Either the insurance company or the insured has a right to demand an appraisal in lots of property insurance contracts. The Waco Court of Appeals issued an opinion recently that discusses these appraisal clauses. The case is styled, In Re GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company.
This case is a writ of mandamus complaining of the trial court’s refusal order appraisal to proceed as allowed in the insurance contract.
Appraisal clauses, commonly found in homeowners, automobile, and property policies in Texas, provide a means to resolve disputes about the amount of loss for a covered claim. These clause are generally enforceable, absent illegality or waiver.
Trial courts have no discretion to ignore a valid appraisal clause and abuses it’s discretion by not enforcing it when requested by one of the parties.
In this case, D.S. Patel sued GuideOne based on Patel’s contention that he sustained damages that were underpaid by GuideOne.
Patel argued the appraisal clause had been waived. However, the insurance contract contains a non-waiver provision. Patel argues the on-waiver provision is unilateral.
In making its decision, this Court stated: