When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, you expect that if anything happens to your property, you will be compensated fairly by your insurance company. But sometimes the claim settlement that the company offers you falls radically short of what you were expecting and sometimes a claim that seems completely reasonable is denied. When these situations occur and you want to dispute what your insurance company says, it is sometimes possible to do so by way of appraisal.
What is an appraisal in the world of homeowners insurance?
As with appraisals for general real estate purposes, getting an appraisal as it relates to homeowners insurance is a process in which a third party with no stake in the situation determines the value of something.
Generally two competent, independent appraisers will look at the damage to your home and try to come to an agreement about how much you are owed.
Who picks the appraiser?
You pick one appraiser and the insurance company picks the other.
What if the appraisers cannot agree and reach a deadlock?
There will be another neutral third party, referred to as an umpire, who steps in to resolve any deadlocks between the two appraisers.
Who chooses the umpire?
The appraisers are tasked with choosing the umpire. If they cannot agree on an umpire, the choice may be made by a district court judge in the district where the loss happened.
What are the downsides of an appraisal?
An appraisal can only be useful in certain types of disputes. If you disagree about whether your insurance has to pay for the damage at all, or whether the type of damage is covered by your insurance, an appraisal won’t do much good. Appraisals can only determine the amount of loss.
Who can help me if I am dealing with property damage and insurance claims?
The team at Watson, Espinal & Barnard, PLLC is here to help you. We are passionate about helping clients better understand their insurance policies and guiding them in getting the settlement they deserve when their property has been damaged. If you or someone you know has a question or issue with their property insurance company or insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer a free consultation and free on-site inspection to assess the damages to your property. You can reach us at (305) 665-0000. We look forward to partnering with you!