When your business suffers a loss, the insurance policies that you've been paying into are intended to cover those losses and keep you operating smoothly. However, the reality of the process sometimes falls short of your expectations. If you're dealing with an insurance claim with an adjuster who isn't seeing why your equipment is worth more than they're offering, an insurance claims appraisal can help make the process go more smoothly. Why? Here's a look at how this process works.
How Does an Insurance Claims Appraisal Help Advance Your Claim?
Though insurance claims adjusters have some level of specialty, such as vehicles, homes, injuries or similar areas, that doesn't mean they're a specialist for your business' specific equipment. It's very easy to mistake your machinery that has a particular option or kit added to it for one that does not, a difference that can mean your claim settlement is offered at thousands of dollars less than what your machinery is actually worth when all of those aspects are taken into account.
The claims adjuster may not have a good idea of how to evaluate the condition of your equipment, especially when it comes to determining the value of your machinery before it was damaged in a fire, flood or other devastating events. Was the equipment in that poor of condition before, or were the bare wires caused by a fire? Was it that rusty before the flood? It's very easy for an adjuster who is not accustomed to seeing your equipment in its operational state make poor decisions in trying to determine the machinery's original condition and remaining useful lifespan.
Is the claims adjuster taking into account the market conditions at the time? If your region suddenly had strong construction growth following a flood, that machinery may be worth more today than it was in the past, when construction wasn't as strong. That means that the replacement value of that piece of equipment may have gone up significantly. Your construction company may be in a worse financial situation if you accept a lower settlement on your insurance claim than what the equipment is actually worth.
What about the kind of value the claims adjuster is calculating? If your equipment has been completely ruined beyond any hope of repair, is the adjuster calculating salvage value of what the equipment is worth for scrap and parts? Are they calculating the original value, that may leave you short of funds when it's time to replace that equipment, especially if it's been many years since it was initially purchased? Are they calculating replacement value minus what they expect the salvage value to be, leaving the old equipment for you to deal with in terms of salvage and disposal? It's important that the value that you receive when your claim is settled will actually cover the expense of replacing that equipment, including installation, shipping and similar expenses.
By having an insurance claims appraisal performed, you can ensure that your interests are being protected during the claims process. This allows you to focus on getting your business back on its feet instead of babysitting claims adjusters and the claim process. However, make sure that you're working with an accredited equipment appraiser to ensure that the appraisal report that you receive is free of the appraiser's interests.