The court may never decide your homeowner’s insurance claim

A trend we’ve seen recently is that insurance companies are moving disputes over homeowner’s insurance claims into a possibly more expensive field. Instead of having your day in court, you may end up with your hands tied by an appraisal.


This type of appraisal is not an evaluation of your home’s worth for mortgage purposes, but a form of arbitration in which you hire an appraiser out of your own pocket to prove your claim. Your insurance carrier also hires an appraiser to review the damages and if the both sides can’t agree, they split the difference and that is how much money you receiver, regardless of the actual amount needed to repair your home correctly.


This amount is binding, which means you can’t change its value in court. The only legal recourse available to you is you can show that the process was flawed. Insurers often write appraisal requirements into your policy because appraisals are regularly less expensive and time-consuming for insurance companies than a lawsuit, saving them money. However, it’s costlier for homeowners to make repairs because you must hire outside experts to support your claim.


Often, you’ll have to accept the your insurance company’s first offer because authorizing a review of repair costs would be more expensive than the additional money you would receive if your estimate prevails. The only time you would consider going through the appraisal process is if both sides’ numbers are so close that it makes sense financially sense to expedite the process and recover your claim.


As summer creeps closer and hurricane season descends upon us, now is the time to review your insurance policy and take a closer look at the section on disputes. Understanding what happens if you find the word appraisal in there can make all the difference should disaster strike.


Our experienced attorneys at Acle Law will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation.