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One of the most misunderstood provisions in your property insurance policy is the Appraisal clause. Appraisal is the process that takes place when your insurance company and you, the insured, cannot agree on the value of a loss. Appraisals are only used when trying to determine the value and extent of damage. It is not used to determine whether there is coverage or the cause of a loss.

In appraisals, each party appoints its own appraiser. The appraiser is supposed to be a disinterested third party. The appraisers appraise the loss and attempt to reach a resolution on behalf of their clients. If they cannot agree, a third appraiser, called an umpire, makes the final determination.

There are two Major Traps in the Appraisal Process That Must be Managed Properly in Order to Maximize Your Claim.

First, you need to hire the correct appraiser. It is important to check the references, experience and credentials of your appraiser. Your appraiser needs to be diligent and proactive. If your appraiser is reactive and passive, your case will not end well.

Second, you need to have input into the selection of the umpire. The policy will state that in the event the appraisers cannot agree on an umpire, either party can petition the Court to appoint an umpire. If you do not inject yourself into that process you will likely draw an umpire you don’t want.

If you are unprepared, the appraisal process strongly benefits the insurance company. Thus, it should be approached with great caution by the insured.

If you are going through the appraisal process, contact my law firm. It could make a huge difference.

Texas Property Insurance Lawyer Blog - Appraisal
Client Reviews
Tim represented us in a dispute with our insurance company over roof damage due to a hail storm in the Dallas area. We were very disheartened by the constant denials and dishonest treatment we were receiving from the insurance carrier, and Tim counseled us to remain patient while he systematically put together expert opinions and facts that supported our claim. Eventually we were able to settle our case and had the roof replaced on our apartment building just two months before the big tornado hit in late 2015. Our investment property was the only one in the area that did not sustain any roof damage! We were lucky with our timing, but we were even more fortunate to have Tim on our side. We highly recommend Tim's firm! Allan and Marian Goodman
In short order, he was able to quickly understand and master the details of our case and map out a very cost-effective, efficient legal strategy. After a series of quick wins in court, our opponent came to the table with a highly satisfactory settlement. Mr. Hoch’s ability to effectively tell a persuasive story within the confines of a courtroom is without equal. Anthony Page
Tim’s knowledge and insight regarding not just the law, but business and human nature in general was greatly appreciated and relied upon as we navigated through a difficult situation. Tim has my utmost admiration and respect both on a personal and professional basis. Phillip A. Reinsch
We use Tim Hoch to handle complex business litigation matters on a variety of topics. He combines a strategic, no-frills approach with a bottom-line mindset. He is extremely responsive, organized and thorough. We would gladly recommend his services. Richard Warren, CEO