Insurance companies often hire independent appraisers to assess and adjust claims on their behalf. On the other hand, public appraisers are exclusively employed by policyholders. They typically charge a fee of 10% of the final settlement amount. To become a public appraiser, one must obtain a license, post a bond, pass a background check, and may be required to complete an apprenticeship period of up to one year.
To verify if someone is a licensed public appraiser, you can visit the website of your state's Department of Insurance. When filing a claim for an event covered under your homeowners or business owners insurance policy, your insurer will assign an appraiser to handle the claim. A certified and licensed public appraiser is an expert in insurance claims and will defend you during or even after the claim process. They can help you overcome the challenges of managing your property insurance claim and negotiate with an insurance adjuster and contractors.
Policyholders who are informed or have an acute sense that something is not quite right will begin to investigate and discover that a public appraiser can work on their behalf during the claims process. An experienced, reputable, and licensed public appraiser can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome. Because of the nature of the two positions, independent and public experts are often placed in conflicting positions at the negotiating table. However, if you have a large or complex insurance claim, it's a good idea to go to a public appraiser who has experience handling similar claims.