The Appraisal Process

Most insurance policies contain a clause that allows you to formally dispute a claim amount. This third-party opinion on the damage can be set in what is called an appraisal. The appraisal is conducted by an independent disinterested panel. This is indicated in your policy’s appraisal clause.

This is a faster and lower cost option than litigation and is often used successfully by the policyholder to obtain a fair settlement. Once a disagreement occurs between a policyholder and the insurance company, the appraisal clause can be invoked by either party.

You as the policyholder would appoint a claims professional such as a Public Adjuster or Insurance Broker as your appraiser. The insurance company will appoint their own appraiser. The policyholder appraiser and an insurance company appraiser will select an umpire. One may be appointed by the court if the two cannot agree on a candidate. Both appraisers will inspect the property and review the claim line by line. Any disputes between the appraisers in their damage valuations are sent to the umpire who then reviews the materials and breaks ties. This panel of three helps ensure that an accurate dollar amount is awarded. Any two of the three agreeing will bind the appraisal award with their signature. The disputing parties pay their appraisers and the split the fee of the umpire accordingly.

We are experts in the procedural aspects and the “nuts and bolts” of appraisals.

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