Motion for Reconsideration Challenging Appraisal Determining Cause of Loss Denied

    The court rejected the insurer's motion for reconsideration attempting to set aside the appraisal award that determined the cause of loss. Mesco Mfg., LLC v. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co., 2023 WL 5334659 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 18, 2023). 

    Mesco suffered a loss to the roofs of its facilities due to hail damage. Mesco sued Motorists allegeding it breached the policy by failing to pay the full amount of the claim. The claim went to appraisal. The policy's appraisal provision reserved Motorists' right to deny the claim despite an appraisal going forward. The appraisal award noted that the loss was caused by hail.

    Cross-motions for summary judgment were filed. The court found that Motorists had breached the policy by failing to pay the arbitration award and granted summary judgment to the insured. The "right to deny" clause did not give Motorists the unfetterd right to disregard the umpire's award if it disgreed about the amount of loss caused by hail. The only dispute was whether the damage was caused by hail, and the umpire found that it was. 

    In seeking reconsideration, Motorists relied on prior cases from the district court holding that causation was an issue preserved for the court to determine after appraisal. However, the cases predated a Seventh Circuit decision upholding the umpire's award, and the scope of loss decision, as binding. 

    The motion for reconsideration was denied, as it was based on arguments that the court previously rejected and arguments that could have been raised in Motorists' summary judgment briefs.

See also  Meet the insurtech: Secondsight