The Appraisal Clause
Are you disagreeing with your auto insurer about the cost of repairs, the type of repairs needed or the total loss value the auto insurer has given you?
Then it’s time to invoke the Appraisal Clause! It's time to call Collision Service Investigators-NC!
What is the Appraisal Clause?
The appraisal clause is found in PART D > COVERAGE FOR DAMAGE TO YOUR AUTO within the North Carolina Personal Auto Policy your auto insurer provided you. The Personal Auto Policy is also a legal contract between you and your auto insurer.
The appraisal clause can be “invoked’ when there is a disagreement in repairing the damages to your vehicle or when you disagree with the value the auto insurer placed on your vehicle when declaring it a total loss. In the LIMIT OF LIABILITY, your auto insurer owes you the “amount necessary to repair or replace the property with other property of like kind and quality.”
When the appraisal clause is “invoked,” you the insured and your auto insurer each hire a competent appraiser to establish the extent of the loss. Each appraiser will appraise the loss; if the two appraisers can reach an agreement then the loss is settled. In the event the two appraisers cannot agree then an umpire is chosen to decide the loss. Only one of the two appraisers has to agree to the umpire's decision, the loss is then settled.
If we and you do not agree on the amount of loss, either may demand an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will select a competent appraiser. The two appraisers will select an umpire. The appraisers will state separately the actual cash value and the amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will be binding. Each party will:
1. Pay its chosen appraiser; and
2. Bear the expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally.
We do not waive any of our rights under this policy by agreeing to an appraisal.
LIMIT OF LIABILITY
Our limit of liability will be the lesser of the:
1. Actual cash value of the stolen or damaged property;
2. Amount necessary to repair or replace the property with other property of like kind and quality.
This amount does not include any reduction in the value (note: diminished value) of the property after it has been repaired, as compared to its value before it was damaged
When is the Right Time to Invoke the Appraisal Clause?
Now that you know what an appraisal clause is in your North Carolina Personal Auto Policy, you may wonder when is the right time to invoke the appraisal clause?
First, the appraisal clause is primarily applicable to when you have a disagreement with your own auto insurer in the repairing of your vehicle. If you disagree with the total loss value your auto insurer has placed on your vehicle.
If you are not at-fault and you disagree with the at-fault party auto insurer, it may pay to turn the claim over to your own auto insure to pay for the repairs. The same goes if your vehicle is declared a total loss. Your auto insurer will “subrogate” or recover the payment from the liable company. Your deductible will be refunded. For this to happen you must have collision insurance. If you do not have collision insurance, you are at the at-fault auto insurer's mercy.
How to Invoke the Appraisal Clause
You will write a letter to your insurance company telling them that as a result of your inability to reach a mutually agreeable settlement, you are invoking the appraisal clause of your policy. The letter should be sent by certified mail/return receipt requested, however an email with work just as well. You may have to call
Notice of Appraisal Clause
Please take note that I disagree with the value and/or the amount of my loss. I am now invoking my rights to appraisal within my auto policy insuring agreement. I have hired Mr. / Ms. XXXXXX XXXXXX as my competent disinterested appraiser under the appraisal clause. Mr. / Ms. XXXXXXX’S NCDOI license is XXXXXX; Mr./Ms. XXXXXX XXXXXX is a North Carolina resident appraiser motor vehicle damage appraiser. Mr. / Ms, phone number is (XXX)-XXX- XXXX and email address email@example.com
Please follow my policy insuring agreement when hiring a competent disinterested appraiser.
Once you have hired a motor vehicle damage appraiser you are to notify me immediately with your competent disinterested appraiser's name and contact information so I may pass the information to my appraiser. Please acknowledge to me that you are in receipt of this email and that XXXXXX Insurance recognizes my demand for the appraisal clause is now effect.
Owner Jane Roe Dow Date XX/XX/XXXX