The Appraisal Clause Process
You may have heard of the term “appraisal clause” relating to insurance policies. Understanding this clause could help you navigate a dispute in your favor. The majority of insurance policies contain an appraisal clause or similar legal language.
This mechanism allows any concerned party to negotiate a settlement during a loss amount dispute. This clause involves the insured (you) and your insurer, allowing each party to settle disputes related to vehicle repair costs, diminished value and total loss value of the vehicle. You will typically see the clause in “Damage to Your Auto” in your policy.
- Step 1: Invocation of the Appraisal Clause
- The first step involves writing to your insurer, outlining that failure to resolve the dispute has led to you invoking the appraisal clause. You can send a physical letter by certified mail, a return receipt or via email. In the latter case, you should confirm receipt of your email with the claims agent dealing with your dispute.
- Step 2: Appraiser Selection
- Once the process commences, each party will choose an appropriate appraiser whose job it is to conduct a loss assessment. You will need to pay for the services of your appraiser, while your insurer carries the cost of hiring their own appraiser. It is essential that your appraiser has experience with the type of dispute and appraisal process in question. The individual will need to show objectivity and impartiality and should not have a working relationship with your insurance provider.
- Step 3: Appraisal Clause Conclusion
- Once both appraisers have conducted a loss appraisal, they will come together to discuss their different conclusions. This part of the process involves negotiating a mutually agreed upon monetary figure. Failure to agree will result in the mutual choice of a third-party appraiser, known as an umpire. Two of the three appraisers will decide on an amount, which becomes a binding agreement between all parties. In the process of making a decision, the umpire will assess the arguments of each of the other appraisers and may conduct a separate investigation. You and your insurance company will split the cost of paying this third appraiser.
If you need further information on the appraisal clause process in Georgia, reach out to Wreck Check Atlanta today.