When you take out an insurance policy, you expect your carrier to cover your costs if you suffer a major loss. However, this isn’t always the case. If your insurance company hasn’t offered to pay you what you believe you’re owed, filing for an appraisal can help you reach a fair agreement.
An appraisal doesn’t impact coverage issues. However, it does assess the amount of your loss, which influences the settlement your insurance carrier is willing to offer.
While every insurance policy is different, most contain appraisal language that explains your options. Typically, it will say something like this:
“If we cannot agree on the amount of loss, either you or we may request an appraisal of the loss. In this case, each party will choose a proficient appraiser within 20 days after receiving the request for an appraisal in writing.
Once chosen, the two appraisers together will choose an umpire within a 15-day period. If the appraisers cannot agree on an umpire, you have the right to request that a choice be made by a judge in the court of record in the state where the property is located.
Each appraiser will separately assess the amount of loss and come to an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, they will submit a written report to us. The amount listed in the agreement will be the amount of the loss. If the appraisers fail to agree, the decision will fall to the umpire. The decision the umpire agrees with will determine the amount of loss.
Each party is responsible for paying its own appraiser and will equally bear the expenses of the appraisal and the umpire.”
What does this mean?
If the excerpt above feels a bit confusing, don’t worry! It’s simple to understand once it has been broken down into a six-step process.
- After your insurance carrier has completed its adjustment process, they will provide you with a settlement offer. If you disagree regarding the value and extent of your loss, you can file for an appraisal.
- You and your insurance company will each select your own appraiser to represent you. Together, these two appraisers must choose an umpire. If they cannot agree on the umpire, the courts will appoint one.
- The appraisers will both meet at the location of the loss and will review the documentation, photos, and any other pertinent information. Then, they’ll each independently prepare estimates of the damage and amount of loss. If they agree, this will resolve the matter.
- If they are unable to reach an agreement, the umpire will step in. He or she will independently inspect the property, review all of the original information and documentation, and all documents created by both appraisers.
- The umpire issues a proposed decision (also known as an “award.”)
- Once one or both of the appraisers agrees with the umpire, they will sign the award, creating a binding decision. This determines the amount the insurance company will pay you for your loss.
At Coast2Coast Public Adjusters, we can handle every step of the process for you starting with the initiation all the way through your final settlement. You can count on our network of appraisers to help you get the settlement you deserve.
Insurance Umpire Services
Property insurance appraisal umpire or “umpire” means a person selected by the appraisers representing the insurer and the insured, or, if the appraisers cannot agree, by the court, who is charged with resolving issues that the appraisers are unable to agree upon during the course of an appraisal.
Umpires Should Be:
- Competent in loss adjusting and construction
- Responsible for assessing the amount of a property loss or value of a property
- Tasked with making a binding decision if and when two appraisers are unable to agree.
- Best utilized when appointed at the beginning of the appraisal process.
- Experienced with the type of loss they are being hired for
- Able to write a detailed estimate of damages should they need to
We have a network of public adjusters, loss consultants and appraisers with extensive insurance and loss adjusting experience to fairly and impartially umpire the appraisal process.