You see, insurance companies are out to make money. The more money they pay you to repair or replace damage to your home, the less money they keep. There's nothing wrong with that. That's how business works. We're not saying that all insurance companies are evil thieves. But they, and their adjusters, are paid to try to keep as much of their money(that you and other policyholders paid them) as possible. So when you file a claim and the insurance company pays for an adjuster to come out and evaluate the situation, whose best interest do you think they have in mind? The person they've never met before, or the company who pays them? These insurance adjusters aren't all bad either. But unfortunately, it's a natural tendency to error toward the side of the entity that pays your salary. That being said, what can be done to balance things out back in your favor?
This is where the aforementioned appraisal clause comes into play. Most insurance policies allow for the policyholder to challenge the insurance adjuster's findings, and hire a third party licensed appraiser to come and assess the situation. If the property owner chooses to do so, the insurance company can hire a third party appraiser as well, and then the two meet and usually agree on a proper assessment. Seems fair, right?
In comparison to the added amount most get on their claim, the cost of hiring an appraiser is minimal. And lucky for you, we at Blue Raccoon do free consultations. We pride ourselves on being honest straight shooters, so we'll tell you whether or not challenging the insurance company with an appraisal makes sense for you.
Here's what an appraisal clause may look like in your policy:
APPRAISAL - If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party can demand that the amount of the loss be set by Appraisal. If either party makes a written demand for Appraisal, each party shall select a competent, disinterested Appraiser. Each party 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 submit a written report of an agreement to us, the amount agreed upon shall be the amount of 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. Each Appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting that Appraiser. Other expenses of the Appraisal and the compensation of the Umpire shall be paid equally by you and us.
If you think this might be an option for you and your situation, give us a call. You have nothing to lose. Though we are based in Denver, Colorado, we do work in many states across the Mountain and Mid West.