Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Services
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
If you are involved in a dispute with your insurance company over the scope and/or amount of your claim, you may want to consider filing for appraisal. Appraisal does not deal with coverage issues or denials, only the estimated amount, or cost, of the claim.
Each insurance company policy reads a little differently, but the appraisal language in a typical policy states:
“Appraisal. If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either may demand an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will choose a competent appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire. If they cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we may request that the choice be made by a judge of a court of record in the state where the “residence premises” is located. The appraisers will separately set the amount of loss. If the appraisers submit a written report of an agreement to us, the amount agreed upon will be the amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will set the amount of loss.
Each party will:
a. Pay its own appraiser; and
b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally.”
What is the process?
Step 1 – Following the loss adjustment (claims) process, there is a difference or dispute in the value and/or extent of the loss.
Step 2 – The insurance company and the insured each select their own competent appraiser to represent them and the appraisers agree on an umpire. If they cannot agree on an umpire, one will be appointed by the local court.
Step 3 – The appraisers meet at the loss location and review all pertinent information, documentation and photos. They each independently prepare estimates for the damages. If they are able to agree on the amount of the damages, the matter is resolved.
Step 4 – If they are unable to reach an agreed value, the umpire is engaged. The umpire reinspects the property, reviews all original documents and all documents from both appraisers.
Step 5 – The umpire issues a proposed decision which is called an award.
Step 6 – When one or both of the appraisers agree with the umpire’s award, the award is signed resulting in a binding decision; then payment and enforcement of the award.
According to the policy, each party is responsible to pay their own appraiser and then split the cost of the umpire. An appraiser typically costs $1,500 to $2,000, which is an out of pocket expense for you. However, if you have hired Banner Adjusting & Claim Consulting as your public adjuster, we will also be your appraiser at no extra charge. This service is included in our fee.
Insurance Umpire Services
Much like an umpire in baseball, a property insurance appraisal umpire is someone who is charged with resolving issues that the appraisers are unable to agree upon during the course of an appraisal. The umpire is selected by the appraisers representing the insurer and the insured, or, if the appraisers cannot agree, is appointed by the court.
Umpires Should Be:
Competent in loss adjusting and construction
Responsible for assessing the amount of a property loss or value of a property
Tasked with making a binding decision if or when appraisers are unable to agree.
Best utilized when appointed at the beginning of the appraisal process.
Experienced with the type of loss they are being hired for
Able to write a detailed estimate of damages should they need to
I have 23 years experience as an insurance company adjuster and 4 years as a public adjuster and appraiser with extensive insurance and loss adjusting experience to fairly and impartially umpire the appraisal process. Let me help you navigate through the appraisal process and be the advocate on your side.
Call or text me any time on my cell - (941) 226-9871.