How many of you have had to file an insurance claim only to find that at the end of the process you completely disagree with the insurance company’s analysis of your loss? O.K., everyone put your hands down. The vast majority of people believe all hope is lost when the insurance company says they have completed your claim and the check is on the way. Now your only option is to accept it as is, or call an attorney, right?
No. Most people are unaware that they can dispute the insurance company’s findings via the insurance appraisal clause. The appraisal clause can usually be found in the section of the policy marked “Conditions”. While every policy is different and there may be some variation in policy language, most policy appraisal provisions read something like:
“APPRAISAL – If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of the 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 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.”
The Appraisal Provision allows the policyholder (you) to hire an independent appraiser to determine the value of their damages. In turn, the insurance company will also hire their own independent appraiser. The two appraisers will then get together and select an umpire. The umpire is basically the arbitrator, or what you might call the judge. If a disagreement between the two appraisers arises, they can present their differences to the umpire who will make a ruling.
Each side is responsible for the cost of hiring their own appraiser, while both parties must equally split the cost of the umpire. The expense of going to appraisal is only a fraction of what it would cost to go to litigation.
The key to a successful appraisal is hiring an experienced appraiser that knows and understands the complete appraisal process. Your appraiser’s attention to every detail, and his ability to convey this information to both the other appraiser and the selected umpire can make or break your appraisal, so chose your appraiser carefully. At RHI Claims Specialist, Inc., our staff of experts are experienced in both the adjustment and appraisal process.
To learn more call 1-866-450-8520. Here at RHI Claims Specialist, Inc. our experienced staff are ready to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your policy or claim.