Everyone knows that there are some known facts of life. These include death, taxes, and the need to have insurance. People everywhere know they must carry insurance to protect themselves from serious losses when an unknown event takes place, like a car accident or a medical procedure.
Insurance that covers an actual piece of property, like a home, comes with some factors that are open to question. The actual value of a home can change over time, depending on the home’s condition and the current housing market. Other pieces of property like valuable jewelry or artwork is also subject to change, depending on market factors. This is why property must be appraised in order to set a value on it for the insurance company. This is when an appraiser has to step in.
What Does an Appraiser Do?
What are insurance appraisers? What do they do? An insurance appraiser is the person who is called in when the appraisal clause in an insurance policy is invoked. The clause is the legal wording that states that if a policy and an insurance company can’t agree on the value of damages to a property, they must be appraised by an outside appraiser. The appraisers examine the property in question and give an outside, “disinterested” value to it.
Getting an Outside Appraisal
The big issue in getting a fair appraisal is one of being “distinterested.” An appraiser should be an utterly outside party that reviews the property in question, with no stake in the outcome. This party must be unbiased and completely neutral, with no association either with the insurance company or the property owner. Unfortunately, the reality of getting an appraisal is that often the appraiser is hired by the insurance company itself. Since this appraiser is acting on the insurance company’s behalf, and being paid by the insurer, they are already less than a “disinterested” party. This being the case, it’s to the property owner’s advantage to have another outside appraiser give their own review.
Luckily, today there are public appraisal companies that can act as outside and neutral parties in an insurance dispute. It seems obvious that using a neutral party is a much more fair and even-handed way to have a property reviewed. When there is a conflict over an insurance settlement, using an outside appraiser is highly recommended.