Insurance company loses dogged effort to deny payment of fire claim; cost less depreciation appraisal method upheld
North Pointe Insurance Company refused to pay Daisy Simpson's insurance claims after fire destroyed her home. The insurer filed suit to seek judicial control of the process, and after the Court defined the insured coverage under the contract, the parties stipulated to arbitrate. Both sides selected an appraiser and the appraisers selected an umpire. After the umpire reached his decision, the parties stipulated to the entry of a judgment for $118,000.00. The insurer then brought various motions in the Circuit Court to expand the record, diminish the judgment or set it aside. Earlier motions had already been decided against North Pointe by the appellate court and this last-gasp effort was also rejected. The court held that the method utilized by the Umpire to calculate the insured's recovery was a recognized approach to compensation and that the insurer was wrong in describing it as a "manifest mistake" or error of law.