Why Choose George
You may download George’s C.V. under the heading “About George / C.V.”
Before demanding the amount of loss be determined by appraisal, George recommends the parties, or their representatives review Statutory Condition 6 of the property policy for compliance.
Do not rush to appraisal!
Matters in disagreement that can be resolved between parties prior to either demanding appraisal removes those matters from the appraisal process. Replacement cost value (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV) of categories or line items within a building damage estimate or a contents schedule of loss an example. Other examples for consideration may include betterment (depreciation), mitigation costs, HST, overhead and profit margins. Any matters agreed to between an insurer and policy holder or their representatives should be in writing and shared with appointed appraisers when they are appointed.
George does not believe the entire claim submission should be rehashed in appraisal. He places an emphasis on appraisers to address their roles outlined in s 128. (3) of the Ontario Insurance Act or similar Acts in other Common Law Provinces. When George is selected as umpire he places the emphasis on the appraiser for the insurer to first identify matters in disagreement, the appraiser opposite to respond.
On this basis, George is able to offer flat rate fees. See current fee schedule!
The Ontario Insurance Act, s 148. (1) Statutory Condition 11 triggers the Appraisal subject to
s 128. (1) of the Insurance Act states: This section applies to a contract containing a condition, statutory or otherwise, providing for an appraisal to determine specific matters in the event of a disagreement between the insured and the insurer.
s 128. (2) states: The insured and insurer shall each appoint an appraiser, and the two appraisers so appointed shall appoint an umpire.
S 128. (3) states: The appraisers shall determine the matters in disagreement and, if they fail to agree, they shall submit their differences to the umpire, and the finding in writing of any two determines the matters.
All too often George hears from appraisers appointed to represent policy holders that they put his name forward to the appraiser opposite and it is dismissed out-of-hand. The Act does not stipulate a reason must be given but it is apparent.
There are individuals who have the misguided belief that once an adjuster is licensed to represent policyholders, they have crossed to the dark side, akin to the Star Wars eulogy. There are also others who inappropriately defer to their management and principals for direction, not appreciating the Act gives them vested authority to not only select an umpire but to determine the amount of loss, s 128(3). Unfortunately, future business considerations often play a role.
In a recent case before the Superior Court of Justice – Ontario: Giammaria v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company, Justice S. Vella reviewed seven applicants put forward by legal counsel for respective parties, four from the insurer’s appraiser and three from the insured’s appraiser. That decision outlined the chief complaint against me was that the insurer’s appraiser believed I had a reasonable apprehension of bias against insurers, for, in the twilight of my adjusting career, I had acted as both an adjuster and appraiser for insureds. His opinion based on hearsay or direction, for they had never previously never met or even spoken with one another.
Justice Vella felt this too narrow a view of my experience over several decades during which I had represented both insurers and insureds in various capacities.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of insurers and their representatives who see the benefit of an umpire with George’s experience as do a number of lawyers representing respective parties and appraiser advocates. George and several other umpires would like to see the selection of umpires be regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
of Ontario (FSRAO).
Keep in-mind, the two appraisers can determine the amount of loss and write an award. However, they must select an umpire within fifteen days of appraisers being appointed. The umpire can offer guidance and standby until the appraisers try to resolve matters in disagreement. “Expeditious” being a key factor.
In Ontario, anyone can act as an appraiser. A claim representative or independent adjuster representing the insurer and an adjuster representing an insured, most common. That said, policyholders are increasingly representing themselves. Legal counsel for either party are also becoming the individual of choice to represent policyholders and act as their appraiser. George recommends a peer review, or a fresh set of eyes be considered for the roles of appraisers, for quite often the relationship between the representatives of the insurer and the insured becomes frustrated to say the least in the adjustment process, only to find the same two individuals being appointed as appraisers.
When George is selected to act as umpire he will only recognize “individuals” as appraisers, not law firms, not companies and not public or independent adjusting firms appointed individuals may be employed by or associated with. There can be only one decision-maker and as stated in s128. (3) the finding in writing of any two determines the matters. It becomes difficult for them to see the forest for the trees, so-to-speak but when George is selected as the umpire he will provide guidance and try to bring them closer together in their approach to determining the amount of loss.
Briefs are traditionally exchanged with copies delivered to the umpire. Following that, a meeting takes place in-person or by video conferencing with or without witnesses to complete the appraisal. If, upon review of briefs, they do not reflect compliance s128. (3) George may ask appraisers for clarity.
If you are looking for a neutral, impartial and independent individual with considerable experience representing both insurers and insureds and one who offers a flat rate, you may wish to consider selecting George.
Call George at 905-509-7448 to discuss!
1213 Fawndale Road
Pickering, Ontario L1V 4M4