If you have a damaged property that is covered by insurance, an appraisal may be necessary. But of course, this doesn’t apply to all kinds of damages. 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. You may need more than a free repair estimate obtained from a car body shop.
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. A damage appraisal may be necessary as well if the car can be repaired, but if the adjuster claims that its value before the mishap is lower than the cost of the repair, you should get a damage appraisal. In that case, the insurance company will only pay the vehicle’s market value before the collision.
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.
Picking the Right Appraisal Company
Before hiring a damage appraiser, ask if they do appraisals for insurance companies. 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 example, some specialize in art collections, others in real estate, etc. Definitely, you’ll want the right specialist to work on your particular damaged property.
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 attorney, they may be the best person to recommend reputable 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.