The insurance appraisal process can be an effective tool in resolving a dispute over damages between an insurance company and the policyholder. When there is a dispute due to a disagreement on the scope and/or cost of repairs the appraisal option can be very effective in moving the claim to a conclusion. Most residential and commercial insurance policies offer appraisal as a form of alternative dispute resolution.
An appraiser is an impartial expert hired to evaluate the damages and provide an informed value of the loss. The insurance company and the policyholder each hire an independent appraiser. They each prepare an evaluation of the loss and damages. The parties meet to discuss a resolution. If one cannot be reached a certified umpire gets involved and when two of the three parties reach an agreement on the amount of the loss, the outcome is binding.
The following language is an example of a common appraisal clause:
“If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of loss be set by appraisal. If either makes a written demand for appraisal, each shall select a competent, disinterested 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 uponslide1 an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premises 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. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting that appraiser. Other expenses of the appraisal and the compensation of the umpire shall be paid equally by you and us.”
Our team of insurance appraisers and construction professionals are available to serve as your appraiser in the insurance appraisal process. We have served as an appraiser for both insurance companies, and home and business owners. Our job as your appraiser is to advocate for your position to assist you in reaching a successful resolution.