Property Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I use Property Arbitration?
  2. Is there anything I have to do before filing in Property Arbitration?
  3. What are the general categories of disputes that are heard in Property Arbitration?
  4. Is there a time limit for filing Property Arbitration?
  5. What type(s) of evidence may I submit in addition to the application and contentions?
  6. Who pays the filing fee for participation in the Property Arbitration Forum?
  7. Can I arbitrate with a nonmember?
  8. Can I be subject to exposure in excess of my policy limits?
  9. What is the monetary limit for the Property Arbitration Forum?
  10. How many arbitrators will hear my case?
  11. Will I know when the case will be heard?
  12. Is it necessary for me to file a counterclaim in Property Arbitration?
  13. Can I file a companion claim along with my Property Arbitration filing? Will the cases be heard together?
  14. How and when will I find out the arbitrator's decision?
  15. Will the arbitrator explain the basis for their decision?
  16. What are the arbitrator qualifications?
  17. Can a decision in the Property Forum be appealed?
  18. Per Rule 1-3, does an Applicant file one or three separate applications if they have a property claim wherein they have made a payment for the building coverage, one for the contents coverage and one for the Business Interruption coverage?
  19. If the Arbitrator grants an affirmative defense based on Rule 2-11 (reasonable accommodations for the inspection of a defective part were not made), would the filing company be able to file the case in litigation?
  1. Why should I use Property Arbitration?
     
    • Eliminates the need for expensive and drawn out litigation to recover from negligent third party insurer or self insured.
    • Simple and easy for an adjuster to use
    • Decisions are made by qualified Claims professionals
    • No formal rules of evidence apply
    • Decisions are private
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  2. Is there anything I have to do before filing in Property Arbitration?
     
    • As a condition precedent to using the rules and regulations, the parties should attempt to settle before filing in Arbitration. However, at a minimum the correct and current claim representative's name and address, the insured name, and claim number of the adverse party must be provided.
    • Confirm whether adverse carrier or self-insured is signatory to Property Arbitration Agreement.
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  3. What are the general categories of disputes that are heard in Property Arbitration Forum?
     
    • Subrogation claims involving homeowners, commercial property, inland marine coverage, and damage to vessels on navigable waters within the geographic limits of one state.
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  4. Is there a time limit for filing Property Arbitration?
     
    • There is no time limit to filing other than the Statute of Limitations if raised by an adverse party. It is a good idea to file at least 120 days before the statue of limitation when possible - this leaves time for other action(s) if the Respondent raises a valid objection to jurisdiction.
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  5. What type(s) of evidence may I submit in addition to the application and contentions?
     
    • Formal rules of evidence do not apply, so you may submit any materials that support your position, including expert reports, briefs of law, photographs, statements, etc.
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  6. Who pays the filing fee for participation in the Property Arbitration Forum?
     
    • Applicant company pays the filing fee. For a current list of AF's filing fees, please click here.
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  7. Can I arbitrate with a nonmember?
     
    • Yes, but only with their written consent. The nonmember's answer to a filing also implies consent and indicates an acceptance of a final and binding decision. A non-member who wishes to file should provide the consent of the member company with the filing. Once a party consents to arbitrate, the consent may not be withdrawn.
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  8. Can I be subject to exposure in excess of my policy limits?
     
    • Yes, but only if you don't raise and support this defense as an Affirmative Defense in your response.
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  9. What is the monetary limit for the Property Arbitration Forum?
     
    • The compulsory limit is $100,000.
    • AF considers a claim and a counterclaim as separate claims.
    • AF considers a claim and a companion claim for a different line of coverage as separate claims. As such, each claim has its own monetary limit.
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  10. How many arbitrators will hear my case?
     
    • AF will assign arbitrator(s) based upon the Company Claim Amount using the following criteria:
       
      1. Under $15,000 - one arbitrator
      2. $15,000 and above - one arbitrator unless three are requested. A party requesting a three person panel will be charged a fee.
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  11. Will I know when the case will be heard?
     
    • Yes. When you file online, you are immediately given the Materials Due Date. For Respondents, AF mails a hearing notice immediately upon receipt of the filing. The notice is mailed at least 40 days prior to the ready-to-be-heard date.
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  12. Is it necessary for me to file a counterclaim in Property Arbitration?
     
    • Yes, but only if you are looking for reimbursement for money paid to your insured for a claim arising out of the same loss. You must answer as Respondent and indicate your Counter-Claim amount.
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  13. Can I file a companion claim along with my Property Arbitration filing? Will the cases be heard together?
     
    • Yes, a company has the option to file a companion claim along with the Property Arbitration filing. The Property Arbitration panel will hear all Property companion claims if all are filed together or identified as related in the appropriate place.
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  14. How and when will I find out the arbitrator's decision?
     
    • An e-mail notification is sent as soon as the decision is posted, approximately 2-3 days after the case is heard. All decisions are available from our Web site immediately after they are posted.
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  15. Will the arbitrator explain the basis for their decision?
     
    • Yes, the arbitrator(s) will provide an explanation for their decision and note the supporting evidence for that finding.
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  16. What are the arbitrator qualifications?
     
    • Property Cases may be heard by AF staff arbitrators or member arbitrators from the signatory companies. All arbitrators who decide Property disputes have significant claims experience. Each member arbitrator must be recommended by their supervisor/manager and must be certified by AF confirming their claims knowledge and their understanding of Property Forum rules.
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  17. Can a decision in the Property Forum be appealed?
     
    • A decision may be appealed on a case when the Company Claim Amount is at least $10,000. The appeal process is described in Rule 2-12.
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  18. Per Rule 1-3, does an Applicant file one or three separate applications if they have a property claim wherein they have made a payment for the building coverage, one for the contents coverage and one for the Business Interruption coverage?
     
    • These are considered one claim to be filed on one application and would be subject to a single forum limit of $100,000. If the aggregate amount of these payments exceed the $100,000 compulsory limit, the Applicant would need to be willing to limit their recovery to the forum limit or both parties would need to consent to arbitrate the case. If the Applicant were to file them separately, the Respondent could assert an Affirmative Defense that jurisdiction is lacking since the aggregate amount exceeds the compulsory limit.
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  19. If the Arbitrator grants an affirmative defense based on Rule 2-11 (reasonable accommodations for the inspection of a defective part were not made), would the filing company be able to file the case in litigation?
     
    • The filing company would have two options. First, they could re-file arbitration if/once reasonable accommodations for the inspection of the defective part were made as a result of the arbitrator's decision (since the objection to jurisdiction would be removed). If reasonable accommodations could not be made, i.e. the defective part is not available for inspection, then the filing company would be free to pursue the matter outside of arbitration. The rationale for this is that the Courts have more formal rules of evidence for these types of situations.
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