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Church Mutual Insurance Co. v. Circle of Light

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 10, 2019

CHURCH MUTUAL INSURANCE CO., Plaintiff,
v.
CIRCLE OF LIGHT Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgement (ECF No. 44) filed June 17, 2019. This matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff issued a policy of insurance to Defendant under the policy number 0188688-02-526158 (the “Policy”). Defendant submitted a claim for damage and loss to its building located at 1308 Veronica Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 63147. (ECF No. 46, Plaintiff's Statement of Uncontroverted Facts ¶ 1 (Plaintiff Facts)). Defendant claims that on or about May 31, 2013, the property was damaged by hail and or wind. Id. ¶ 2. This action arises out of the Parties' dispute over the Appraisal Award that was issued because it allegedly included items for which coverage was still in dispute.

         The Policy contained the following Appraisal Provision:

C. LOSS CONDITIONS
2. Appraisal.
If we and you disagree on the value of property or 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. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If they cannot agree, either may request that a selection be made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state separately the value of the property and the 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 party will:
a. Pay its chosen appraiser; and
b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally
If there is an appraisal, we will still retain our right to deny the claim …

         (Plaintiff Facts ¶ 3).

         On or about May 31, 2013, the real property, a church building, located at 1308 Veronica Avenue was damaged by hail or wind. (Plaintiff Facts ¶ 2). Plaintiff did not accept coverage for all the claimed loss and disputed whether all the claimed damage was due to storm or hail. (ECF No. 45 at 2, citing Plaintiff Facts ¶ 19). The parties disagreed about the amount of loss and proceeded with the appraisal process pursuant to the Appraisal Provision. Id. ΒΆ4. Defendant asserts that the parties also proceeded pursuant to the regulation of the Missouri Department of Insurance at 20 CSR 500-1.100(2)(A) 4, which makes appraisal ...


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