Appraisal Services for Policyholders
When disputes arise between insurance companies and policyholders over the amount of loss or the extent of damages, the result can create a frustrating halt to the entire claim process. Most policyholders feel they have no choice but to accept the demands of the insurance company. However, policyholders do have alternatives, and the right to an appraisal is one of the most effective options available.
Appraisal is designed to be a binding resolution for when the policyholder and the insurance company fail to agree on the amount of loss or the extent of damages. The appraisal provision, often referred to as the “Appraisal Clause” or “Statutory Appraisal,” is included in many insurance policies for residential or commercial buildings. If your policy includes an appraisal cause, it can be found within the Conditions section of your policy.
Appraisal is somewhat similar to arbitration, but it has many advantages over litigation. It is a contractual and, in many states, statutory requirement for resolving these types of disputes; whereas, litigation is not typically an option unless there are coverage issues. In an Appraisal, a panel is selected to review the damages and relevant documentation. The panel will work through the process and make a binding determination as to the amount of the loss. During an Appraisal, the case is typically resolved by industry experts rather than leaving the decision in the hands of a jury who may have no experience in identifying and valuing property damages. This means that appraisals are typically resolved in a fraction of the time of litigation and the costs are relatively negligible in comparison.
If you believe the amount the insurance company is offering to settle your claim is unfair and they are not willing to negotiate, it may be time to invoke the Appraisal Clause and go to Appraisal. If you think this may be the right option for you, our experienced Appraisers will be happy to review your claim to determine the extent of the differences as well as the likelihood of recovering additional money. We will only recommend Appraisal if we feel strongly that you will benefit from the process.
Please call our experts today and we will help determine if Appraisal is the best method to resolve your claim.
I wanted to send this personal thank you for your assistance and professional handling of the insurance appraisal for my client, the Super 8 Hotel in Cadillac, Michigan.
As you know, [the Insurance Company] and their representatives grossly mishandled my client’s claim and only issued payment based on the market value of the property. During this process you pointed out that not only is this practice incorrect but the market appraisal they used to determine the value of the property was woefully inaccurate.
Because of your leadership within the appraisal panel and your team’s efforts, my client was able to secure an appraisal award that was almost double what the insurance company originally paid. …
R. Edward Kuhn
Kuhn, Darling, Boyd and Quandt, PLC Law Offices