Insurance And Homeowners Policy

Any homeowner is Grand Prairie, Arlington, Irving, Mesquite, Garland, Richardson, Mansfield, Dallas, Fort Worth, or any other place in Texas who thinks they know a lot about their insurance policy, probably is still not sure how an arbitration clause in the policy works.
The Texas Court of Appeals, Beaumont, issued an opinion on March 24, 2011. The style of the case is, In re Ranchers & Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. This case is being appealed by way of a “writ of mandamus” and is normally referred to as a mandamus proceeding.
The name of a writ, the principle work of which when the proceedings were in Latin, was mandamus, meaning we command. It is a command issuing in the name of the sovereign authority from a superior court having jurisdiction, and is directed to some person, corporation, or inferior court, requiring them to do some particular thing therein specified, which appertains to their office and duty, and which the superior court has previously determined, or at least supposes to be consonant to right and justice.
So, to put it in more simple terms, Ranchers & Farmers Mutual Insurance Company (Ranchers) is appealing to the Beaumont Court of Appeals requesting that they order the trial court to order the homeowners in the case to submit to an appraisal.
Here is some background. The homeowners insured their property with Ranchers. In litigation between Ranchers and the homeowners over a loss, Ranchers invoked the appraisal provision of the insurance policy and filed a motion with the trial court requesting the judge to enforce the appraisal provision in the policy. The trial judge refused to enforce the appraisal provision. This appeal followed.
After the appeal was filed, the homeowners filed papers with the court asking the court to vacate its order denying the request for the enforcement of the appraisal process. As a result the homeowners argued that this appeal was not necessary. This apppeals court pointed out that the trial court order had not been vacated and there had not been an enforcement of the appraisal provision of the insurance policy.
This appeals court then got into a discussion of why it was wrong for the trial court to have refused to enforce the appraisal provision of the insurance policy. Included in this discussion was a recitation of the recent court decisions on this issue. The guiding case is a case styled, In re Southern Insurance Company, which was decided after the trial court rendered its decision but which is now controlling law. In the Southern case, there was an issue on whether or not the appraisal clause had been waived.
Ultimately this trial court ordered the lower court to sign an order enforcing the appraisal provision in the insurance policy. These appraisal clauses and how they work can be confusing. It is proper to seek the advice of an experienced Insurance Law Attorney whenever a homeowner is being forced to participate in the appraisal process. There is a certain amount of strategy to be employed when dealing with apraisal clauses.

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