The Insurance Appraisal Clause (Simplified)


     If you are a policyholder disputing a claim with your insurance company and you have given up the fight and are ready to lose, go ahead and invoke your right to the appraisal clause that your insurance company has written into their policy. It will be over quickly and if you are paid anything because of it, at best it will be a fictitious figure, and reached through compromise from what someone other than you “estimates” your loss to be – and with no commitment from a contractor willing to accept that amount to perform any of necessary the work.  

     The appraisers are paid their full fee.  The umpire is paid his full fee.  The policyholder, on the other hand, is left with a dollar amount resulting from a compromise that no contractor has agreed to accept to do the necessary work that that the appraisers and umpire guessed he might.

     There is a reason your insurance provider wrote this clause and chose to insert it into his contract with you.  Judging by his unwillingness to pay you up to this point, that reason is NOT because it is likely to result in a significantly higher payment to you.  

     If you are growing weary of fighting with your insurance company over a legitimate claim and you want to be fully indemnified but don’t know how to proceed to make that happen, seek the advice of either your attorney or a public adjuster licensed to practice in your state.  

     After suffering a direct physical loss to your home or commercial building, the last thing you need is three people with no skin in the game (none of whom will be doing the work) “guess“timating what someone else might charge you to restore it.  This should NOT be the process of determining the amount of money you are entitled to restore your home or business to its condition prior to your loss.

     Remember this important fact:  In exchange for your premium, your insurance policy directs your insurance company to pay you what it costs (not what anyone “estimates” it to cost) to restore your property to the way it was before the loss.  The appraisal process falls short toward that end and should be avoided – not sought.

     As I stated, there is a reason your insurance company wrote this into your policy, and it is obvious that the reason was NOT to pay you more money.




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