Selecting an Umpire

The umpire selection process is often the cause of additional expense, delay, mistrust, and general dissatisfaction in the arena of insurance and reinsurance arbitrations. Since its founding in 1994, ARIAS•U.S. has worked to promote the integrity of the arbitration process in many important ways and provides in-depth training in the skills necessary for effective service on arbitration panels.

Umpire Selection Procedure

In 2000, ARIAS•U.S. continued its service to the insurance and reinsurance industry with its promulgation of the ARIAS•U.S. Umpire Selection Procedure. The ARIAS•U.S. Umpire Selection Procedure (“Procedure”) is available for use in insurance or reinsurance arbitrations. Under the Procedure, umpires will be selected from the ARIAS•U.S. Certified Umpire List, unless the parties to the arbitration specifically request selection from the ARIAS•U.S. Certified Arbitrator List. The ARIAS•U.S. Certified Umpire List consists of those ARIAS•U.S. Certified Arbitrators who have provided ARIAS•U.S. with satisfactory evidence of having served as a panel member on at least five (5) insurance or reinsurance arbitrations that made a final award and included at least three days of evidentiary hearings. The Procedure has been designed by ARIAS·U.S. to be administered by the parties.

ARIAS•U.S. Umpire Selection at-a-Glance

The Procedure is quite simple. It starts with a random selection from the ARIAS·U.S. Certified Umpire List (or Certified Arbitrator list), and then follows a series of steps that assure an unbiased final choice. Following is a summary of basic steps:

STEP ONE – Obtain a random list of umpire candidates from ARIAS·U.S. using the Procedure sample letter or the Enhanced Program sample letter below

STEP TWO – Qualify ten candidates through the ARIAS•U.S. Umpire Questionnaire below.

STEP THREE – Select and exchange five names with the opposition.

STEP FOUR – Select and exchange three names from the opposition’s list of five.

STEP FIVE – A single match on both lists is the umpire.

  • More than one match will be resolved by drawing lots.
  • If there is no match from either list, all six candidates are ranked by both sides.
  • The most favored in the rankings is the umpire.

For a detailed understanding of the steps and sample forms download below:

Enhanced Umpire Selection Program

The Enhanced Umpire Selection Program adds the flexibility of drawing a random selection of names from a list of arbitrators with experience in specific segments or practice areas of the industry. Depending on the availability of prospective umpire candidates, the process can be completed in less than ten days. ARIAS•U.S. is pleased to facilitate the Procedure and Program for the insurance and reinsurance industry.