You need to know about the quiet little Appraisal Clause…
…most likely lying inconspicuously buried somewhere in your insurance policy – usually in the Conditions section, or possibly under What to Do After a Loss.
If you have by chance come across this section of your policy, you may have wondered exactly what it provides. Or, if – like most policyholders – you have never noticed or read this section of your policy and may just now be learning about it, you need to read on and educate yourself as to its potential benefit to you.
- Have you and your insurance company reached an impasse?
- Does your company’s representative want to try to repair something that you believe needs instead to be completely replaced?
- Do you feel as if the insurance company is pressuring you to accept a settlement for your claim which is less than what you feel you are entitled to?
- Despite the fact that you have provided every bit of documentation requested by the insurance company, are you still unable to convince them that their figures are unrealistically too low for you to restore your property with the ‘like kind or quality’ materials promised by your insurance policy?
The Appraisal provision of your insurance policy can provide a valuable opportunity for you as the policyholder to have a ‘second go’ at addressing these sorts of issues and finally settling your insured property-loss claim.
Appraisal gives you the chance to have an objective and disinterested Appraiser of your choosing review the materials submitted in support of any disputed part of your claim. If you elect to do this, the insurance company will also select an Appraiser to review their estimates and yours. The two Appraisers – yours and theirs – will not only review but also compare and analyze all estimates, inventories, and other such documents in an effort to reach an agreement as to the correct dollar amount of any disputed portions of your claim.
If the two of them are able to agree on any figures, then you as the insured will be offered the agreed-on amount, in what is known as an Award.
Sound simple? Well, not really.
What if the two Appraisers are not able to agree on everything? What then?
No matter what, the most important aspect of this entire process involves knowing how to select the right kind of professional to serve as your Appraiser.