Huntington Beach, CA asked in Insurance Bad Faith for California

Q: Can an Umpire in a California Insurance Code 2071 Appraisal suspend or terminate the Appraisal between the parties?

Umpire hasn't ruled on differences presented by each appraiser, yet he has suspended the appraisal and threatens to terminate it because the insured is unable to pay the umpires invoice for service up to just prior to the hearing.

Additionally, the invoice is being contested because the umpire billed for time prior to his official appointment for interviews by appraisers to determine his qualifications, answering emails requesting his CV etc , he is also billing for sending thank you emails to the appraisers when they send something he requests or other mundane communications of no significance to his role or the appraisal.

His billings are in minimum increments of 1/10th of an hour but nothing in his agreement states a minimum 1/10th.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Alexander C. Safarian
Alexander C. Safarian
  • Burbank, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California Insurance Code Section 2071, an umpire appointed to participate in an insurance appraisal has the authority to suspend or terminate the appraisal process if necessary. The umpire may take this action if it becomes apparent that the appraisal process is not being conducted in accordance with the provisions of the insurance policy or the relevant state laws.

There are certain procedures that the umpire must follow in order to suspend or terminate an appraisal. For example, the umpire must provide written notice to the parties involved in the appraisal and specify the reasons for the suspension or termination. The umpire must also provide an opportunity for the parties to address any issues that led to the suspension or termination.

If an appraisal is suspended or terminated, the parties may have the option to pursue other remedies, such as filing a lawsuit or seeking mediation. The specific options available to the parties will depend on the circumstances of the case and the provisions of the insurance policy.

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