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How an appraisal works in a homeowner’s insurance dispute

| Jun 26, 2021 | Blog, Insurance Law

When you expect your California homeowner’s insurance company to pay your claim and it either refuses to do so or makes a lowball offer, you may feel understandable frustration. However, there are some steps you may want to take to strengthen your case and argument, and one of these steps involves securing an appraisal that outlines the damage you suffered.

Per NerdWallet, many customers and insurance companies involved in disputes choose to have appraisals performed. How does an appraisal work in this scenario, and how might having one performed benefit you?

How the appraisal works

In a homeowner’s insurance dispute, both sides may request appraisals that document the property damage you suffered. Both appraisers, who are often either attorneys or public insurance adjusters, then determine how much damage your home or property suffered in the event that preceded your insurance claim. If there is considerable disagreement between what the two appraisers report, a neutral third party steps to come up with a final number.

How the appraisal may benefit you

The biggest advantage of getting an appraisal is that you have someone backing up your claims about the damage your home or property suffered. An appraiser’s opinion may make your insurer more inclined to pay the amount the appraiser decides upon. A drawback associated with getting an appraisal is that while it gives you an idea of the financial extent of the damage, your insurer has no legal obligation to pay the full amount the appraiser says it should.

Sometimes, after securing an appraisal and taking other steps toward a solution, you may still be unable to come to an agreement with your homeowner’s insurance company. In this case, you may have no choice but to move forward with litigation.