Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Why would I need an appraisal anyway? Q: Why would I need an appraisal anyway?

A: If you believe that you have received an inaccurate assessment of your property's damage from the insurance company's adjuster, your insurance policy most likely has an "Appraisal" clause that allows you to have your own appraisal of the damages. Click here to learn more about this standard appraisal clause that is found in almost all residential insurance policy contracts.

Q: What is an appraiser? Q: What is an appraiser?

Someone who is usually independent, knowledgeable, and can act in a competent manner to represent either party in an appraisal.

Q: What does an appraiser charge for their services? Q: What does an appraiser charge for their services?

A: Some are on a time and expense basis, others charge a percentage of additional money collected from what the insurance carrier pays you, or in the case of a carrier hiring an appraiser, it may be an hourly rate.

Q: How long will the appraisal take? Q: How long will the appraisal take?

A: Typically, an appraisal can take 30-90 days. In some cases they can go on longer. The size of the claim dictates the speed of the process. This alone is not the only factor. Many other concerns are brought into the appraisal. A simple telephone call will help explain the time elements.

Q: What are the advantages to "Appraisal?" Q: What are the advantages to "Appraisal?"

A: This process is a mid-point and it will help speed a claim to resolution and possibly avoid protracted litigation costs. Another advantage is the appraisal gives the homeowner some control over the process. Unlike litigation, the courts dictate the course of the process. Appraisal helps expose deficiencies in any areas of concern with respects to both the scope of the damages and the unit costs of the damages. Assuming there are differences, both the property owner and the carrier get to step back, have an independent evaluation of damages and the system of checks and balances are put into motion.

Q: What are the down sides to appraisal? Q: What are the down sides to appraisal?

A: The time element of the claim is slowed but, the case is re-examined by independent parties so as to give rise to clarification of any remaining issues for dispute. Another possibility is seeing if the property owner is factual in the presentation of their damages. Some claims are inflated and that could cause additional scrutiny by an insurance company. Occasionally, the carrier may want to take a sworn statement from the property owner to see when and where the differences evolved from. This all comes into play based on the actual presentation of a claim. Sometimes, a field adjuster may inadvertently write a damage estimate that is woefully inadequate, deficient in scope and unit cost. The carrier may not know just how bad the damages are until a qualified contractor submits a detailed repair estimate. The length of time a claim is presented can cause additional concerns by a carrier.

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