WHAT IS AN INSURANCE APPRAISAL?
Property insurance appraisal is much different and not to be confused with that of real estate appraisal. Most insurance policies contain an Appraisal Clause.
This clause allows the insured, you, to take the claim out of the hands of your insurance adjuster and the carrier. In some cases when a carrier has decided to stop the process or draw a line in the proverbial sand about further evaluation or payment of your claim, the Appraisal Clause affords the insured a fair playing field.
Under this clause both you and the carrier select an outside appraiser to evaluate your claim and then present it to a third party Umpire. The Umpire then resolves or makes a decision on those items that the two appraisers do not agree on. In order for an award to be established, all that is required is for two of the three parties to agree.
This means that a award can be made by an agreement with either the two appraisers or the umpire and one appraiser.
THE APPRAISAL PROCESS
Failure to agree as to the actual cash value or the amount of loss.
Upon written request of either, each party shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within 20 days.
The appraisers shall first select a competent and disinterested umpire.
Failing for 15 days to agree upon the umpire, the umpire shall be selected by a judge of a court of record in the state in which the property covered is located.
Appraisal proceedings are informal unless the insured and this company mutually agree otherwise.
No formal discovery shall be conducted, including depositions, interrogatories, requests for admission; other forms of formal civil discovery.
No formal rules of evidence shall be applied.
No court reporter shall be used for the proceedings.
The appraisers shall then appraise the loss, stating separately
- Actual cash value.
- Loss to each item.
Appraisers submit their differences, only, to the umpire.
- An award in writing, so itemized, of any two when filed with this company shall determine the amount of actual cash value and loss.
- Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting him or her.
- Expenses of appraisal shall be paid by the parties equally.
- The Umpire shall be paid by the parties equally.
- In the event of a government-declared disaster, as defined in the Government Code, appraisal may be requested by either the insured or this company but shall not be compelled.