If you’ve ever had to deal with a property insurance claim that couldn’t be resolved, then you are probably familiar with the appraisal process. If not, don’t worry! The appraisal is a common alternative dispute resolution in which both parties (the policyholder and the carrier) assign an appraiser to review your property damages. Both appraisers will schedule the appraisal date and time and meet at your property to negotiate the claim.
An appraisal is a binding process, and the decisions the appraisers make are final. In the case that the appraisers cannot come to an agreement, an umpire (who is previously elected) will settle the dispute. Appraisals are settled without an umpire most of the time.
What is an Appraisal?
An appraisal is a binding dispute resolution process that will result in your claim being settled. We will hire an appraiser to represent you during the appraisal process if you choose to move forward. The appraiser will negotiate your claim during the process. This is binding and final, and there are no further negotiations after appraisal. If an agreement cannot be made, then the Appraisers will move forward with an Umpire who is responsible for finalizing the settlement.
An Appraisal is recommended when the public adjuster working on your claim has attempted to obtain a settlement offer and, unfortunately, the carrier disagrees with our estimate/ the carrier is unresponsive. The public adjuster will then recommend moving forward with Appraisal at this time to settle your claim.
An Appraisal is often used as a means of resolving disputes over the value of property or damage that are covered by an insurance policy. This may be necessary if there is a disagreement between the policyholder and the insurance company over the value of a damaged or destroyed item.
One reason for going to Appraisal is that the damage is worth more than the insurance company is willing to pay out, while the insurance company may believe that the damage is worth less. An Appraisal can provide an independent and objective assessment of the damage, which can be used to determine the appropriate amount of compensation.
Another reason for an Appraisal may be that the policyholder and the insurance company disagree on the cause of the damage. For example, if the policyholder believes that the damage was caused by a natural disaster, while the insurance company believes that it was caused by neglect or misuse, an Appraisal can be used to determine the cause of the damage and the appropriate course of action.
What is an umpire?
An umpire is a neutral third party appointed by both Appraisers involved in an insurance coverage dispute to evaluate and make a final decision regarding the dispute. The umpire is typically a subject matter expert in the area of the dispute, such as a certified appraiser or a licensed adjuster.
The umpire is responsible for reviewing all relevant documentation, including the policy language, claim documentation, and any expert reports or testimony presented by the parties. They will also conduct their own investigation and may conduct inspections or interviews as necessary.
The umpire’s decision is binding on both parties, and their decision is typically final and cannot be appealed. The umpire’s role is to provide an unbiased and objective evaluation of the dispute. Their decision should be based on the facts and evidence presented rather than the interests of either party.
Most cases settle without the need for an Umpire.
Is there a cost for Appraisal?
The cost of an Appraisal for insurance disputes can vary depending on the state and the specific circumstances of the case. Some factors that can affect the cost include the type of damage being Appraised, the complexity of the dispute, and the qualifications of the appraiser.
In general, the cost of an Appraisal for insurance disputes can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Some states may have a set fee for Appraisals, while others may charge based on an hourly rate.
For example, n Florida, the cost of an appraisal for insurance disputes can also vary, but it typically ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the type of property and the complexity of the dispute. Just like in Texas, the cost may also be based on an hourly rate, with the average cost ranging from $200 to $400 per hour.
What’s the timeframe?
An Appraisal will take 30-90 days based on the complexity of the case and the size of the home.
Can I choose my own Appraiser?
It depends on the specific terms of the dispute and the agreement or contract in place. In some cases, both parties may agree to choose their own Appraiser and present their findings to a neutral third party for a final decision. In other cases, the agreement may specify that only one Appraiser can be chosen or that a neutral third party must be used. It is important to review the specific terms of the agreement or contract to determine the process for choosing an appraiser in a property damage dispute.
In the case that an Appraiser can be chosen for you, we will hire one to represent you.
Can I appeal the Appraisal decision?
Yes, it is possible to appeal the appraisal decision when settling a property damage dispute. If you disagree with the appraisal decision, you can request a re-appraisal or file a dispute with your insurance company. If the dispute is not resolved through these channels, you may also have the option to take legal action or seek mediation. It is important to consult with an attorney or public adjuster to understand the specific options available to you during alternative dispute resolutions.
The decision cannot be appealed if it has been made by an umpire.
What happens after the Appraisal?
Two things can happen after the initial Appraisal:
Obtain the appraisal award
Obtaining the appraisal reward means that the claim was settled and that an umpire or an appeal will be unnecessary.
The Appraisers will appoint an umpire
As stated above, the umpire is responsible for reviewing all relevant documentation, including the policy language, claim documentation, and any expert reports or testimony presented by the parties. They will also conduct their own investigation and may conduct inspections or interviews as necessary.
The umpire’s decision is binding on both parties, and their decision is typically final and cannot be appealed.
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Whether you need help navigating the paperwork or need to go to Appraisal, we are here to support you. With Bulldog Adjusters, you can rest easy knowing that your claim is in good hands. Don’t let the stress of an insurance claim consume you – let us be your advocate.
Contact Bulldog Adjusters today for a stress-free claims experience.