Many homeowners and business owners find themselves disagreeing with their insurance company’s analysis of their insurance claim. However, most are unaware that they can dispute the insurance company’s findings via the Insurance Appraisal Process! This can happen in spite of you (the policyholder) submitting a contractor’s estimate, receipts for repairs or materials, or even photos showing damages that the insurance company did not include in your claim. Yet in spite of the documentation you provide them, sometimes they still won’t budge.
Most policyholders are unaware how to resolve issues with their insurance company over a disputed claim.
Policyholders have a choice within their policy for this very purpose. It’s called The Appraisal Clause or The Appraisal Provision. The Appraisal Process is not arbitration, mediation or Litigation and the umpire is not an arbitrator, mediator, or judge. Insurance Appraisal, Mediation, and Arbitration are separate things.
In most cases The Appraisal Process is Precedent to Litigation. For this reason many case that go to court are sent back to Appraisal before they can be litigated.
Appraisal has been called “The Rodeo of Insurance Claim Disputes”. Primarily because its informal as compared to other types of Alternative Dispute resolution. Appraisal is designed to be conducted by individuals having Subject Matter Experience.
Often Litigators steeped in their trade have little practical or Subject Matter Experience in a dispute over the value of repairs needed to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. You’ll find most Appraiser are comprised of Insurance Adjusters, Contractors and lay-people having Subject Matter Experience in the particular case being disputed.
Your best advantage is to choose an Appraiser to represent you that has both Subject Matter Experience and just as important, experience in The Appraisal Process.