When you have damage to your property, you expect that your insurance company will pay your insurance claim and cover the damage. There are times when a dispute arises because your insurance company feels they only owe a certain amount to repair your damaged property and you feel they owe a different amount. This happens more than you realize and there are dispute resolutions options available to you in your insurance policy.
Most policies provide the option for either Mediation or Appraisal. When the appraisal provision is included in the policy, it will read something like the following (they differ from policy to policy, but you will get the gist):
Mediation Or Appraisal. If you and we :
“Fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party may demand an appraisal of the loss. If you or we demand appraisal of the loss, the demand for appraisal must be in writing and shall include an estimate of the amount of any dispute that results from the covered cause of loss. The estimate shall include a description of each item of damaged property in dispute as a result of the covered loss, along with the extent of damage and the estimated amount to repair or replace each item. In this event, each party will choose a competent and impartial appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire …
The only additional cost to you and the insurance company through this process is bearing the cost of the umpire equally if one should need to be retained. Although the two appraisers will agree to the selection of the umpire, the umpire is not needed unless the two appraisers are unable to resolve the dispute. At that time, the umpire will be called in to assist.
The appraisal process is sometimes the path of least resistance when trying to resolve an insurance claim. In addition to being licensed public insurance adjusters, we are also Certified Property Insurance Appraisers and Umpires (CPAU) and are members of the Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association and the Windstorm Insurance Network. We have resolved many insurance claim disputes over the years, both as appraisers and umpires throughout the state of Florida. If you have any questions, you can reach us here or call 561-288-6434.