Evanston Ins. Co. v. Cogswell Props., LLC

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Cogswell purchased the vacant paper mill in a tax foreclosure sale for $70,000. The site has more than 20 buildings, covering 440,700 square feet. Evanston issued first-party property insurance with a building coverage limit of $1,000,000, subject to coinsurance at 80%. On the first day of coverage, 15,700 square feet (less than 4%) were damaged by fire. Evanston determined that actual cash value of the buildings at the time of loss was $10,223,384.80; under the coinsurance provision, Cogswell was required to carry insurance of $8,178,707.84. Cogswell carried only $1 million. Evanston determined that it was liable for 12.23% ($1 million/ $8,178,707.84); calculated cash value of loss at $342,836.46; and determined that it was liable for $36,918.27 ($342,836.46 times 12.23% less $5,000 deductible). An umpire, appointed under the contract determined actual cash value of $1,540,000.00 and damage at $736,384.89. Cogswell demanded $554,553.49, the net amount under the appraisal after application of the coinsurance provision and deductible. The district court vacated the appraisal and granted Evanston judgment on a second appraisal. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The provision calling for appointment of an umpire is not governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 1, which would require deference; the parties agreed to the process under Michigan law. View "Evanston Ins. Co. v. Cogswell Props., LLC" on Justia Law