When it comes to insurance claims and settlements, you want to be sure that you are getting the full amount you deserve. Regardless of how friendly your insurance carrier and adjuster seem to be, please understand that they do not want to make a large payout. Insurance carriers will do what they can to limit how much they pay you. Part of the settlement process could involve having an appraiser assess the damage to your property. Is a competent and impartial appraiser required?
Do you have to depend on the insurance carrier’s initial settlement?
When it has been determined that damage to a home or property is covered under the policy terms, the insurance carrier will typically offer their settlement amount. In most cases, the offer will be lower than what you should be receiving. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have in place language that deals with disagreements over the amount of loss.
Essentially, the language usually reads that both parties will select a competent, independent appraiser and notify the other party of the appraiser’s identity. Both sides will then choose an “umpire” who will make a decision if the two appraisers disagree on the total loss.
What is a disinterested appraiser?
A disinterested appraiser is one who has no interest in the outcome of the claim. They are on no side, either the insurance carrier or the homeowner making the claim. They have no stake in the final settlement. A disinterested appraiser is paid to determine the extent of the loss, submit their findings, and nothing else. Their pay is not determined by how much they save the insurance carrier or how much they help a homeowner receive.
When to use appraisal provisions in a policy
Appraisal provisions in policy should not be invoked until the insurer and the homeowner agree on the scope of the damage. Appraisers will not determine whether or not something should be covered under a policy. They will simply report the loss to the parties involved. At Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC, we are here to help anyone confused by the homeowner’s insurance settlement process. If you think you are being treated unfairly by the insurer, you can contact our New Orleans bad faith insurance attorney for a free consultation of your case so we can discuss your next steps forward today.