Articles and Presentations

Matt Fortin Offers Insights on Expansion of Appraisal’s Scope in Law360


BatesCarey’s Matthew Fortin explored the continued expansion of appraisal within Illinois in a recent article for Law360.  

In some instances, the appraisal provision may contain a reservation of rights whereby the insurer retains the right to deny the insured’s claim. When a party demands appraisal, it must be determined whether the disputed issues fall within the scope of the appraisal clause—which is only available to resolve disagreements over the value of property or the amount of loss.

Historically, Illinois’ appellate courts have refused to compel appraisal of disputes that turn on the scope of coverage afforded by an insurance policy or the interpretation of the policy’s terms. However, in recent years, litigation has arisen to question whether, and under what circumstances, causation issues are included within the amount of loss within the purview of the appraisal panel or are instead coverage issues that should be heard by the courts.

Matt details two recent decision heard by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court—Wysoczan v. Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Morrow, respectively—that weigh in on the issue.

To read Matt’s insights on the topic in Law360, click here.