Yes, you can hire an attorney while an insurance claim is under appraisal. The decision to hire an attorney during the appraisal process depends on your specific circumstances and the complexity of the claim. Here are some points to consider:
- Legal Guidance: An attorney can provide legal advice and guidance throughout the appraisal process. If disputes arise, they can help you understand your rights, obligations, and potential legal remedies.
- Policy Interpretation: Insurance policies can be complex documents with various provisions. An attorney can help interpret your policy to ensure you receive the coverage you are entitled to.
- Communication: Attorneys can effectively communicate with the insurance company and other involved parties, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected.
- Legal Proceedings: If the two appraisers cannot agree upon the selection of the umpire, an attorney will be required to go before a local judge to aid in choosing a neutral umpire.
- Complex Claims: In cases where the claim is complex, involves high amounts, or has legal implications beyond the appraisal, having legal representation can be beneficial.
- Can Appraisal outcome be challenged: Generally speaking, in Florida, the amount awarded by the appraisal panel can not be challenged, except for unusual circumstances. An appraisal is designed to avoid court and render a final decision on the amount of the damages.
However, it’s important to note that involving an attorney can also increase the overall costs of the claim process. In many cases, insurance companies and policyholders are able to resolve their differences through the appraisal process without the need for legal action.
Before hiring an attorney, you might want to consider:
- Reviewing your insurance policy and understanding the coverage details.
- If needed, consult with a public adjuster to assess the damages and value.
- Communicating with the insurance company’s claims adjuster to express your concerns and attempt to reach a resolution.
If you decide to hire an attorney, finding one with experience in insurance claims and property law is a good idea. They can help you navigate the appraisal process and protect your interests effectively.
Meanwhile, if your insurance claim has been underpaid and you haven’t explored appraisal yet, please call Florida Insurance Claim Appraisal (FICA) at 954-884-0393 to allow us to determine if your claim dispute is a good candidate to go to appraisal.