(918) 663-1201
Fax (918) 663-4022 LOCATIONS: Tulsa, Austin Texas, Oklahoma City
Truck & Heavy Equipment Appraisal Service
Read below to understand the insurance appraisal process
THE APPRAISAL CONSULTANTS Fee Schedule Consulting - $195 per hour  Standard Vehicle Appraisals - $450  Premium Vehicle Appraisals - $695  Diminished Value - $695  Travel Time - $150 per hour plus $.58 per mile  Court Testify - $200 per hour
JAL THE APPRAISAL CONSULTANTS ® 2015
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jalheavy@tulsaconnect.com
Welcome to the theappraisalconsultants.com
Services Available   Motor Homes & Recreational Vehicles   Trucks & Heavy Equipment Appraisals    Appraisal Clause   Evaluations   Diminished Value   Expert Witness Qualified   Accident Reconstruction   Property Damage Appraisals   Cause and Origin Investigation
THE APPRAISAL CONSULTANTS The firm was founded by James A. Little in June 1978, and incorporated in June 1980.  We are a group of highly trained, motivated, and professional adjusters and appraisers.  We specialize in trucks, trailers, heavy equipment, marine, and aircraft damage.  We are also leaders in the industry in rendering opinions as to value.  Our services are utilized by insurance claims departments, risk management, financial institutions, and law firms.  We can complete scene investigations, cause & origin, diminution of value claims.  We also qualify as expert witness in most state courts.  We are an unbiased third party administrator. HOW DOES THE APPRAISAL PROCESS PLAY OUT?  The Appraisal Clause allows the policy holder to hire an independent appraiser to determine the value of their damages. In turn, the insurance company will also hire their own appraiser. The two appraisers will then get together and select an umpire. The umpire is basically the arbitrator, or what you might call the judge. If there is a disagreement between the two appraisers, they can present their differences to the umpire for a ruling. So, we have an appraiser for the policyholder, we have an appraiser for the insurance company, and finally, there is an Umpire. These three individuals are known as The Appraisal Panel. The object of the Appraisal Panel is to set or determine The Amount of Loss. The Amount of Loss is the total dollar amount needed to return the damaged property back to its original condition, either by repair or replacement. Once the Appraisal Panel is set, the policyholder’s chosen appraiser and the insurance company's chosen appraiser will review the documents, estimates, and differences between them. The two appraisers will try to discuss and resolve the differences in damage and in cost. For example; the insurance company may determine that brick on a home does not need to be replaced.  The contractor or appraiser for the policyholder says that it does have to be replaced, the two appraisers will discuss their reasons for their position and try to come to an agreement. First they will determine if the brick should be repaired or replaced, and secondly the cost to return the brick back to its original condition prior to the loss.   One benefit of the Insurance Appraisal Clause Is that the two appraisers have not been subject to the bickering and anger between the policyholder and the insurance company. Basically it's the hope that cooler heads can prevail. All the appraisers really have is the amount of the damage and the difference between the two estimate numbers. They do not have the previous baggage or anger that led up to the Appraisal. The clause was designed so that these two individuals, who have no interest in the outcome, could discuss a settlement based on the facts.   Sometimes issues arrive where the two appraisers cannot agree on certain items. In this event, the two appraisers will submit their differences to the appraisal umpire. The three will discuss the issues and try to reach an agreed settlement of the differences. As stated above; the settlement or final number is called The Amount of Loss. The final amount of loss agreed to by two of the three individuals is known as the Award. The Award is signed by these two individuals with the amount of Loss they agreed upon. Let's make this clear again, only TWO of the three individuals need to agree. (The umpire and either appraiser, or the two appraisers themselves.) Once any TWO of the three individuals on the Appraisal Panel sign the award ... the dispute is over! The amount on the Award is paid by the insurance company, to the policyholder. CHOOSING AN APPRAISER  It's important to understand that a good Appraiser is someone who understands insurance issues and who has firsthand knowledge of construction and replacement costs. A good Appraiser is someone who can secure binding bids from reputable sources to repair and replace the damaged property, knows building codes, and can articulate unforeseen costs of repairs. Usually this entails an enormous amount of research, such as costs to thoroughly repair a structure to its previous condition, costs of replacing the property with items of like kind and quality, cost of safely clearing the land or bulldozing the property (in cases of fire and/or major contamination), cost of repairing and replacing contents with items of like kind and Quality, and in some cases, the additional living expenses incurred if the home is uninhabitable.   Now, please do not get confused! An Insurance Dispute Appraiser is not a real estate appraiser. He or she is an Insurance Claims Expert on costs and bids to repair and replace. It's recommended to appoint an Appraiser who is a specialist when it comes to the Insurance Appraisal Process and also Insurance Claims Handling. People requesting assistance in the past have asked if the following experts with the following backgrounds are good candidates: 1. Structural Engineers: This person may be a structural expert and could probably provide a good estimate to replace a building but what about the contents (furniture, food, etc.) damage? Do they know anything about the insurance policy, claims process, software used by insurance companies, the appraisal process?   2. General Contractor or Construction Superintendent: Again, excellent choice for generating a structural estimate, but will most likely not be familiar with insurance claims, and even more importantly, the insurance appraisal clause and process.   3. Construction Attorney: A Construction Attorney most likely has knowledge of construction contracts and issues that building contractors have. Do they know anything about the insurance policy, the claims process, the software used by insurance companies, the Appraisal Process, the contents damaged? (NOTE: If you retain an attorney as Appraiser, remember, there is NO attorney/client privilege because the attorney is being hired as an appraiser, not as an attorney.)   4. Insurance Claim Attorney / Lawyer: Keep in mind that the process was designed to keep these types of disputes out of court. A policyholder can surely use an attorney as an appraiser; however, the fees can exhaust the reward. Attorney's fees range between 30 and 40 of the amount collected. This can digs deep into the net amount the policyholder receives. An Insurance Attorney will also have expert knowledge of the policy. However, the Appraisal Clause clearly notes that no policy provisions will apply. Has the attorney represented their clients in numerous appraisals or mostly in court cases? How familiar are they with the Appraisal Clause and Process, building costs, construction practices, or the contents damaged? Does the attorney know anything about the software used by insurance companies? (NOTE: If you retain an attorney as Appraiser, remember, there is NO attorney/client privilege because the attorney is being hired as an Appraiser, not as an attorney.) 5. Insurance Appraiser; Does it not make sense to hire an individual who is an expert of the process in which you are about to engage? You've heard the expression, "Would you go to your auto mechanic if you needed brain surgery?”  It is highly recommended to use a qualified, professional, Insurance Appraiser. This professional will already know the Insurance Appraisal Process. They will also have qualified professionals (engineers, contractors, inspectors, etc.) at their disposal to back up their analysis. Regardless of background, the person appointed as Appraiser needs to be a skilled communicator and advocate. He or she should not be unreasonable. They should know about the insurance policy, the claims process, the software used by insurance companies, the Appraisal Process, contents damage, structural damages, building cost and process, as well as materials and building codes.    
jalheavy@tulsaconnect.com
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