A woman going around a home to find damage for the appraisal and mediation process in Florida

When Claim Disputes Arise, You Need Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Support

Determining the extent of property damage and its cost can be challenging. And if discrepancies over property damage exist between you and your insurer, claims disputes are bound to arise. Thankfully, getting a complete and accurate picture of your home’s damages before and during the claims process is possible. Under Homeowner Claims Help, we help clients through Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). Learn more about appraisals and how they can impact your final claim value by contacting us today.

Important Definitions Related to ADR

  • ADR: Alternative Dispute Resolution is a way of settling disputes without going to court. It can involve mediation or arbitration, where a neutral third party helps both sides reach an agreement.
  • Appraisal Services: Appraisal is a process where each side hires an independent appraiser to determine the value of the loss. If they disagree, they hire an umpire to make the final decision. Umpire is a person who acts as a judge in an appraisal dispute. Homeowner Claims Help has certified appraisers who are experts in making damage assessments and determining the true, unbiased cost of the residential or commercial loss. HCH presents repair value information in a practical and detailed manner.
  • Umpire Services: When two appraisers fail to reach an agreement on the extent and cost of the necessary repairs, an umpire is needed. HCH-certified umpires are highly educated and experienced, unbiased professionals charged with rendering a timely and impartial decision regarding the value of the loss.
  • Mediation: Built on the reputation of trust, accuracy, and excellence, HCH serves as unbiased third-party experts who can be hired to support you during the mediation process. At HCH, we are proud of our reputation for streamlining efficiencies in claims management across the board.
  • Expert Witness: HCH experts are highly qualified to render opinions based on training, certifications, and years of experience. As consultants and expert witnesses, we provide expert opinions on the cause, extent, and scope of the repairs needed.

What is Appraisal and the Appraisal Clause?

If you, as the homeowner, and your insurance carrier fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party may make a written demand for an appraisal. The Appraisal Clause is a form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR). It allows a policyholder or a carrier to have two unbiased third parties provide their assessment of the scope of work needed to restore your property to pre-loss condition.

How Do Appraisals Work?

An appraisal is a way of getting a second opinion from two independent experts who are not working for the insurance company. They will look at your property and decide how much it will cost to fix it. Each party is responsible to choose and pay for their appraisers.

  • During the process, a non-biased appraisal expert from HCH’s team and your insurance company will individually appraise the damages.
  • After both appraisers have determined the scope of work needed to restore the property to pre-loss condition, they compare their recommendations. If both are consistent with one another, this determines the final scope of work and monetary value of the award for your claim, which is binding and enforceable. However, if there is still disagreement between appraisers, the process moves on to an umpire.
  • Once again, you and your insurance company each pay for your own appraiser, and share the cost of the umpire and any other expenses related to the appraisal.

What are Umpire Services?

In general, both parties in dispute call a list of up to five umpires each and choose one. If they cannot agree on the umpire choice, the court will assign one for the appraisal process.  An umpire is someone who acts as a referee in the event your case’s appraisers disagree. They also have to be competent and impartial, not supporting either side of a conflict. Umpire is another professional third party chosen to act as a facilitator between appraisers. The umpire will look at the estimates provided by both appraisers and decide which is more accurate.

After your case’s appraisers have discussed their findings, but have no agreement as to the settlement of your claim, that’s when an umpire steps in. The umpire will decide which appraiser is right or comes up with a different amount. Whatever the umpire says goes. The umpire’s decision is called an award, and it is written down and signed by two of the three people involved (the umpire and one of the appraisers). That amount becomes the final settlement of your claim.

How Can HCH Assist?

HCH employs a range of policy experts well-versed in claims assessments and property damage evaluation. Our certified property appraisers and umpires are ready to assist whenever your claim is denied or undervalued. When hiring HCH, our clients can expect:

  • Full Appraisal Assignment – Data is gathered on your property to determine the extent of damage. Factors like insurance coverage, types of damages, average award values for similar cases, etc., are all considered.
  • Appraisal Inspection – During the appraisal process our experts will inspect and properly assess any damages to your property, providing a more detailed scope of work needed to restore your property to pre-loss condition.
A copy of a residential appraisal report, part of the process for appraisals in Florida

Talk with Our Team

Don’t lose faith if your insurance company denies or underpays your claim! Call Homeowner Claims Help LLC today to discuss appraisals and our umpire services for your most challenging claims filings. Or, HCH can assist with our public adjusting, expert witnesses, and mediation. To learn more or request a free policy review, virtual property inspection or claim evaluation, call 727-657-6193. Or, reach us via email: