We provide Insurance Appraisal Services throughout Maryland (MD), including the below counties and cities:
If you need insurance claims help for property damage in MD (Maryland) that is a result of fire; water, flood, wind, hail, snow, hurricane, or tornado feel free to visit our services page for a list and description of how we can assist you.
Maryland (MD) Policyholders Are Protected By The Insurance Appraisal Clause In Their Policy... Not Many Know It's There.
Many Maryland (MD) homeowners and business owners have struggled to reach an agreement with insurance companies when it comes to settling damages from a claim. Unlike high-profiled cases and coverage issues that consume the news, many of the disputes over the cost to repair or replace the damages will be regulated by a little known clause buried in the insurance policy, called Appraisal.
However, most policyholders are unaware that they can dispute the insurance company's findings via the Insurance Appraisal Process! Maryland (MD) law requires that all Property Insurance Policies contain the provision specifying "Appraisal." It must specify that "Appraisal, is a method to resolve disputes over the "amount of loss," for a covered damages.
Unfortunately, the insurance policy does not typically provide instructions or guidance for the policyholder about how this process is fully conducted. The policy provides a brief outline of how it works, however, many disagreements can arise during the Appraisal Process itself. Some of the more common disagreements include:
- Appointing The Umpire: The appraisal clause calls for two independent appraises to jointly select an impartial and competent third party called the umpire. The umpire basically rules on any differences that arise between the two appraisers. The disagreements arise between the appraisers as to whom is a qualified prospect for this appointment.
- Can't Agree On Umpire: In addition there are many disagreements as to the process used in the event the two appraisers cannot agree on the candidate for umpire. The clause allows the parties to petition the district court to appoint an umpire if they cannot agree. The common disagreement here is on how the petition to the court is to be conducted.
- Governed By Arbitration: The courts in some states have ruled that appraisal should follow the statutes of Arbitration. Many time there is disagreements of whether the state follows the Arbitration rules and when they apply.
- The Award: Disagreements can arrive on the rules of structuring the Appraisal Award. Issues like the procedure, how the award reads, what it does and does not include.
- Challenging Appraisal: On what basis can one party challenge the award? What is the basis of the challenge? How is this disagreement presented to the court?
- Due Process: Is there any due process protection to the parties involved with an appraisal is often disagreed upon.
- The Scope: Often there are disagreements on the provisions allowed in the appraisal process. Such as; what processes are allowed to be decided in the appraisal process and which disagreements must must be resolved by the courts?
- Bad Faith: Many disagreements arise on whether the insurance company has acted in "Bad Faith," by delaying or manipulating the appraisal process. Is it Bad Faith for the insurance company to delay or refuse to pay an appraisal award?
To fully analyze all the above issues would take a book. As well, there would be many different disagreements when the book was completed. Instead we can look at the overview of the Appraisal Clause and its benefits to policyholders of Maryland (MD).
Most policyholders of Maryland (MD) are unaware of how to dispute and resolve their claim with the insurance company. Policyholders have a choice and a voice within their policy for this very purpose. As you are aware by now your policy protects you with The Appraisal Clause - sometimes called The Appraisal Provision.
Now, don't let the list above scare you. It may seem as if a person would would need a law degree to understand. The easiest way to explain it, is that it's the similar to an arbitration. Although they are very similar, the Appraisal Process is NOT an arbitration or mediation and the umpire is not an arbitrator, mediator, or judge. Insurance Appraisal, Mediation, and Arbitration are separate things.
In short; Arbitration requires attorneys and a legal process hat can take place out of a courtroom, where Insurance Appraisal does not require attorney's or a legal process.
If you feel your at a dead end with your insurance company and want to resolve your claim you'll check your policy for the Appraisal Clause. Most policies will have the provision listed under the "What to do after a loss," section or the "Conditions" section of the policy. Below, you will find a sample of a typical Insurance Appraisal Clause included in most policies. It will say something similar to the following ;
APPRAISAL - If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal. If either makes a written demand for appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser. Each shall 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 residence premises is located to select an umpire. The appraisers shall then set the amount of the 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 loss.
The Appraisal Clause allows the policyholders of Maryland (MD) (you) to hire an independent appraiser to determine the amount of loss they have suffered to their property. The insurance company will also hire an independent appraiser to value the same loss. The two appraisers will then exchange names of potential umpires in an effort to mutually agree on this third party. The umpire is basically the arbitrator, or what you might call the judge. The umpire is the tie breaker on differences between the independent appraisers. If a disagreement between the two appraisers arises, they can present their differences to the umpire.
We have no established the basics of the insurance appraisal process. We have an independent appraiser for the policyholder and we also have an independent appraiser for the insurance company. Finally, there is an Umpire. These three individuals are known as The Appraisal Panel. The object of the Appraisal Panel is to set or determine the "Amount of Loss." The amount of loss is the total dollar amount needed to return the damaged property back to its original condition, either by repair or replacement.
Once the Appraisal Panel is set, the two independent appraisers will review the documents, estimates, and differences between the two parties and themselves. They discuss and try to resolve the differences in damages and in costs. For example; the insurance company may determine that brick on a home does not need to be replaced. Where as, the contractor or appraiser for the policyholder says that it does have to be replaced. The two appraisers will discuss their reasons for their position and try to come to an agreement, first if it should be repaired or replaced, and secondly the cost to return the brick back to it's original condition prior to the loss.
Sometimes issues arrive where the two independent appraisers can't agree on certain items. In this event, the two appraisers will submit their differences to the chosen umpire. The three will discuss the issues and try to reach an agreed settlement of the differences. As stated above; the settlement or final number is called The Amount of Loss. The final amount is known as the Appraisal Award. The Award is signed by the individuals who agree on The Amount of Loss. However, only TWO of the three individuals need to agree. (An agreement between the two independent appraisers, or the umpire and either appraiser) Once any TWO of the three individuals on the Appraisal Panel sign the award... the dispute is over! The amount on the Award binding and is paid by the insurance company, to the policyholder.
Advantages For Maryland (MD) Policyholders
There are several advantages to the Insurance Appraisal Process. The most obvious is costs. Insurance Attorney's will usually charge 30% to 45% of the total award. On a $200,000 claim, the attorney's fee would be in the range of Sixty to Ninety-thousand dollars ($60,000 to $90,000). That can hurt a policyholder trying to rebuild their life. Remember, the Insurance Appraisal Process was designed to keep these disputes out of the courtroom.
The advantage of invoking appraisal allows for a less formal, non-legal proceeding. An Independent Appraiser usually charges in the range of $125 to $200 per hour. Using the same example above with an award of $200,000; if the dispute took 25 to 50 hours, the cost would be in the range of Five Thousand to Ten Thousand dollars ($5,000 to $10,000). This can be a significant difference.
Another advantage is time. The courtroom can delay an insurance claim dispute for years, where the Appraisal Process usually only takes a few months. Sometimes it can last longer depending on the complexity of the claim. However, the courtroom will most certainly be longer. The result of less time and less cost becomes a less of a burden for both sides of the dispute.
Another advantage is that - once an award is signed the insurance company has 60-days make payment and settle the award.
If you need insurance claims help for property damage in MD (Maryland) that is a result of fire; water, flood, wind, hail, snow, hurricane, or tornado - you too can use the Appraisal Clause in your policy to obtain a fair and impartial award on your claim damages. Feel free to visit our services page for a list and description of how we can assist you.
Independent Insurance Appraisers MD - County:
Anne Arundel County
Prince George's County
Queen Anne's County
St. Mary's County
Independent Insurance Appraisers MD - City:
Andrews AFB, MD
Aspen Hill, MD
Ballenger Creek, MD
Bel Air, MD
Bel Air North, MD
Bel Air South, MD
Bowleys Quarters, MD
Brooklyn Park, MD
Camp Springs, MD
Cape St. Claire, MD
Chesapeake Ranch Estates, MD
Drum Point, MD
Chevy Chase, MD
College Park, MD
Coral Hills, MD
East Riverdale, MD
Ellicott City, MD
| Ferndale, MD
Forest Glen, MD
Fort Meade, MD
Fort Washington, MD
Glen Burnie, MD
Glenn Dale, MD
Greater Landover, MD
Greater Upper Marlboro, MD
Green Haven, MD
Green Valley, MD
Havre de Grace, MD
Hillcrest Heights, MD
Kemp Mill, MD
La Plata, MD
Lake Arbor, MD
Lake Shore, MD
Langley Park, MD
Baltimore Highlands, MD
Lexington Park, MD
Marlow Heights, MD
Maryland City, MD
Mays Chapel, MD
Middle River, MD
Milford Mill, MD
Montgomery Village, MD
Mount Airy, MD
Mount Rainier, MD
New Carrollton, MD
| North Bethesda, MD
North Kensington, MD
North Laurel, MD
North Potomac, MD
Ocean City, MD
Ocean Pines, MD
Owings Mills, MD
Oxon Hill, MD
Perry Hall, MD
Riverdale Park, MD
Riviera Beach, MD
Severna Park, MD
Silver Spring, MD
South Gate, MD
South Kensington, MD
South Laurel, MD
St. Charles, MD
Silver Hill, MD
Takoma Park, MD
Temple Hills, MD
Walker Mill, MD
White Marsh, MD
White Oak, MD
Insurance Appraisal Services Is What We Do!
Insurance Claims Group, Inc. exceeds in their knowledge of the insurance appraisal process in Maryland (MD), are experts in insurance appraisal services, and is available to represent the facts of the loss on your behalf. To execute the job as an Independent Insurance Appraiser in MD properly, not only should one be educated in the appraisal process, but one should also be qualified to review the differences between the two parties. Our extensive experience with construction, building repairs, and building materials used in Maryland (MD), and insurance appraisal services qualifies us as a choice above all. We have extensive knowledge of Xactimate and MSB IntegriClaim. We are capable of reading and understanding the unit costs these estimating software's provide and work with the Appraisal Panel to determine a realistic amount of loss for all Maryland (MD) insurance claims.
Insurance Appraisal Services We Provide!
Step one of our insurance appraisal services is to obtain as much documentation that is available on the claim being disputed. We will collect a copy of the insurance companies estimate, the policyholder's estimate, as well as any other documentation that is available. We will vigorously review and inspect each estimate line-by-line for discrepancies.
The insurance appraisal services process will continue with a complete and thorough inspection of the property that has been damaged. This thorough inspection will be conducted, room by room, and piece by piece (or any remaining parts). We will conduct this inspection with the two different estimates that are being disputed. With these estimates in-hand during our inspection we can determine if one estimate has missed items to be addressed and/or if the other is excessive.
Our insurance appraisal services inspection will include 50 to 300 photos (depending on the size of the loss and extent of damage). These photos will prove and support our findings. The photos will be taken in a manner that supports our position of whether items can be saved or will require replacement. The photos will also show cause and affect damages. Yes, the bricks on the exterior of a home or building may not appear damaged. However, if the sheathing/plywood behind the brick is smoked and damp - the bricks will require removal to access other repairs.
Some rooms or even an entire building may be damaged beyond recognition. In these cases our insurance appraisal service will include an interview process with the owners of the property to confirm room layouts, types of wall and floor finishes, electrical items, cabinetry, and more. This type of questions and answer session will paint a clear picture of the TRUE value of the damages. The proper value of the claim depends on it's accuracy.
All the data collected from our insurance appraisal services will then be programmed into the Xactimate estimating software. Xactimate configures and displays the data in the exact format that the insurance companies require. Line by line, piece by piece, the exact square feet of drywall, paint, wallpaper, carpet, etc., will be calculated for a real and accurate cost to settle the claim. In fact, Xactimate is used by more than 70% of insurance companies.
Any items that are in question will be reviewed by our group of engineers, building inspectors, or contractors as additional documentation to support the true repairs. Foundations, brick, support beans, electrical may require removal and may not meet current building codes. These professionals can advise on ways to keep these types of materials or why they will require replacement.
After all this has been completed we will meet with the other parties appraiser and discuss each others findings. In some cases an agreement cannot be reached between the two appraisers. In the event this happens, the two appraisers will submit their differences to the Insurance Appraisal Umpire. (For more information about the appraisal umpire and what their job is in the process, visit here.)
Hire ICG, Inc. As Your Independent Appraiser In MD
Please call (919-669-9111) or Email Us to discuss your insurance appraisal services needs. If we agree to be your insurance claim appraiser you must formally advise the other party (insurance company or policyholder) that we will be acting in your behalf. To appoint us as your appraiser we'd like to make this process as easy as possible; below are copies of two letters depending on your current situation. Choose the letter that is correct for your current situation.
Please Note: The letters are for homeowners, contractors, PA's or attorneys; as insurance companies already know the process of how to invoke the appraisal clause.
- Option ONE: If your insurance company has sent you a letter invoking appraisal and you need to reply to the letter naming your own insurance claim appraiser - then you need to download and open our Insurance Appraisal Clause Reply Letter. This document will advise the insurance company that you accept their intent to invoke the appraisal clause. The letter has been pre-written to name Joe Brennan of Insurance Claims Group, Inc. as your insurance appraiser. Open the document and fill in your personal information. Once the form is complete it should be sent to the insurance company via certified mail!
- Option TWO: If you disagree with your insurance companies analysis of your claim and you wish to invoke the insurance appraisal clause yourself - then you need a letter advising the insurance company that you wish to forward your claims dispute to the appraisal process. Download our Insurance Appraisal Services Letter to notify your insurance company of your intent to invoke appraisal. This document will advise the insurance company that you wish to execute the appraisal clause in your policy. The letter has been pre-written to name Joe Brennan as your insurance appraisal services appraiser. Open the document and fill in your personal information. Once the form is complete it should be sent to the insurance company via certified mail!
- If you need assistance with either letter; another option is to request that we fill in all the appropriate information for you. We will create the letter and email you a copy. You will then be able to print the letter and send an original copy to the insurance company via certified mail! Please call (919) 669-9111 or email us to request assistance.
Contact Us For Interview!
Is Joe Brennan and the Insurance Claims Group team the right fit for your MD insurance appraisal services needs? How do you know unless you ask? Please feel free to contact me by email to set up a date and time to to discuss your Insurance Appraisal needs. Or, call me directly at (919) 669-9111. I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.
The Insurance Claims Group, Inc. can answer insurance claim related
questions and provide advice and assistance for insurance
claim damages that are a result of fire, smoke, wind, water,
flood damage, hail, theft, hurricane, and even denied claims. The following
is a list of professional services we provide:
Umpire: In the event that a policyholder or the insurance company invoke the appraisal clause the two independent appraisers must choose an umpire. Most policies require that the two appraisers must select and agree upon an Appraisal Umpire within 15 days of the two appraisers being named. The chosen Appraisal Umpire must be an impartial, unbiased, and disinterested party in the outcome of the appraisal award. Our extensive experience with building repairs and the insurance appraisal process qualifies us as a choice above all to act as an Insurance Appraisal Umpire to resolve insurance claim disputes. [More..]
- Independent Appraiser
for Insurance Appraisal Clause: The Appraisal Clause can be invoked by either the insurance company or policyholder. The Appraisal Process is to resolve disputes only. To resolve such disputes, each party must choose an independent appraiser. An independent appraiser is an individual that is hired to resolve insurance claim disputes. Insurance Claims Group, Inc. exceeds in their knowledge of the appraisal process and is available to represent the facts of the loss on your behalf. [More...]
- Insurance Claim Estimate: We provide inspection and complete insurance claim damage estimates for policyholders of homes and businesses, insurance attorneys, repair contractors, and insurance companies. [More...]
Appraisal & Estimating Assistance: In some cases contractors, attorneys, or appraisers may need assistance in preparing a defense for their claim. They may have questions or need advise on some parts of the estimate or damage. We provide consulting and evaluation assistance for any part of a claim you may require answers for. If we can't answer your questions we can refer you to someone who can. [More...]
Consultation: Many times policyholders and contractors are unsure if damages are covered, if there are coverage limits, or find themselves overwhelmed with the complexity of the insurance claim process. In some cases the insurance companies may use industry terms or insurance lingo that can be confusing. We provide information on the insurance claims process, policy interpretation, estimates and estimating, as well as the insurance appraisal process, and umpire services. Educate yourself and understand how to obtain the correct settlement for your home and business insurance claims. [More...]
- Insurance Replacement Cost Valuation: Is your home properly insured? Do you have enough coverage to replace your home or building after a loss. Finding out that you are under insured after a large fire, flood, or hurricane can be devastating. We will provide an inspection of your home or building, take photographs, and provide a fully detailed replacement cost estimate. You can then make an educated decision on how much coverage you need for your property. Not too little, and not too much. [More...]
provide Independent Insurance Appraisal Services in Maryland (MD), as well as 30+ other states throughout the US. Visit our service area map. Please feel free to gather
information from our services and articles, or jump right in with any questions you may
have by submitting on the questions page. We are here
to help in any way we can.