Almost all property insurance policies contain some version of an appraisal condition. Appraisal is similar to arbitration, and provides an insured a means to contest an insurance company’s low-ball offer in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Most lawyers do not know that appraisal is even an option in resolving property claims, or how it works, or when it should be invoked, or how to conduct an appraisal. We do. We have handled numerous appraisals, prevailed on motions seeking to force reluctant insurance companies to appraise losses, and know various professionals who do appraisal work.
You don’t have to accept the insurer’s first and only offer. We can help you get what you deserve without charging you more than the amount recovered.
The insurance company, after a lengthy arson investigation, finally agreed that it could not prove arson by the insured, and agreed to pay the claim. But it low-balled the insured and refused to budge, asserting that the insured’s high-end computerized printing machines, which had been damaged by water, were repairable. It even found company willing to try and repair the machines, but offering no guarantees. We demanded appraisal, helped the insured select a competent appraiser, provided input in the selection of the umpire, and presented expert reports to the panel establishing that water permanently damages electronic equipment and that repairs would never be able to return the machines to their pre-loss condition. The insurer never budged in its position, but the panel disagreed and awarded the insured an additional $500,000.
The insurer agreed that the insured’s flat roof was wind-damaged, but estimated the loss at only $278,000. Then insured disagreed with the insurer’s scope and pricing and hired us to pursue the additional loss. We demanded appraisal and worked with the appraisers and umpire to present compelling evidence that the insurer’s estimate was incomplete and based on a faulty understanding of the composition of the roofing structure. The appraisal panel awarded the insured an additional $493,000, which the insurer paid.
You don't have to accept your insurance company's first settlement offer. The attorneys of Rutter & Russin have nearly 30 years of experience helping policyholders get a full and fair settlement for their losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.