Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

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, July 25, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

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 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 are the practical and tactical considerations in appraisal?
  • What is an "independent" or "disinterested" appraiser?


Gumbiner, Joel
Joel P. Gumbiner

Williams & Gumbiner

Mr. Gumbiner was admitted to the California Bar in 1983 after receiving his J.D., with honors, from the University of...  |  Read More

Hansen, Kevin D.
Kevin D. Hansen

McCormick Barstow

After spending a year as a law clerk with the California Court of Appeals, 5th District, Mr. Hansen joined McCormick...  |  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

Phillips, Jessica
Jessica Phillips

Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers

Ms. Phillips has spent her entire career defending first-party property claims and third-party liability claims. She...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video