How to Choose an Appraiser


Has appraisal been demanded and do you need an appraiser to represent you in your insurance claim?  When selecting an appraiser, there are a number of qualifications you must consider. Whether he is competent is by far the most important quality. A competent appraiser should understand insurance, know how to estimate damages, be able to work well with others, and present your claim in a logical fashion.

Hire a competent appraiser. An appraiser should have both experience in evaluating repairs for an insurance loss and should know how to interpret the insurance policy. The combination of these two requirements is sometimes hard to find. An individual may have prepared thousands of repair estimates for a construction company, but still be a novice in his understanding of insurance policy provisions. On the other hand, you may find a retired insurance agent who understands the policy provisions perfectly, but he can lack the ability to prepare a detailed and precise estimate of your damages. In my opinion, you should look for an experienced insurance adjuster to assist you in this matter. Before you make a choice, you may want to confirm if the appraiser you are about to hire is required to be licensed as an insurance adjuster in th state in which the loss took place.

This adjuster could be an independent adjuster or a public adjuster. However, what's the difference between these two individuals. The independent adjuster when he is adjusting claims, can only work for the insurance company or for an independent adjusting company, who is employed by the insurance company. A public adjuster works only for the policy holder, and represents solely the insured in matters of disputes with their insurance company. Who do you think would be the best choice to represent you in these matters? The following criteria is what I would use if I were choosing an appraiser to handle my claim. Remember, you can't handle your own claim appraisal even if you are qualified to do so.

Does he have a construction background?
Does he understand my policy?
Does he understand Florida Building Codes?
Does he work well with others?
Can he present your claim in a logical fashion?
Is he a licensed Florida insurance adjuster?
Has he ever done an appraisal?
Does he have time to handle my appraisal?
How much does he charge?
How does he choose the Umpires on his list?

Gary Laird Ahrens • PA License # A002288 • Firm License # G008507 • AA Florida Public Adjusting Agency, LLC • 34540 Appaloosa Trl., Zephyrhills, FL 33541 • 866-993-3760

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