It probably will not surprise you to learn that some insurance companies will give customers a hard time when it comes to submitting fire insurance claims. Such actions will usually create a dispute between the parties that can sometimes get ugly. If you want to avoid further frustration you should consider hiring a fire damage appraiser. This professional makes it much harder for the insurance company to refuse to pay up for legitimate damages.
Many may believe that engineers, construction experts, and legal expert witnesses who testify about fire forensics can all serve as damage appraisers for fire claims. However, you should truly consider someone who understands insurance disputes and the insurance appraisal process before jumping the gun and choosing an unqualified person. Your policy has a clause called Appraisal that allows each party to hire an independent appraiser to assess the damages on their behalf. The appraisers then will choose a third party called an umpire. If you fail to hire someone that is an expert in this process you can suffer greatly. Being that the outcome of appraisal is “binding,” on both parties, you may be stuck with a bad ruling if you do not have an experienced appraiser for your fire insurance claims.
Once you have found an expert you need to know what type of appraisal report they provide. A good report will thoroughly delineate all types of damage from the fire including heat damage, smoke damage, and problems with air quality, mold, etc. A good report from an independent appraiser will contain lots of photos that prove your claim and prove the documents, estimates, and costs related to the fire. In a situation where a large amount of contents were lost, it should also include a loss inventory that will jar your memory about forgotten or missing items. In addition, there is a difference in cost between repairing and replacing items and structures, and the independent appraiser will be able to testify to this.
If your fire claim is missing information or contains information that is untrue, it is much more likely to be rejected. It is well worthwhile to pay a one time fee to hire an expert in order to avoid greater loss from rejected claims. It will automatically be assumed that a claim that contains an expert report is more accurate than one which does not. Is it not better to have your claim accepted the first time around?
Using a professional fire damage appraiser makes it much more likely that your fire insurance claim will be accepted from the get go. The insurance company will find it difficult to state that your claim is incomplete or false when a professional has helped you. Hiring a fire damage appraiser can really make things go much easier when it comes to fire insurance claims.