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 got a dent on your vehicle and repairing it is cheaper than your deductible, then you won’t be able to make a claim before your own insurer. That claim can be submitted the insurer of the party at fault, but you may have to negotiate an amount with needing an appraisal. A free repair quote from an auto body shop alone may not be enough.
On the other hand, if the damage resulted in a complete loss where repair is infeasible, a property appraisal will be necessary. If a fire destroyed your home, you should get a real estate appraisal. If you lost a valuable collection to a thief, a professional appraisal of that collection is required.
If you have a totally wrecked car following a collision, you need to get it appraised for its state before the accident. 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 think the adjuster is wrong in his claim, you can prove your point 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. These pros don’t only know how much a property is worth but also how much restoring it to its pre-accident condition would cost.
Choosing an Appraiser
Before you commit to a certain damage appraiser, check if they do appraisals for insurance providers. You may also want to double check what they tell you by researching online. Don’t use appraisers who work for insurers.
Another thing you should take note of is that appraisers are hardly all the same. For instance, they may specialize in motor vehicles, art, homes, and the rest. Definitely, you’ll want the right specialist to work on your particular damaged property.
Besides that, go for an appraiser who has a license, is a member of a professional appraisers’ association, and has solid experience working as an appraiser and testifying in court as a court witness. If you’re consulting with a personal injury attorney, ask them to recommend good damage appraisers in your area.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to hire a damage appraiser that is the best 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.