It is not unusual for policyholders and insurance companies to disagree about the value of damaged property. This can be frustrating for both parties, particularly policyholders, who may very likely be unfamiliar with the agreements they are operating under and may have no idea how to go about exercising their options. 

Furthermore, even the most diligent of policyholders can be confused by the legalese contained in their agreements and be unaware of the options they have. This quite often leaves policyholders under the impression that they have no real option other than to accept what the insurance company is offering. If you find yourself in a situation like this, contact a professional Public Insurance Adjuster at The Claims Company for help.

Appraisal Clauses

Many insurance agreements have what is commonly known as an appraisal clause. Appraisal clauses provide for an independent appraiser, acceptable to both parties, to independently appraise the damage being claimed. Generally, under these clauses, either party may submit a written demand for appraisal, and both parties select an appraiser. The two selected appraisers then select a competent independent appraiser, or “umpire,” who then submits a value of the loss due to the damage in question. If the two appraisers cannot agree on an independent appraiser, they can request judicial intervention.

It is important for the policyholder to carefully examine their insurance agreement because insurance companies have no obligation to inform policyholders what is and what isn’t contained in their agreement. It’s up to the policyholder to determine if their agreement contains an appraisal clause, and how to invoke it if it is contained in the agreement.

Mediation Clauses

Mediation is a process during which the involved parties, such as a policyholder and an insurance company, discuss their disputes, such as a dispute over the value of damaged property, with the assistance of a trained impartial third person who helps them reach a settlement, often by simply providing an objective opinion. In other words, an objective opinion often helps one or both parties understand that their stance may be unrealistic and that a compromise is in order.

It may be an informal meeting among the parties, but in the insurance arena, it is often a clause within the policy agreement, known as a mediation clause, similar to appraisal clauses. Again, policyholders should be aware of everything contained in their insurance agreement, as insurance companies may not see mediation as their best option, preferring instead that the policyholder simply accept their initial offer. It falls upon the policyholder to be aware of whether mediation is an option available to them, and whether they believe such a process would benefit them.

How The Claims Company Can Help With Mediation and Appraisal

The language contained in typical insurance agreements can be difficult for even experienced legal minds, often filled with terms and clauses that only those with experience can truly understand. A professional Public Insurance Adjuster from The Claims Company can help you understand exactly what is contained in your insurance agreement, and advise you on how to best take advantage of any particular clauses like appraisal clauses and mediation clauses. If you need our help, contact us online.