Insurance Appraisal Process
There is a clause in every homeowner's insurance policy called the "Appraisal Clause." It states something like:
"If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either may
demand an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will choose
a competent appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request
from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire. If they
cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we may request
that the choice be made by a judge of a court of record in the state
where the "residence premises" is located. The appraisers will
separately set the amount of loss. If the appraisers submit an
agreement to us, the amount agreed upon will be the amount of loss.
If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire.
A decision agreed to by any two will set the amount of loss. Each party will: a. pay its own appraiser, and
b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally."
In our experience, most claims are resolved satisfactorily. Sometimes, though, an impasse occurs and an agreement as to the value of the claim cannot be reached. If this happens, then it may be time to "invoke the appraisal clause." The appraisal clause may be invoked by either you or your insurance company at any time during the claim, and it can be a very useful tool to move the claim forward.
There are some important keys to a successful insurance appraisal, and the first one is to select an appraiser who is not only experienced in insurance claims, but is experienced in insurance appraisals as well!
The second key is the selection of the appraisal umpire. An experienced appraiser will not be suckered into agreeing with most of the umpire suggestions initially offered by the insurance company's appraiser. You want an umpire who has experience repairing homes in your area and who does not rely on the insurance industry for work!
At Sentry Construction Company, we are well experienced with the appraisal process. We have served as an appraiser for both homeowners and insurance companies, and also as an appraisal umpire. If you have a claim that is in disagreement, call us and we can help you get it moving again!