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The Northern District of Illinois Compels Appraisal AGAIN! | Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog

In keeping with the recent decision in B&D Investment Group v. Mid-Century Insurance Company,1 the Northern District of Illinois, in Khalell v. AmGuard Insurance Company,2 again concluded that appraisal was appropriate where the insurer had determined that some portion of the dwelling was damaged by hail.

The insured property was damaged as a result of a hail and wind event for which Plaintiffs submitted a claim to AmGuard. AmGuard found there was hail damage to the soft metal vents on the roof but found no hail damage to the roof itself. The insureds disagreed with Armguard’s assessment and made a written demand for appraisal. AmGuard denied the appraisal request and stated the damage to the roof was due to wear and tear and thus it was a “coverage” dispute that was not appropriate for appraisal.

Disagreeing with AmGuard’s position, the insureds hired Merlin Law Group to represent them. I filed suit on behalf of the insureds, in part, to compel the matter to appraisal. Following briefing of the matter, the trial court determined that appraisal was appropriate stating in relevant part:

Because defendant has acknowledged that some portion of the dwelling was damaged by hail and constitutes a covered loss, this instant suit is not a coverage dispute but a dispute over the amount of loss.

The court further noted that to hold otherwise would permit an untenable reading of the policy, where defendant could separate its coverage based on individual components of the building, such as each roof shingle, gutter, or vent cover.

The decision in Khaleel adds to the abundance of solid decisions in the Northern District of Illinois compelling appraisal.3 Perhaps now insurers will no longer argue “coverage” as a basis to avoid appraisal.
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1 B&D Investment Group, LLC v. Mid-Century Ins. Co., 2021 WL 612583 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 28, 2021).
2 Khalell v. AmGuard Insurance Co., Case No. 21 C 992 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 11, 2022).
3 Adam Auto Group, Inc. v. Owners Ins. Co., 2019 WL 4934597 (N.D. Ill. October 7, 2019); Spring Point Condo. Ass’n v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2017 WL 8209085 (N.D. Ill. December 13, 2017); Runaway Bay Condo. Ass’n v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Cos., 262 F.Supp.3d 599 (N.D. Ill. April 25, 2017); Windridge of Naperville Condo. Ass’n v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2017 WL 372308 (N.D. Ill. Jan 26, 2017); Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co. v. Northstar Condo. Ass’n, 15 cv 10798 (N.D. Ill. October 18, 2016); B&D Investment Group, LLC v. Mid-Century, Ins. Co., 2021 WL 612583 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 28, 2021).

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