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Umpire services are now available virtually on whichever platform the participants prefer.
The appraisal process is one of the oldest forms of alternative dispute resolution. The requirement for appraisal is contained in the Statutory Conditions of every property insurance policy in Ontario. Where there is a dispute as to the value of the loss or the value of the property insured, the Statutory Conditions mandate the dispute must be settled through the appraisal process. This requirement applies even where coverage is disputed.
The procedure for the appraisal is set out in the Insurance Act. The process is designed to be inexpensive and immediate. The insured and insurer each appoint their own appraiser. The appraisers agree on an Umpire. A hearing is conducted to determine the issues in dispute and the agreement of any two is final.
Most appraisal hearings can be concluded within a few weeks of starting the process. The hearing is usually concluded in one day.