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Appraisal

A fire policy or homeowners policy normally states that if you want to sue your insurance company, you have to do it within one year of the date of loss. This is the day when the problem occurred such as a fire or pipe leak, or the day that you became aware of the damages. Some policies allow two years to sue.

It's also written in the policy that the insured and the insurance company both have the right to demand the "appraisal" process. This right means that if you or the insurance company disagree on the amount of money in the settlement, either of you can "demand an appraisal". Even the best public adjusters will utilize this option when it's needed.

Let me call your attention to the fact that there is reasonable no time limit for appraisal. The time restriction is for a lawsuit. And this can many times be confused when dealing with your insurance company.

Of course, as a local Philadelphia public adjuster and Bucks County public adjuster working for Citiwide Adjusters I am familiar with this exact situation. I was handling a claim and the insurance company was holding up the progress of the claim. After one year, and we still could not agree on the amount of the damages, I demanded an appraisal and was told that the one year has already passed and then denied the demand.

After a letter or two explaining the above point, I was able to get their decision overturned. We subsequently went to appraisal, which involves two independent parties resolving the claim (unless they cannot agree either and then an "umpire" is hired to make the ultimate decision) and my client walked away with a wonderful settlement.

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