Insurance is designed to protect policyholders against unexpected losses. Whether it's damage to your home, car, or personal property, insurance companies are there to help you recover. However, sometimes the insurer and the policyholder disagree on the value of the loss. This is where an insurance claim may go to appraisal.
In this article, we'll look at what it means when an insurance claim goes to appraisal. We'll explore the appraisal process, how it works, and what policyholders can expect. By the end of this guide, you'll better understand the appraisal process and how it can impact your insurance claim.
What does it mean when an insurance claim goes to appraisal?
When an insurance claim goes to appraisal, the insurer and policyholder disagree on the value of the loss. The insurer may believe that the loss is worth less than what the policyholder is claiming. In these cases, the policyholder may request an appraisal to resolve the dispute.
The appraisal process is designed to provide an independent and impartial evaluation of the loss. During this process, the insured and the insurance company select their own appraiser. The role of the chosen appraisers is to determine the value of the loss and resolve any disputes between the two parties.
How does the appraisal process work? Insurance Appraisal Process
The appraisal process typically involves three steps:
Step 1: Selection of Appraisers
The first step in the appraisal process is the selection of appraisers. Each party selects its own appraiser to evaluate the loss and determine its value. If the two appraisers cannot agree on a value, they will choose a third appraiser to act as an umpire.
Step 2: Evaluation of Loss
Once the appraisers have been selected, they will evaluate the loss independently. They will review any documentation provided by the insurer and policyholder and any other relevant information.
Step 3: Resolution of Dispute
If the two appraisers agree on the value of the loss, their decision is binding. However, if they cannot agree, the umpire will make the final decision. The decision of the umpire is also binding.
What can policyholders expect during the appraisal process?
If your insurance claim goes to appraisal, there are a few things you can expect:
The appraisal process can take several weeks to complete. The appraisers may need to review documentation, inspect the property, and consult with experts.
You may need to provide additional information or documentation to support your claim.
The appraisers will evaluate the loss independently, without input from either party.
The decision of the appraisers is binding. Once a decision is made, it cannot be appealed.
Q. Can I dispute the decision of the appraisers?
A. In most instances the decision of the appraisers is binding and cannot be appealed. In rare cases the decision of an appraiser can be set aside due to bias or fraud.
Q. Do I need to hire an insurance attorney during the appraisal process?
A. Hiring an insurance attorney during the appraisal process in most cases would be a wise decision. An insurance lawyer can navigate the appraisal process, making it easier for the insured. Also, an attorney can provide insight on choosing an appraiser and potentially get an appraiser removed if the appraiser is biased.
Q. Who pays for the appraisal process?
A. The cost of the appraisal process is typically split between the insurer and the policyholder.
When an insurance claim goes to appraisal, the insurer and policyholder disagree over the value of the loss. The appraisal process is designed to provide an independent evaluation and resolution of the dispute. While the process can take several weeks to complete, the decision of the appraisers is binding and cannot be appealed.
As a policyholder, it's essential to understand the appraisal process and your rights. While you may not be able to appeal the decision of the appraisers, you can consult with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
In summary, when an insurance claim goes to appraisal, it means that the insurer and policyholder disagree over the value of the loss. The appraisal process is designed to provide an independent and impartial evaluation of the loss, with the decision of the appraisers being binding. By understanding the appraisal process, policyholders can ensure their rights are protected and receive a fair resolution to their insurance claim.
Once your claim is accepted by your property damage insurance company, the next hurdle is getting an accurate estimate from the insurance adjuster. You may think that the adjuster's estimate is too low and the carrier won't budge on the amount. In this event, you may need to exercise your right to an appraisal.
Here are the steps to the insurance appraisal process:
Notify the insurance company that you want to go to appraisal.
You hire an appraiser and the insurance company hires an appraiser.
Both appraisers jointly select and pay the cost for an Umpire (the umpire's expenses are split too).
Each appraiser prepares an estimate of your loss.
Each appraiser submits their estimate to the Umpire.
If the estimates differ, the umpire makes the final determination.
The umpire's decision is final and is not appealable. You don't want to take any chances with your most valuable asset. Hire an experienced bad faith insurance attorneyto navigate your appraisal process and engage expert appraisers that prepare accurate estimates.
If your insurer is delaying payment of your claim or you have had your property damage claim denied, it is essential that you contact a skilled bad-faith insurance lawyer to assist with this often-complex process. The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law firm are experienced, willing, and ready to advocate on your behalf to ensure that your property is repaired and that your rights are not jeopardized.