When it comes to home insurance claims damage covered by an insurance policy many people find themselves disagreeing with and disputing the estimate and analysis from their insurance company and/or adjuster. Most of the time the insurance company's estimate is desperately lower than estimates you've obtained by local, trusted and competent contractors. What can a homeowner do when this happens? How do you find home insurance claims help in such a situation? How do you fight back?
Almost all homeowners are unaware of a very powerful clause in their homeowners policy that allows them to invoke The Insurance Appraisal Clause.
For many home insurance claim disagreements the only available option to resolve such disputes may be a clause buried in the "What to do after a loss," and/or "Conditions" sections of the policy. It's called The Appraisal Clause - also know as The Appraisal Provision.
Appraisal is a clause within most homeowner's insurance policies that allows a process to settle disputes. The disputes may be about damage to buildings or property. Let's say that a home is damaged by fire. The insurance company sends an adjuster to inspect the damages. The adjuster determines the damages from the fire to be $100,000. However, the homeowner has a contractor who provided a fire damage repair estimate for $175,000. A dispute between the cost of repairs has begun and an agreement on the costs cannot be reached. Either the insurance company or the homeowner now has the right, per the policy, to demand appraisal via written request. To resolve such disputes, each party must choose a competent, independent appraiser. Insurance Claims Help for the appraisal process is what we do.
We Provide FREE Insurance Claims Help!
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is that they hire someone to assist them with their insurance claim too early. Let me explain; In most situations a homeowner does not need a Public Adjuster or an Insurance Claim Attorney. Allow me to repeat myself, "most claims DO NOT require the need for a Public Adjuster or an Insurance Claim Attorney.
Who needs a Public Adjuster?: People who are very busy and do not have time to meet with their insurance adjuster, meet with contractors, or create a list of contents (furniture, clothing, electronics, etc.) are people who should consider hiring a Public Adjuster. If you travel a lot with your job or have a very busy lifestyle that will not allow the time and attention your insurance claim requires, then you should consider using a Public Adjuster. However, NOT RIGHT AWAY - YOU NEED TO WAIT! (I'll explain in a minute what I mean by need to wait.)
Who needs an Insurance Attorney?: Realistically, not many people NEED to hire an attorney until they have no further options or avenues to turn other than suing the insurance company. Insurance Claim Attorneys are usually required if a claim is denied or if you have a dispute over whether your policy should apply coverage for a certain type of claim; like mold. Similar to hiring a Public Adjuster; if you're too busy and cannot provide the attention your claim needs you could hire an attorney. However, NOT RIGHT AWAY - YOU NEED TO WAIT!
Policyholders Need to WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!
Policyholders need to WAIT for their insurance adjuster to complete their estimates and numbers before they hire anyone to help them with their insurance claims. It's simple really. Take a look at the average costs for an a Public Adjuster and an Insurance Attorney:
|10% to 20% of Claim
|30% to 40% of Claim
Many homeowners could save themselves tens of thousands; even hundreds of thousands of dollars, by first waiting to see if their adjuster has provided a fair settlement. Imagine hiring someone to provide insurance claims help, that will receive $20,000 off the top of your claim proceeds... and all they had to do on your behalf is say "OK, your analysis looks fair," to your claims adjuster? If your claims adjuster is going to provide a fair settlement that you and/or your contractor agree with then you did not need to hire anyone, or worse, pay an exorbitant amount of your claim proceeds to someone for doing virtually nothing.
How Do I Know If My Adjuster Is Being Fair?
That is why we provide FREE Insurance Claims Help! Before hiring anyone, Insurance Claims Group will provide a FREE Consultation and Free Claim File Review. We will analyze your claim, your policy, the insurance company estimates, and your contractors bids to let you know where you stand. Is their more money available in your policy? Has the adjuster or contractor left out items that are covered? We will crunch the numbers and let you know how much more you are entitled to based on your policy. Now that's true Insurance Claims Help!
By being in the "KNOW," you will then be able to make an informed educated decision on weather it makes sense to dispute your insurance company or what you options are. Knowing where you are and what options you have will save you tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make the wrong decision can cost you dearly. (Contact Us for a FREE File Review and Consultation.)
My Insurance Company Has Already Advised Me Of Appraisal!
Sometimes your insurance company will advise you that if you wish to dispute your claim YOU will need to invoke the appraisal clause. Other times the insurance company has already sent you a letter advising that THEY wish to go to appraisal.
RED ALERT: (Insurance Claims Help Tip) If you hire a Public Adjuster or an Insurance Claims Attorney and a dispute arises; they will need to hire an independent appraiser
to represent you in your Appraisal.
What just happened is that you will now be required to pay your Public Adjuster or Attorney their fee - AND your Independent Appraiser's fee! Wouldn't you rather just pay the Appraiser?
Not many people realize that all policy provisions must be exhausted prior to either party suing the other. The Appraisal Clause is a policy provision. So, if you wish to sue your insurance company; your claim must go through the Appraisal Process. If you hire an attorney first then your attorney will simply hire an appraiser and take a fee to manage it for you. Well, your own independent appraiser can manage your appraisal... it's what they do!
Insurance Claims Group, Inc. exceeds in their knowledge of the insurance appraisal process and is available to represent the facts of the loss on your behalf. To execute the job as your Insurance Appraiser properly, not only should one be educated in the process, but one should also be qualified to review the differences between the two parties. Our extensive experience with construction,building repairs, building materials, and the insurance appraisal process qualifies us as a choice above all. We have extensive knowledge of Xactimate and MSB IntegriClaim. We are capable of reading and understanding the unit costs these estimating software's provide and work with the Appraisal Panel to determine a realistic amount of loss for the claim.
How We Provide Insurance Claims Help!
The first step to our appraisal process is to obtain as much documentation that is available on the claim. We will collect a copy of the insurance companies estimate, the homeowner's estimate, as well as any other documentation that is available. We will vigorously review and inspect each estimate line-by-line for discrepancies.
The next step will be to inspect the property that has been damaged. A thorough inspection will be conducted, room by room, and piece by piece (or any remaining parts). We will conduct this inspection with the two different estimates that are being disputed. With these estimates in hand during our inspection we can determine if one estimate has missed items to be addressed and/or if the other is excessive.
Our inspection will include 50 to 300 photos (depending on the size of the loss and extent of damage). These photos will prove and support our findings. The photos will be taken in a manner that supports our position of whether items can be saved or will require replacement. The photos will also show cause and affect damages. Yes, the bricks on the exterior of a home or building may not appear damaged. However, if the sheathing/plywood behind the brick is smoked and damp - the bricks will require removal to access other repairs.
Some rooms or even an entire building may be damaged beyond recognition. In these cases we will conduct an interview process with the owners of the property to confirm room layouts, types of wall and floor finishes, electrical items, cabinetry, and more. This type of questions and answer session will paint a clear picture of the TRUE value of the damages. The proper value of the claim depends on it's accuracy.
All the data collected will then be programmed into the Xactimate estimating software. Xactimate configures and displays the data in the exact format that the insurance companies require. Line by line, piece by piece, the exact square feet of drywall, paint, wallpaper, and carpet will be calculated for a real and accurate cost to pay the claim. In fact, Xactimate is used by more than 70% of insurance companies.
Any items that are in question will be reviewed by our group of engineers, building inspectors, or contractors as additional documentation to support the true repairs. Foundations, brick, support beans, electrical may require removal and may not meet current building codes. These professionals can advise on ways to keep these types of materials or why they will require replacement.
After all this has been completed we will meet with the other parties appraiser and discuss each others findings. In some cases an agreement cannot be reached between the two appraisers. In the event this happens, the two appraisers will submit their differences to the Appraisal Umpire. (For more information about the appraisal umpire and what their job is in the process, visit here.)
How To Hire ICG, Inc. As An Independent Appraiser!
Please call (919-669-9111) or Email Us to discuss your needs. If we agree to be your appraiser you must formally advise the other party (insurance company or homeowner) that we will be acting in your behalf. To appoint Joe Brennan as your appraiser we'd like to make this process as easy as possible; below is a copy of a letter with your intent to invoke the appraisal clause in the policy. The letter is for homeowners, contractors, PA's or attorneys; as insurance companies already know how to invoke the clause already.
- Open and save or open and copy the following MS Word Document here. This document will advise the insurance company that you wish to execute the appraisal clause in your policy. The letter has been pre-written to name Joe Brennan as your appraiser. Open the document and fill in your personal information. Once the form is complete it should be sent to the insurance company via certified mail!
- If you need assistance; another option is to request that we fill in all the appropriate information for you. We will create the letter and email you a copy that you can print and send to the insurance company via certified mail!
Contact Us For Interview!
Is Joe Brennan the right fit for your appraisal needs? How do you know unless you ask? Please feel free to contact me by email to set up a date and time to to discuss your Insurance Appraisal needs. Or, call me directly at (919) 669-9111. I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.
Claim & Appraisal Services!
The Insurance Claims Group, Inc. can answer insurance claim related
questions and provide advice and assistance for insurance
claim damages that are a result of fire, smoke, wind, water,
flood damage, hail, theft, hurricane, and even denied claims. The following
is a list of professional services we provide:
Umpire: In the event that a policyholder or the insurance company invoke the appraisal clause the two independent appraisers must choose an umpire. Most policies require that the two appraisers must select and agree upon an Appraisal Umpire within 15 days of the two appraisers being named. The chosen Appraisal Umpire must be an impartial, unbiased, and disinterested party in the outcome of the appraisal award. Our extensive experience with building repairs and the insurance appraisal process qualifies us as a choice above all to act as an Insurance Appraisal Umpire to resolve insurance claim disputes. [More..]
- Independent Appraiser
for Insurance Appraisal Clause: The Appraisal Clause can be invoked by either the insurance company or policyholder. The Appraisal Process is to resolve disputes only. To resolve such disputes, each party must choose an independent appraiser. An independent appraiser is an individual that is hired to resolve insurance claim disputes. Insurance Claims Group, Inc. exceeds in their knowledge of the appraisal process and is available to represent the facts of the loss on your behalf. [More...]
- Insurance Claim Estimate: We provide inspection and complete insurance claim damage estimates for policyholders of homes and businesses, insurance attorneys, repair contractors, and insurance companies. [More...]
Appraisal & Estimating Assistance: In some cases contractors, attorneys, or appraisers may need assistance in preparing a defense for their claim. They may have questions or need advise on some parts of the estimate or damage. We provide consulting and evaluation assistance for any part of a claim you may require answers for. If we can't answer your questions we can refer you to someone who can. [More...]
Consultation: Many times policyholders and contractors are unsure if damages are covered, if there are coverage limits, or find themselves overwhelmed with the complexity of the insurance claim process. In some cases the insurance companies may use industry terms or insurance lingo that can be confusing. We provide information on the insurance claims process, policy interpretation, estimates and estimating, as well as the insurance appraisal process, and umpire services. Educate yourself and understand how to obtain the correct settlement for your home and business insurance claims. [More...]
- Insurance Replacement Cost Valuation: Is your home properly insured? Do you have enough coverage to replace your home or building after a loss. Finding out that you are under insured after a large fire, flood, or hurricane can be devastating. We will provide an inspection of your home or building, take photographs, and provide a fully detailed replacement cost estimate. You can then make an educated decision on how much coverage you need for your property. Not too little, and not too much. [More...]
provide Insurance Appraisal Services in North Carolina (NC), South Carolina
(SC), Georgia (GA), Florida (FL), Alabama (AL), Mississippi
(MS), Louisiana (LA), Texas (TX), Virginia (VA), Maryland
(MD), Delaware (DE), Washington DC, Pennsylvania (PA), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), Connecticut (CT), Rhode Island (RI), Massachusetts (MA),
Ohio (OH), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Tennessee (TN), Indiana (IN), Illinois (IL), Michigan (MI), Wisconsin (WI), Minnesota (MN), Iowa (IA), Nebraska (NE), Colorado (CO), Kansas (KS), Missouri (MO), and Oklahoma (OK). So, please feel free to gather
information from our services and articles, or jump right in with any questions you may
have by submitting on our insurance questions and answers page. We are here
to help in any way we can.
Insurance Claims Help is only a phone call away at (919) 669-9111or feel free to Contact Us by email. Don't forget; You Will Receive Insurance Claim Help at NO COST! Free review of your entire claim will allow you to know exactly where your stand!