When you and/or your Public Adjuster cannot agree with your insurance provider on a settlement amount, as a claimant you can institute your right of appraisal.

The appraisal clause in the homeowners’ policy requires that each party choose a competent appraiser. They are each to separately set the amount of the loss. The point of the appraisal process is to involve neutral parties to review the loss and determine the valuation of the loss.

For instance, you have been having trouble resolving a wind damage claim under your insurance policy. There is no dispute as to the cause of the loss, the dispute is over the extent and valuation of the loss. Each party chooses a competent appraiser, that is impartial and disinterested. If these two cannot reach an agreement, they select an umpire. Again, if the two appraisers cannot agree on which umpire to use, a court-appointment umpire will be assigned to the claim.

The appraisal process is not in place to determine coverage, simply the cost of the loss. The appraisers do not determine scope, i.e. whether something is coverage A or B, or whether the entire roof needs to be replaced or not. The appraisers simply determine that the roof repair is X dollar.

The hope is that because the appraisers are competent professionals who are one step removed from the dispute, they will reach an agreement despite a certain natural bias in favor of their employer.

Insurance Appraisal for Disputes

Before worrying about the insurance appraisal process, when filling a claim you may profit from working with your own Public Adjuster.

Remember the adjuster who reviews your loss is paid by your insurance company and your insurance company is in business to minimize loss. You may need to hire your own adjuster (Public Adjuster) if the damages are significant… to get a true, independent valuation. Public Adjusters are not miracle workers. They cannot get you more than what your insurance policy covers. But an experienced Public Adjuster can definitely help maximize your pay out. The Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA), the research arm of the Florida State Legislature, released a report demonstrating insurance claim settlements are substantially increased, on average between 574% – 747%, when the policyholder uses a public adjuster.

If your insurance company representative tells you that hiring a Public Adjuster will either stall, delay or get your claim denied, you are being bullied. She or he knows that once a policy holder hires his or her own insurance claim expert, the scale tips in the homeowner’s favor.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters has been in business since 2002. Steve Venook, a Florida Certified Public Adjuster and Florida native, has processed thousands of claims. Get an insider’s knowledge and experience to work for you. When hiring your personal claim advocate make sure the public adjuster you are working with is certified, is in good standing with the BBB, and has stellar references and testimonials.

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