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The Appraisal Process

Appraisal is a binding contractual process used to settle disputes between policyholders and their insurance companies when they fail to agree on the amount of loss or the scope of damages. Either the policyholder or the insurance company may initiate the appraisal clause, which should be done in writing. Disputes concerning coverage issues cannot be decided by an appraisal, only scope disagreements are accepted by the appraisal panel. Prior to an appraisal, you and your insurance company must have an impasse/disagreement on the value of the loss.  An appraisal is not appropriate based on an initial disagreement between the two parties without some documented effort to resolve the impasse/disagreement. An insurance appraiser is a competent and disinterested professional who will evaluate the claim and value of the property or the amount of the loss. Each party (insurance company and policyholder) will pick its own appraiser when the insurance appraisal clause is properly invoked. Once the appraisers are selected, they work together to select a competent, disinterested, and impartial individual to serve as an umpire. The umpire renders a binding decision if the two appraisers fail to agree on the value of the property or the amount of the property loss. A qualified umpire is someone like a retired judge, engineer, contractor, adjuster, or anyone who can give an impartial valuation based on their expertise in the field.

Selecting the Right Appraiser is Crucial

The key to a successful appraisal is hiring an expert who knows the appraisal process. 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, it helps knowing how to negotiate and come to an agreement quickly with the other appraiser and umpire.

When properly executed, insurance appraisal is a great tool for settling insurance claim disputes. Before invoking appraisal, you need to have an experienced expert on your side who understands the process, otherwise, the insurance company will have a significant advantage.

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Insurance Appraisal will level the playing field. Send your Inquiries to info@JSMarlin.com.

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