from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D.
defendant appeals the district court order enforcing an
appraisal award for plaintiff's damages due to a wind and
hail storm. AFFIRMED.
W. Thomas and Laura N. Martino of Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C.,
Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Burk and Rachel L. De Vries of Hope Law Firm, P.L.C., West
Des Moines, for appellee.
by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Farm Fire and Casualty Company appeals the district
court's order enforcing an appraisal award for North
Glenn Homeowners Association's damages due to a wind and
hail storm. We find State Farm was not denied due process by
the contractual appraisal process, in which the parties may
resolve a dispute without a formal lawsuit or without a
trial. We also conclude the district court did not err in
concluding State Farm was not entitled to a trial on the
merits under the circumstances presented here and State Farm
did not show one of the appraisers was biased. We affirm the
district court decision granting North Glenn's motion to
enforce the appraisal award.
Background Facts & Proceedings
previous appeal in this matter, we stated:
North Glenn is an association of property owners in Johnston,
Iowa. On July 15, 2009, North Glenn submitted a claim under a
policy issued by State Farm for hail damage sustained to a
roof. The claim, in excess of $125, 000, was paid. North
Glenn did not repair all of the damage, electing instead to
use some of the money to make other repairs and improvements
to the property.
On March 22, 2011, a second storm hit the development. North
Glenn filed an additional claim for wind and hail damage. A
State Farm employee inspected the property and determined the
hail damage was from the 2009 storm and was not covered. The
wind damage was estimated to be less than the policy
deductible. A second roofing expert agreed with State
N. Glenn Homeowners Ass'n v. State Farm Fire &
Cas. Co., 854 N.W.2d 67, 68 (Iowa Ct. App. 2014).
Glenn requested an appraisal of its damages from the 2011
wind and hail storm under a provision in its insurance policy
with State Farm, which stated:
Appraisal. If we and you disagree on the value of the
property or the amount of loss, either may make written
demand for an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each
party will select a competent and impartial appraiser. Each
party will notify the other of the selected appraiser's
identity within 20 days after receipt of the written demand
for appraisal. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If
the appraisers cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days,
either may request that selection be made by a judge of a
court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state
separately the value of the property and amount of loss. If
they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the
umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will be binding. Each
a. Pay its chosen appraiser; and
b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire
If we submit to an appraisal, we will still retain our right
to deny the claim.
Farm denied the request for an appraisal under this provision
and North Glenn filed an action in district court. Before a
trial was held, North Glenn filed a motion to compel an
appraisal, and in light of this, the parties agreed to
continue the trial. The district court determined State Farm
should submit to an appraisal and State Farm appealed. We
found the appeal was interlocutory and determined the case
should be resolved as an interlocutory appeal. Id.
determined an appraisal would include the issue of causation
because "[c]ausation is an integral part of the
definition of loss." Id. at 71. We determined
the appraisal could go forward before the issue of coverage
was resolved. Id. at 72. We stated, the appraisal
"clause specifically reserves State Farm's right to