What is an Appraiser? What does an Appraiser do?
Most insurance policies have progressive steps known as duties of an insured. Once a claimant submits all the required documents, forms, estimates, property inventory loss forms, and anything that supports their claim. The insurer has a duty to investigate, and seek a resolution. When neither party can agree on the value of a claim, and the argument becomes about the amount of your payment, not coverage denials, appraisal is a great tool. Every policy will have forms of arbitration intended to limit litigation and lawsuits. They can be costly and time consuming. Courts are not qualified or prepared to have a trial over the cost of paint and drywall. One of the dispute resolutions is known as the “appraisal clause”. This is sometimes a requirement by way of the insurance policy terms and conditions that can be written in different ways. Reading the actual insurance policy will determine your particular path. Your insurance policy dictates whether the results are binding, but generally does not prevent loss victims from suing their property insurer for any poor behavior. This includes negligent claim handling, acts of bad faith or improper claims handling tactics, misrepresentation of the policy terms and conditions, or any other unethical act to limit, deny, or stall a legitimate insurance claim. To make sure your insurance claim is moving our expert public adjusters are qualified to not only document, assemble, organize, and represent insurable loss victims. We are approved to advocate for our clients, and serve as a property loss appraiser. The appraisal clause can be used over virtually any insurance coverage. We have many years of experience and have mastered this process which has resulted in many testimonies. Having qualified property loss appraisers is critical because many times the results of an appraisal can lock a claim value in even if done improperly or wrong.
Appraisal in short, strips your claim dispute away from the insurer and forces them to higher disinterest parties that are not connected to the existing claim. Appraisal sets up a three party panel allowing your claim amount to be established by any two out of three participants. We utilize appraisal memos to ensure all coverages in dispute get the proper attention while noticing all parties on the insurance coverages in active dispute. This process is your chance to get fresh eyes on your problems.
The state of Florida’s insurance commissioner has created its own alternative version of mediation for when no other option is available because of the type of insurance policy in use. This mediation is only available for residential policy holders having an active dispute over claim value and to some extent coverage issues. The state of Florida pays for the process, and provides its own appointee to serve as a neutral mediator. If your file is well assembled and you have good evidence of the damage, causation, and repairs costs this can be an option besides having to litigate.
Preparing for an appraisal is a precursor for litigation. If your file is proper and all your forms are in line then your open insurance claim dispute will settle. This allows loss victims to keep their claim costs low, and avoid the traditional 40% taken by attorneys not including experts and filing costs. Suing your insurance company should be the absolute last thing a person does. Our public adjusters habitually resolve insurance claims by estimating only what a claim is worth. A resolution of an insurance claim is always a compromise by all parties and establishing claim amounts is, in large part, opinion driven. Our experts stand up to the scrutiny of state and federal courts alike to testify about our findings. We make sense, our claim packages make a difference and insurance companies know it and eventually decide to cut their losses by just paying valid claims. The secret to a claim is patience, experience, and skill.