The insurance appraisal clause may be a new term to many policyholders. However, more and more homeowners and business owners find themselves disagreeing with the insurance company's analysis of their insurance claim. Those who do; need to educate themselves on the insurance appraisal clause, how to use it, when to use it, and why to use it. For many claims the only available option to resolve a dispute may be a clause buried in the "Conditions" and/or "What to do after a loss," sections of the policy. It's called The Appraisal Clause - also know as The Appraisal Provision.
In most cases the insurance company invokes The Insurance Appraisal Clause more often than policyholders do. Simply because they have a more educated understanding of the terms and conditions of their policies. Now, don't let this scare you. If the insurance company has invoked the Insurance Appraisal Clause on you or you wish to do something about your disagreement with them, you're in the right place. It may seem like a fancy clause that would take a law degree to understand. The simplest way to understand it is that it's the insurance industries version of an arbitration. However, it's not actually an arbitration. (What's the difference between arbitration and the insurance appraisal clause?)
Appraisal Clause In The Policy!
Below, you will find a sample of a typical Insurance Appraisal Clause included in most policies. As stated earlier; The appraisal clause is usually found in the "Conditions" and/or "What to do after a loss," sections of the policy. Keep in mind that policies are different in each state. Therefore, you should refer to your own policy to see if the Insurance Appraisal Clause exists. In most policies the Insurance Appraisal Clause States:
APPRAISAL - If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal. If either makes a written demand for appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser. Each shall notify the other of the appraiser's identity within 20 days of receipt of the written demand. The two appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial umpire. If the two appraisers are unable to agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premises is located to select an umpire. The appraisers shall then set the amount of the loss. If the appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the umpire. Written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount of the loss.
An Important Note: The insurance company must take the time and make every effort to settle a claim in a timely manner. After a policyholder advises the insurance company that they disagree with their findings, the insurer cannot immediately invoke the Insurance Appraisal Clause. They need to make effort with the insured to resolve the claim. They can re-inspect the property, meet with contractor's, or even have an engineer inspect the damages. Policyholders however, don't have to wait until they feel hopelessly deadlocked with the adjuster or insurance company to invoke the Insurance Appraisal Clause. The policyholder can do it any time.
Get Educated And Get Help!
Use the information here to educate yourself on the Insurance Appraisal Clause, it's advantages and disadvantages, as well as steps to take if your involved with an insurance dispute, settlement dispute, or are in need of Insurance Claim Appraisal Services or an Insurance Appraisal Umpire.
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Confused? Have questions? How do you know unless you ask? Please feel free to contact us by email to have your Insurance Appraisal questions answered. Or, call us directly at (919) 669-9111. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.