Get ready for your mind to be blown in the latest article from Justin Petty regarding the Appraisal Clause and how much it can vary from policy to policy.
You will see four different versions of the appraisal clause and he’ll compare them and show you some of the differences/problems with them. He’ll also talk about how they work and how the clauses can sometimes be worded in a way that ultimately works AGAINST you, even though everyone normally assumes it was created to HELP you!
Read his opinion about these different appraisal clauses and how you might be able to deal with them if you are trying to resolve your total loss.
You might walk away with more questions than you had before – luckily, Justin is just the guy to point you in the right direction!
Sometimes, when you invoke the appraisal clause, the two appraisers get in a sticky situation where they don’t agree and one tries to make up unwritten rules on the idea of “that is what we have always done”.
This case was one of those.
The owner had been through a pretty horrific hail storm and his new vehicle was totaled in the process. When he got his offer, he felt like it was pretty low. We took a look and agreed that his valuation contained the typical problems they normally do and seemed to be several thousand dollars off.
This is a hard subject to explain to a lot of people.
Let me start by saying that you need to understand what is in this article before you blow your top at some insurance adjuster. There are ways around a reservation of rights defense, but you have to be stealthy and, above all, you have to remain calm.
If you have found this article, you are either an insurance adjuster doing some research or you are involved in a claim and being advised that your claim is not being paid at this time and that they are putting the claim on a “reservation of rights”.
I’m going to speak on Texas and specifically on auto insurance as Texas is my home State and auto insurance is where I have the most experience, although the reservation of rights or its equivalent exists in almost every State in the U.S. and can come about on claims that are not automobile claims.
If you would like to get a fair settlement for the total loss of your auto, you have found the right article. It will take a little work, but I think I can shed a little light on what you need to know in order to get a fair settlement.
As the owner of an appraisal and claim service company as well as a former licensed adjuster who has settled thousands of total loss claims, I will reveal the tricks to getting an insurance company to take you seriously.
In this article, I will dispel common misconceptions on total losses, tell you how to argue with computer programs and formulas, and give step-by-step instructions on how to best support your claim to get it settled.
The value of your vehicle is very important to you, but it may not be as important to your insurance company or the insurance company of that guy or girl that hit your car and totaled it.
There are some options to help get a fair value on your vehicle.
The most common and accepted is to employ the services of a non-interested professional. If the professional is truly a non-interested expert, then their opinion should be based on accepted appraisal methods and proper training and experience. The value you get from an independent appraiser should be in line with the actual value of your vehicle as it relates to the terms of the insurance claim.
If you’ve done some Googling because of a total loss dispute with your insurance company, you probably came across information explaining your right to appraisal (also called the invoking the Appraisal Clause).
Unfortunately, because auto total loss disputes are usually less than $10,000.00, it is an area that hasn’t traditionally attracted attorneys (but there are a few attorneys that will fight for you).
In fact, because the amounts in dispute are typically under $10,000.00, most insurance companies don’t even train their claims staff about the appraisal clause.
I was an adjuster for over a decade and NOT EVEN ONCE was the appraisal clause mentioned. If you invoke the appraisal clause, you can bet that you will be dealing with a claims representative that has no clue what they are doing (if you’re an adjuster that thinks you know better, prove it).
I educate adjusters and insurance carriers every week about this little known right that their insureds have.
Prove a point on your total loss due to flooding after Hurricane Harvey with the Appraisal Clause
If you’re a victim of the recent flooding in South Texas and have a total loss due to flooding with your carrier, you should call our office immediately and make sure that any offer you get is fair and reasonable.
Now that South Texas is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Florida and Georgia brace for the impact of category 5 Hurricane Irma, victims will undoubtedly be dealing with total loss claims in exponential numbers and they need to know that insurance companies routinely handle these claims in a very dogmatic manner.
The biggest tactic is for a carrier to simply refuse to negotiate.
They will simply tell you, “take it or leave it”.
They like to claim that they do not have the authority to negotiate outside of their captive company market reports.
OFFICIAL OFFER WAS OVER $7000 LOW ON A 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT
It has been quite a while since we had time to post on our blog because we’ve spent our year so far helping tons of accident victims get a fair shake when dealing with diminished value and total losses.
We’ll start today with our latest success on a little known power you have against your own insurance company (1st party claim) if you have a total loss:
THE APPRAISAL CLAUSE!
Even if you know about the appraisal clause, it doesn’t mean it will be effective for you since most insurance companies have their own idea about how the appraisal clause works (even though it is in black and white in the contract) so you have to have an experienced expert that knows the rules and how to navigate the process legally.
We have inside knowledge that the appraisal clause is on top of everyone’s mind working inside the claims department because it is costing them a ton of money to defend the practices of their uneducated adjusters.
The requirement that appraisers and umpires be “disinterested” is something that the insurance companies purposely and habitually fail to recognize.
The two appraisers working the claim must be totally disinterested. Their concern should be about the TRUE VALUE of the loss.
It isn’t YOUR SIDE VS. THEIR SIDE. It is NO SIDE VS. NO SIDE!
Let me start by saying that some people never need an attorney, and others will always need an attorney.
Additionally, this article is based on my 15 years of claims adjusting experience. I have developed a simple little formula that will help you decide if you need an attorney or not. Keep in mind, this quiz is tailored for auto accidents only, and I make no warranties or guarantees that your result is a foolproof answer.
Ultimately, the only person that can decide if you need an attorney is you.
With that being said, simply answer the following 15 questions and then add up your answers. All of these questions are yes or no questions. Whatever answer you have the most of is your answer to the title of this article.