Property Damage Appraisers: Should I Trust Them?

property damage appraisers

If you have not had a reason to file an insurance claim recently (and your premiums are not exorbitant), it may have been easy to put the subject of insurance out of your mind for quite a while; however, if you have been in a car accident or were forced to file a claim regarding damage to your home or business, or more, dealing with insurance and property damage appraisers may suddenly become a central focus. And nothing can be more frustrating than being interrogated or stalled when you have done your part in paying premiums for years, fulfilling every requirement as requested by the insurer. Along with spending far too much time stressing about what is going to happen to your property or how you are going to pay medical bills, you have probably pored over your insurance policy too, wondering what the deal really is in the face of your insurer delaying the investigation or paying out for your claim.

The property damage appraiser works for the insurance company in evaluating the condition of your car, for example, if you have been in a wreck and have filed a claim—or they may be working for another party’s insurer if you were in an accident due to the negligence of someone else. The goal of the appraiser is very clear: to assess and advise on whether or not the insurance agency should pay the claim. They do this by investigating, ruling out fraud, examining insurance policies and other information such as medical records, and negotiating settlements and payments. They are also used to speaking with attorneys while they do their jobs. Keep this in mind if you are feeling helpless, alone, or intimidated during the appraisal, claims, and settlement (or litigation) process, as it is in your best interest to refer all questions to your attorney—and especially if you suspect the insurer may be acting in bad faith.

Insurance is about big money, and those involved are often given highly motivating compensation to see that cases are closed as quickly as possible and with as little cost as possible. While they may seem very friendly as well as neutral when it comes to assessing damage, never forget that they work for the insurance company and have a major role in deciding the outcome of your case. All questions from the appraiser should be referred to your attorney pleasantly, but firmly. Do not agree to hand over any files or participate in any recorded conversations without the advice of your attorney first.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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