Invoke the appraisal clause in an insurance claim, you need to follow specific steps. The appraisal clause is a dispute resolution mechanism used when there’s a disagreement between you (the policyholder) and your insurance company regarding the value of a loss. Here’s a general guide on how to invoke the appraisal clause:
Review Your Policy: First, carefully review your insurance policy. The appraisal clause and the process for invoking it should be outlined in your policy. Pay attention to any specific language or requirements.
Notify Your Insurance Company: You need to formally notify your insurance company that you wish to invoke the appraisal clause. This is typically done in writing. In your letter, make sure to include the following information:
Your name and contact information.
Your policy number.
A clear statement that you are invoking the appraisal clause.
A brief description of the dispute, such as what you believe the loss is worth.
Select an Appraiser: As part of the appraisal process, you and your insurance company will each select an appraiser. These appraisers should be knowledgeable in the type of loss being disputed. Your appraiser will represent your interests.
Agree on an Umpire: The two appraisers should work together to select a neutral third party called an “umpire.” If they can’t agree on an umpire, you may need to seek assistance from a court to appoint one.
Appraisal Process: The appraisers will independently assess the damage or loss and provide estimates. If they disagree on the value, they will submit their differences to the umpire.
Umpire Decision: The umpire will review the assessments made by the appraisers and make a decision on the value of the loss. The umpire’s decision is typically binding and will determine the final settlement amount.
Payment: Once the appraisal process is complete, the insurance company is obligated to pay the amount determined by the appraisal, and the claim is considered settled.
Make sure to keep copies of all correspondence and documentation related to the appraisal process, including the letters invoking the clause and any appraiser and umpire selections. It’s also a good practice to consult with an attorney or a public adjuster who specializes in insurance claims to ensure that you follow the correct procedure and protect your interests during the appraisal process.