When a business is damaged and the insurance claim has reached an impasse, an appraisal process, similar to arbitration, can serve as an alternative dispute resolution method. Appraisal terms are included in most commercial insurance policies, and can help both parties avoid litigation or at least partially resolve the claim.

The appraiser’s job is to assess and evaluate the damage and provide an impartial, accurate assessment of the cost of repairing damage to the business. The structure must be returned to the state it was in before the damage occurred. Initially, two appraisers are brought in; the policyholder and the insurance company will each have their independent appraiser assess the damage.

If the two appraisers cannot agree, a third appraiser will be called in to resolve the differences. This third appraiser is called an umpire, and must either be mutually selected and agreed upon between the two hired appraisers or appointed by the court. Appraisal will then depend upon agreement between two of the three appraisers.

Appraisal is generally preferred to litigation because it is comparatively informal, yet it resolves tension that may exist between the insured party and the insurance company’s adjuster. It sets the value of the loss quickly and objectively, saving time and vast amounts of money over litigation or mediation.

Notable Appraisal Matters:

Updated Furniture, Inc. – Insured

Appraisal matter involving a claim for water damage. Investigation included extent of structure foundation damage by sub-slab heave.

 

Cab Logistics, Inc. – Insured

Appraisal matter involving a claim for hail/wind damage. Investigation included extent of storm related damage and cost analysis of repair recommendations.

 

Las Mariposas Apartments – Insured

Appraisal matter involving a claim for hail/wind damage. Investigation included extent of storm related damage, determination of old damage and cost analysis of repair recommendations.