If you have a damaged property that is covered by insurance, an appraisal may be necessary. But of course, there are only certain types of damages to which that will apply. For example, if it’s no more than a dent on your car and the cost to fix it is less than your deductible, you can’t file a claim with your insurance issuer. Such a claim may be submitted the opposite party’s insurer, but you will be able to negotiate whether or not you have an appraisal. You may need more than a free repair estimate obtained from a car body shop.
However, if the damage resulted in a full loss where repair is unfeasible, then an appraisal becomes a requirement. If your house was razed by a fire, a real estate appraisal is what you need. If your valuable collection was lost in a theft, that collection should be appraised by an expert.
If you have a totally wrecked car following a collision, you need to get it appraised for its state before the accident. If repair is possible but the adjuster says your vehicle’s pre-accident value is less than the estimated cost of repair, you may have to secure a damage appraisal. In such a case, the insurance firm will only cover up to the market value of the car before the collision occurred.
If you want to refute the adjuster’s claim, you can do so with a professional appraisal. If the adjuster says your repair estimate is too high (according to handbooks that they adjusters use), you can settle that dispute through an independent damage appraiser. They will know not just the value of the property, but also how much it would take to bring it back to its pre-accident state.
Picking the Right Appraisal Company
Before you commit to a certain damage appraiser, check if they do appraisals for insurance providers. You can check their claims just by doing a little research on the Internet. Don’t use appraisers who work for insurers.
Another thing to remember is that appraisers are not all created equal. For instance, they may specialize in motor vehicles, art, homes, and the rest. Definitely, you’ll want the right specialist to work on your particular damaged property.
On top of that, pick an appraiser that is licensed and belongs to an association of appraisers, aside from being experienced not only as an appraiser but also as an expert witness. If you’ve hired a personal injury attorney, they may be the best person to recommend reputable damage appraisers in your area.
At the end of the day, you just want a damage appraiser who is the best fit for your needs and budget. And you will only know which is best if you review not only one but at least three different options before choosing.