I sent a letter from an insured to Allstate requesting appraisal of their claim on Dec. 12th the letter was dated the 5th but I didn’t get it sent until the 12th. The adjuster replied to verify receipt. I haven’t heard anything else from them until today when I sent him a message asking why we haven’t heard anything. His reply was basically oops its been on my bosses desk and he forgot to send it in. So he is sending it in today Jan 6th.
My question is this: If they miss the 20 day deadline to inform us who their appraising party will be what is the penalty to them? Do we automatically win?
In the letter to Allstate invoking the appraisal, did the insured identify their choice of appraiser?
If so, my understanding is that by not responding in the designated time frame Allstate gives up their right to appraisal, and the insured can sue without first going through appraisal.
Allstate knows that this is not likely to happen, so this becomes part of the “delay, deny, and defend” strategy. They just bought themselves a month of not having to pay anything simply by “forgetting” to respond to the demand for appraisal.
Yes the letter included my estimate and all of my company info.
Did the letter name you as their appraiser?
Another question is “are you also the intended contractor?”
The appraisal clause specifies that the appraisers be “uninterested parties”. If you are the appraiser and the contractor then there may be a conflict of interest. There may also be a possibility of a favorable appraisal award being attacked by the insurer if they discover that the insureds appraiser did not conform with the requirements of the clause.
You need to name an appraiser that is “competent”. And has no financial interest (other than the appraisal fee) in the claim or construction. They don’t have to abide by any 20 day rule until your homeowner first names their 3rd party appraiser.
In my experience, the problem at appraisal with Allstate is typically the selection of the umpire. Allstate will hire an appraiser that gets a lot of work from Allstate. Allstate then provides them with a list of “Allstate approved” umpires. If your appraiser chooses one of these umpires, woe unto your claim.
It is better to have the courts pick an umpire than to deal with their selection. However, it may take a long time for the courts to set a date to do this. Typically if I am the appraiser, I tend to let the insurance company’s appraiser know that if they don’t select someone off my umpire list, then I will force it to the judge. They usually back down and pick one of mine before waiting for their pay as well.