Appraisal is an alternative dispute resolution, included in most homeowners insurance policies, in which the policyholder or the insurance company can invoke to try to agree on the amount of the loss If the appraisers do not get to an agreement, then a neutral person, called the umpire makes the decision. It is a binding process and it is only recommended when there is a dispute on the amount of the loss, and coverage has been determined already, either by a payment made on the claim or if the damages were under the deductible.
When Appraisal is demanded, the policyholder needs an “Appraiser” to represent them in the loss, in many cases is the Public Adjuster handling the claim, but lately in Florida, they are not allowing the Public Adjuster to be the appraiser. In many policies it has to be a disinterested party
If the insurance company requests a competent or disinterested party, it is recommended you hire someone who has experience on insurance claims and that has your best interest in mind. For example, many times we are called to be appraisers in cases where the homeowner does not have a Public Adjuster in place or where their Public Adjuster cannot act as the appraiser.
We do not suggest going to appraisal if the insurance company has said that the roof is not covered but the interior damage is. Because once you go to appraisal, the outcome is binding and it is very difficult to challenge even in a court of law.
Appraisal is usually faster than litigation and the cost is minimal (appraiser and umpire fees), so it is a good remedy when coverage is not in dispute.
Maria Shalack can handle your insurance appraisal if you are in this situation!
Contact us for more information