productive and efficient and avoiding confusion, unnecessary disputes, and post-appraisal litigation.



  1. Demanding an appraisal: how and when (and when not)
  2. Choosing an appraiser and documenting the agreement to appraise
  3. Selecting an umpire
  4. Defining the scope of the appraisal
  5. Reporting the appraisal
  6. Enforcing or challenging the appraisal


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • Is appraisal ever available in third-party disputes?
  • Are appraisals final? Binding?
  • What is a "competent" umpire?
  • Does payment of the appraisal amount extinguish extracontractual claims?
  • Do appraisers decide coverage disputes or the meaning of policies?
  • What is the scope of an appraisal?
  • What is an "independent" or "disinterested" appraiser?


Edwards, Charles
Charles P. Edwards

Barnes & Thornburg

Mr. Edwards is a seasoned trial lawyer and insurance claim advocate who is co-chair of the firm’s Insurance...  |  Read More

Frank, Adrian
Adrian Frank

Senior Executive Vice President
J.S. Held

Mr. Frank maintains all insurance services vendor relationships by overseeing client contract execution and compliance...  |  Read More

Norton, Robert
Robert J. Norton, CPCU, AIC, ARe

General Adjusting Services

Mr. Norton is a court appointed umpire in multiple jurisdictions and state and federal courts. He is experienced with...  |  Read More

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