80-2-243. Disputed appraisal. (1) If the party that has sustained the loss is dissatisfied with and refuses to accept the appraisal made by the official adjuster, the party has the right to appeal to the board of hail insurance. The party shall make the appeal within 10 days after receiving the appraisal. The board of hail insurance shall arrange for a second appraisal by another adjuster.
(2) If the adjuster who makes a second appraisal pursuant to the appeal fails to secure an agreement, the claimant may submit the matter to arbitration as provided in this subsection or sue the board in the district court of the county where the loss occurred, within 90 days from the date of receipt of written notice of the second appraisal. The actions must be trials de novo and the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure apply. If the claimant elects to submit the matter to arbitration, the claimant shall then appoint one disinterested person as an adjuster, the official adjuster shall appoint another person as an adjuster, the two shall select a third disinterested person as an adjuster, and the three shall then proceed to appraise the loss in the same manner as specified in 80-2-242. The judgment of the majority is the judgment of the adjusters and is binding upon both parties as the final determination of the loss.
(3) (a) If the insured does not recover a greater sum than allowed by the adjuster in the first instance, the insured shall pay the expenses of the three adjusters and their witnesses in making the appraisal, but if the insured is awarded a larger sum, the expenses must be paid by the department.
(b) If the insured is required to pay the expenses of the reappraisal as provided in subsection (3)(a), the department may deduct the amount of the expenses from the amount allowed the insured before making settlement for the loss.
(4) The department or the board shall examine all reports of adjusters and verify the reports and adjust all losses and for those purposes may order hearings, subpoena witnesses, conduct examinations, and do all things necessary to secure a fair and impartial appraisal of losses by hail.