The following are Frequently Asked Questions About Umpire Services
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Most property policies have a provision where the two selected appraisers try to agree on an umpire. If this cannot be accomplished, then depending on the language in the policy, a court having authority is petitioned and a judge will appoint the umpire from either a list of mediators or from the names the parties have selected.
Umpires are required among other things to be disinterested and not have an interest in the outcome of the matter they are involved in. Thus an umpire can only bill for their service on a hourly basis.
You should treat the selection process for an umpire just as you would any other position. Call around and ask for references. If you already have an appraiser appointed then that person should call the umpire under consideration and ask if they have any issues serving as an impartial person in the matter.
Yes we have been appointed as umpire in several cases where many millions of dollars were involved. All were concluded within the appraisal process.
Property insurance issues are often complex and involve skill sets involving a number of things. In the Windstorm Insurance Network program classes are offered and an update record is kept to track the professional training attended by each umpire. A book of umpires is now published yearly and sent to all circuit court judges in Florida and Texas so they have a source of trained and experienced umpires to choose from.
Rates are set by each individual based on their skill, demand for services and experience. While not widely known outside of the insurance field, the World Trade Center matter was settled in appraisal and the hourly rate for the umpire in that case was very significant but well worth it as he was experienced and had to deal with very complex issues to settle all of the issues surrounding the amount of loss and damages of the two high rise towers.
I am unaware of any requirements that umpires have to be licensed to fill this role in an appraisal process.