06 Sep Balance Brings CMA On As Strategic Partner
Contractors play a critical role when damage occurs at a home or business, especially when the damage is storm related. However, to be compliant with state and local laws, contractors should avoid acting or claiming to be a public adjuster unless legally able to do so. Traditionally this includes discussing a policyholder’s coverage, negotiating the claim on the policyholder’s behalf, arguing about what is ‘bad faith,’ or debating over what is covered or excluded from a policy.
So, what can contractors do to legally help their customers? Hire a Public Adjuster.
This month, we’re proud to announce our latest partnership with CMA, a fully licensed public adjusting firm with offices across the US, to bring even more value to our clients. CMA helps contractors and their customers get what they are owed on their insurance claim, but they are also expanding their services to include appraisals to assist restoration contractors nationwide.
How an Insurance Appraisal Works
An insurance appraisal is a form of alternative dispute resolution—much faster and far less costly than going to court. The appraisal process allows both parties (the insurer and the policyholder) to choose their own independent appraisers. The appraisers then agree on an “umpire” to act as the arbiter before conducting separate appraisals.
The umpire will not be involved if the appraisers can agree to a fair, binding settlement based on their itemized calculations. If they are not able to agree, the umpire is brought in, and the decision agreed to by two of the three parties will stand (again, legally binding).
When to Bring in an Insurance Appraiser
Oftentimes, an initial insurance claim offer is much lower than is needed to repair the damage. When this happens, the contractor or a third-party claim manager will dispute the offer on behalf of the policyholder and, ideally, reach a formidable settlement. However, in cases where the parties “agree to disagree,” the contractor or claim manager can choose to bring in an appraiser to calculate the amount of loss from a neutral perspective. This is especially helpful for contractors, who prefer to focus on growing their business and serving customers rather than negotiating with insurance companies.