INSURANCE APPRAISAL & UMPIRE SERVICES

WHAT IS INSURANCE APPRAISAL AND WHEN IS IT USED?

Insurance appraisal is a contractual process used to settle disputes between policyholders and their insurance companies. If there is a disagreement in the amount of damage and appraisal becomes necessary, you or your insurance company may initiate the appraisal clause, which is usually done in writing. Unlike insurance mediation, the outcome of the insurance appraisal process is binding once an award is signed. If you’re disputing any of the following with your insurance company, you may be ready to invoke appraisal.

 

  • The insurance company’s estimate is incomplete and limited
  • The insurance company wants to save or clean the damaged property while you feel it needs to be replaced
  • The pricing the insurance company lists for repairing or replacing the damaged items is not sufficient

CAN INSURANCE APPRAISAL GET THE MOST OUT OF MY CLAIM?

When done right, insurance appraisal is a great tool for settling insurance claim disputes. A word of caution: If you don’t hire an expert who understands the process, the insurance company will very likely have the upper hand.

The key to winning in the appraisal process is hiring an expert who knows the ins and outs of insurance appraisal. Knowing who to choose as an umpire and how to agree to an impartial umpire is one of the most important factors for a successful appraisal. Also key is knowing how to negotiate and come to an agreement quickly with the other appraiser and umpire. A Public Adjuster can be excellent insurance appraiser or umpire.

WHO GETS INVOLVED WHEN APPRAISAL IS INVOKED?

Key to understanding the insurance appraisal process is knowing who must be involved and why.

What is an insurance appraiser? An insurance appraiser is a competent and disinterested professional selected by the policyholder to evaluate the claim, value of the property or amount of the loss. Each party must pick their own impartial appraiser when the insurance appraisal clause is invoked.

What is an insurance umpire? An umpire is a competent, disinterested, impartial individual who is charged with making a decision regarding the value of property or the amount of a property loss. An umpire is appointed in an insurance claim dispute and makes a binding decision after the two parties in an appraisal process fail to agree on a loss.

Then what? Once all parties are selected, each insurance appraiser submits their claims to the umpire who works to mediate the differences while listening to each sides position. The Appraisal Award only needs two signatures to be complete.

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The appraisal clause may include the following language and is a good general explanation of how Appraisal works:

INSURANCE APPRAISAL CLAUSE:

           “If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party may demand that the amount of loss be set by Appraisal. If either makes a written demand for Appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser. Each shall notify the other of the appraiser’s identity within 20 days of receipt of the written demand. The two appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial umpire. If the two appraisers are unable to agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premise is located to select an umpire. The appraisers shall then set the amount of the loss. If the appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the umpire. Written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount of the loss.”

 

             “Finally, if you feel like there is a discrepancy in regard to cost of repairs or replacement of your damaged property, contact Miller Public Adjusters right away to get started. We can act as either your insurance appraiser or insurance umpire for your claim dispute. We offer a free consultation to review your claim and we understand your need for your insurance claim.”