A homeowner invoked the appraisal provision in a personal homeowner’s policy when seeking damages under the policy arising from the peril of sinkhole.  The insured sought to utilize their own attorney as their appraiser despite appraisal provision language that required “disinterred parties.” The Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that attorneys may not serve as their clients’ arbitrators or appraisers as a matter of first impression.  The lawyer owed a duty of loyalty to the client/insured, and thus, could not be “disinterested.”

Florida Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. Manuel Branco, No. 5D13-2929, 2014 WL 4648208, at 6 (Fla.5th DCA, Sept. 19, 2014).

 

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