...insurance company fail to agree on the amount of loss or extent of damages. The appraisal provision, often referred to as the “Appraisal Clause” or “Statutory Appraisal,” is included in many insurance policies for residential or commercial buildings. If the insured’s policy includes an appraisal clause, then it can be found in the “Conditions” section of their policy.
Other professionals insureds may encounter in the course of settling their insurance claim include Building Consultants, Engineers, Forensic Accountants and Inventory Specialists.
Building consultants can be retained by the insurance company, the insured or the public adjuster. They work either for the insured or the insurer and their role is to put together a proper repair estimate and proper scope of repair —and to determine the most cost- effective way to restore the damaged property. They also assist inmaking the determination of whether a building can be repaired or should be rebuilt.
The most common type of engineer likely to be involved in a property damage claim is the structural engineer. An important part of their role is to determine the cause of the loss. For example, why did a roofing system fail and what helped cause the damage?
These professionals will also determine how to repair or rebuild the building up to current construction and safety codes. They are responsible for ensuring that the structural integrity of the building is sound.
With regard to equipment losses, often a mechanical engineer will be hired by the insured, the insurer or the public adjuster, since mechanical equipment requires very specialized expertise.
These professionals bring a unique perspective to property damage claims — very different from that of a CPA or general accountant. Forensic accountants are experts at understanding tedious policy language, especially involving business income loss claims. Many insureds don’t have detailed financial records either because they were not properly kept or were destroyed in the disaster that damaged the property. Forensic accountants can help recreate these records, which are required for property insurance claims. These professionals are hired regularly by insurance companies and can also be retained by policyholders to help them prove their claim.
These specialists are used by both the insurance company and the policyholder. Their job is to go to the loss site; examine the damaged equipment, stock, personal property and/or business property; and create a detailed inventory of what was damaged or destroyed, along with its value. They perform very...