Your Independent Appraiser Must
Be Competent, Experienced, &
Knowledgeable In All
Aspects of Your Dispute!

Joe Brennan - Independent Appraiser
If you are unsure of how the entire Insurance Appraisal Process works you can visit here for a more detailed explanation.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they hire the "WRONG," independent appraiser for their dispute. You will find yourself in deep trouble if you do not hire an independent appraiser that is an expert in the "EXACT DETAILS," of your dispute.

Let me explain in more detail. Let's say a person has a large fire at their home. For some reason the policyholder and the insurance company disagree on the amount to repair the building and it's contents (furniture, clothes, etc.) The claim has entered the the Appraisal Process. Each party must now choose an independent appraiser to settle their dispute.

Now, let's break down all aspects of this appraisal and what the independent appraiser needs to know to represent your dispute effectively.

  • Needs to know how to repair or rebuild homes: The independent appraiser must know about building and repair costs, building processes, permits and building codes, and the overall nature of all aspects of building. Imagine having an attorney that knows the insurance policy as well s the appraisal process; but knows very little about the amount needed to replace the damaged items. Also imagine a builder who knows all about replacing the home but knows very little about the appraisal process and insurance claims. These individuals would get eaten alive in the areas they know little about.

  • Needs to know about the affects FIRE has on a building: This is very, very important. The independent appraiser needs to know the affects that fire has on a building, the affects of smoke, the affects of water used by firefighters. A contractor or builder may know how to repair or rebuild the damaged home. They could give an accurate price on what they "SEE" is damaged. However, without expert knowledge of smoke and fire many items to be replaced by the policy will most certainly be missed. Smoke and water affect areas in the crawlspace, between walls, in soffits, and between foundation blocks and bricks. Has the heat of the fire caused the mortar of the brick to loose its structural integrity? Not knowing will cost tens of thousand's later on. Also imagine smelling smoke throughout the home every spring and fall when the weather changes because the independent appraiser did not know certain materials absorb smoke and require removal. Not knowing the affects of water and the areas water gets trapped in a fire causes severe mold issues.

  • Needs to know about contents.
  • Needs to know about insurance claims handling.
  • Needs to know about the appraisal process.

As you can see; it's very important that any person or company have the "CORRECT," independent appraiser who knows all aspects of the type of dispute they are involved with. If the appraisal dispute is about damage to expensive art pieces then that individual must know all aspects as outlined above... as well as expensive art pieces. If the damage was caused by flooding, they should be an expert of the hidden damages caused by floods. I think you get the idea.

Our Independent Appraiser Specialties!

Insurance Claims Group, Inc. exceeds in their knowledge of the appraisal process and insurance claims handling. We are licensed adjusters in more then 10-states. We are experts of Fire and Water damage restoration and are IICRC Certified in both areas. We have over 75-years of combined residential building experience and have multiple areas of general contracting licenses. We have handled thousand's of insurance claims involving both structural and contents damages. We can serve as an expert appraiser for claims involving wind, water, fire, smoke, ice, and flood.

Insurance Claims Group, Inc. is available to represent the facts of the loss on your behalf. To execute the job as your Independent Appraiser properly, not only should one be educated in the appraisal 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 softwares provide and work with the Appraisal Panel to determine a realistic amount of loss for the claim.

Joe B. AppraiserWhat We Do As An Independent Appraiser!

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 policyholder'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). The independent appraiser 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 our independent appraisers 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 independent 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 A Dispute 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 policyholder) 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 independent appraiser 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. You can call me directly at (919) 669-9111 or fill out this Contact Form of the best time to reach you. I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.

Insurance 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:

  • Appraisal 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...]

  • Insurance 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...]

  • Claims 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...]

We 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 Group, Inc. 2054 Kildaire Farm Road, Suite # 426, Cary, NC 27518
PH: (919) 669-9111 FX: (919) 573-9595 -

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Joe Brennan