What is Appraisal?
If you and we fail to agree on the amount of actual cash value or amount of loss, either one can demand a determination by Appraisal. If either makes a written demand for Appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent Appraiser and notify the other of the Appraiser's identity within 20 days of receipt of the written demand. The two Appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial Umpire. If the two Appraisers are unable to agree upon an Umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the resident premises is located to select an Umpire. The Appraisers shall then set the amount of the actual cash value and loss to each item. If the Appraisers submit a written report of an agreement to us, the amount agreed upon shall be the amount of the actual cash value and loss. If the Appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the Umpire. Written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount of the actual cash value and loss. Each Appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting that Appraiser. Other expenses of the Appraisal and the compensation of the Umpire shall be paid equally by you and us. (Appraisal provision from most Homeowner’s insurance policies.).
Formal: Site inspection with contractor, insured(s), adjuster, etc. / Formal Hearing with submissions, testimony, etc. / Appraisers and Umpire hear testimony/rule.
Advocated Appraisal: Attorneys for insured(s) and insurer present their case to the Appraisal Panel / Each side presents a Hearing Brief / Fast-Track Appraisal / One Appraiser agreed upon by both sides.
How long does Appraisal take?
Some Appraisals are completed within a day, while others last several months. Some Appraisals may even require a year or longer to resolve. It depends upon the size and complexity of the claim, who is named as Appraiser, whether or not the Appraisal is formal or informal, and how much discrepancy between the insured’s demand and the insurer’s settlement offer.
Exactly what documentation do I need to submit to CDR?
Depends on what’s in dispute. Repair estimates and contents inventories that are detailed and complete so that the Appraisal Panel can consider an apples-to-apples comparison between the insured’s claim and insurer’s settlement offer.
What is Fast-Track Appraisal?
Fast-Track Appraisal provides a fair, reasonable, and cost-effective resolution for those insurance claim disputes which are not effectively served by existing alternatives.
Is Fast-Track Appraisal a legally binding resolution?
Fast-Track Appraisal is voluntary. Either party is free to move on to a formal Appraisal, and even in a formal Appraisal, either party can move on to Litigation.
How do I know that CDR is fair and unbiased?
Fast-Track Appraisal Panelists are paid to be fair and unbiased. They are not advocates for one side or the other. Their performance is evaluated by their objectivity.
Can the other side refuse to participate?
Yes. This is not a coercive process.
Will I know if the other side decides to present their case to the Appraisal panel?
Yes. CDR will notify you. You must commit to attendance at least five days prior to the hearing (the earlier the better).
What happens if the other side doesn’t respond for my request for Fast-Track Appraisal?
We contact the other party within one week if we don’t hear from them. If they don’t respond within 30 days we alert you and them via mail, and we refund your fee (less $250 administration costs).
How can I be sure to present my best case? Aren’t the insurance companies better equipped to argue their case?
Present good documentation based on valid information and you’ll do fine. Yes, insurance companies have more experience and exposure to claims, but this process favors the most cost-effective repair or replacement that adequately addresses loss, damage, and valuation and fairly resolves the claim.
Can I present my case directly to the Appraisal panel? Do I have to show up? Or can I just send my information?
You may, but in most cases it’s unnecessary. Your claim summary, documentation, and written explanation should suffice. Your claim should stand on its own merits.
How much information/documentation does CDR require? Is there such a thing as too much information?
So long as the information is summarized and clarified, burying the CDR claims professionals in information-overload doesn’t help. If more information, documentation, or explanation is required CDR can ask.
What’s the best use of my time and resources?
Make sure your summary is accurate and complete, your documentation is complete, detailed, and legible, and explain the specifics of why there’s a dispute and precisely where your claim has more merit.
What if I don’t like the outcome?
You can petition for a formal Appraisal, as outlined in the policy, with each side hiring an Appraiser and both sides agreeing to an Umpire. But you’ll pay again and CDR’s information could be entered as evidence.