If your property has been damaged and you have insurance to repair or replace it, you may have to get an appraisal. But obviously, not all types or extents of damages will require it. If you have a dent on your car and the cost of repair is lower than your policy’s deductible, then you cannot submit a claim to your insurance company. Such a claim may be submitted the opposite party’s insurer, but you will be able to negotiate whether or not you have an appraisal. A body shop’s free repair estimate may be insufficient.
On the other hand, if the damage resulted in a complete loss where repair is infeasible, a property appraisal will be necessary. If your home was damaged by a fire, you will need a real estate appraisal. If you lost a valuable collection to a thief, a professional appraisal of that collection is required.
If your vehicle was a total wreck after a collision, the car’s pre-accident state must be appraised. If the damage is repairable but the adjuster says repair would be more expensive than the value of your car before the accident happened, then you should get a formal damage appraisal. In such a case, the insurance firm will only cover up to the market value of the car before the collision occurred.
If you want to refute the adjuster’s claim, you can do so with a professional appraisal. If the adjuster thinks your repair estimate is too expensive based on industry handbooks, you can hire an independent damage appraiser to settle the issue. They will know not just the value of the property, but also how much it would take to bring it back to its pre-accident state.
Picking the Right Appraisal Company
Before working with a damage appraiser, know whether or not they appraise for insurance firms. You may also want to double check what they tell you by researching online. You’ll want to avoid appraisers that do work for insurance companies.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that not all appraisers are the same. For example, some specialize in art collections, others in real estate, etc. Certainly, you should have your damaged property appraised by the right specialist.
On top of that, pick an appraiser that is licensed and belongs to an association of appraisers, aside from being experienced not only as an appraiser but also as an expert witness. If you’ve hired a personal injury lawyer, you can ask them for damage appraiser recommendations.
At the end of the day, you just want a damage appraiser who is the best fit for your needs and budget. And to know the best, you shouldn’t stop at only one appraiser; instead, go for at least three that you can compare before you make your final choice.