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An appraisal hearing is often the next step after a denied claim

For homeowners who did not get enough of a settlement check from their insurance company after their property was damaged, the prospect of a lawsuit may seem uncertain and onerous. While litigation might eventually be necessary to get justice, often there is a step that can help you get the money you are entitled to that is faster and cheaper than going to court.

Many insurance policies include an appraisal clause. This gives insured people the right to appeal an undervalued settlement. The resulting appraisal hearing gives them the chance to show that their property damage is more extensive than the adjuster claimed, and that their policy entitles them to a larger settlement.

Though this hearing is outside of the civil court system, you can have an attorney help. A lawyer can help you pick an appraiser and umpire to determine the value of your claim. Besides that, he or she can represent you at the appraisal hearing, and present your side of the story as clearly and forcefully as possible.

Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, a range of claim disputes may be subject to appeal, including:

  • Hail damage
  • Water damage
  • Wind and tornado damage
  • Ice dams
  • Fires

It can be a double blow not to get a fair settlement from your insurance company after going through the shock and anguish of severe damage to your home or other property. But it is not the end of the road. An appraisal hearing can help you get what you deserve.

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