The Colorado Supreme Court on February 20, 2018, announced it will tackle a case that is sure to have an impact on insurance industry. The decision, regarding Owners Insurance Co.’s challenge of a $3 million appraisal award to the owner of a Denver-area condominium complex, will decide whether an insurance appraiser is impartial, establishing case law guiding future litigation over whether an appraiser’s conduct shows bias.
If the Supreme Court upholds the Colorado Court of Appeals’ decision, it will establish a looser rule for appraiser impartiality, Goldberg Segalla partner Jonathan M. Kuller, a member of the firm’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, told Law 360. In this scenario, he said, insurance carriers should consider adding policy language calling for a stricter standard of appraiser partiality. “If insurers want these proceedings to be more pure and want appraisers to be more like judges, they need to say so.”