Preparing for a Strong Insurance Appraisal Presentation

When a dispute arises between the insurer and the insured regarding the settlement amount, an appraisal may be requested by either party. Often, during claim negotiations, the insurance company may under value the claim, overlook damages, and ignore valid arguments that the insured and/or their public adjuster makes.

Usually, this results in an “impasse”. When an insured invokes the appraisal clause to dispute the carrier’s offer, it is very important that they appoint an experienced and well-educated appraiser who understands not only the subject matter of the dispute, but the components of the appraisal process.

Keep in mind that the appraisal process is essentially the policy holder’s last chance to prove the value of their claim. It is possible that the appraisal can rule in the favor of the Insurer, leaving the insured with an insufficient amount to recuperate from their loss. This is known to happen when the Insured elects to appoint a contractor or other labor-related trades person who is in essence under-equipped to defend the Insurer’s hired professional appraiser.

The moment the claim enters the appraisal process, it is imperative that the appraiser prepares well for the presentation of the case. Here are a few simple guidelines to remember when preparing for the appraisal:

1. Be organized. Appraisal is like chess, developing a strategy to be a step ahead of your opponent is key. Determine the key issues and disputes with the Insurer’s analysis of the claim. Pinpoint ways to address those key issues and figure out the best way to present those issues, together with your recommendations on how to address them, in the most persuasive way.

2. Prove the damages and the appropriate solutions. The burden of proof is often on your side, so gather data that would best support your claim. Provide extensive data and information on each item that you would like to focus on and explain why it values more than the amount the Insurer has priced it. Present photos detailing actual damages to items in order to prove that they should be replaced instead of restored. Anticipate how the Insurer’s appraiser will counter your arguments, and be prepared to address those concerns.

3. Stay objective. Never use personal opinion to argue the value of items, unless your opinions are based on presented fact. This is particularly helpful for items such as collections, antiques and artworks. Secure appraisals of experts in these fields to determine the value of these pieces.

4. Acknowledge weaknesses in the claim. Avoid the temptation to prove every item on your claim to be correct. There may be instances when you would find that the Insurer’s analysis of certain items are agreeable. Acknowledging those would strengthen your credibility because it shows that you are not out there to blindly maximize the settlement, but rather, to secure what is accurate and commensurate to the loss.

5. Review all presentation prior to discussing it with the opposing party. Be very thorough and examine each aspect of the presentation well in advance to give you time to polish and gather additional data if necessary.

6. Final presentation. The final presentation is complete, organized, and presented in a professional manner. When meeting with the other party, make sure that you know every aspect of your claim and can confidently answer any further concerns they may have about your presentation.

7. Bonus Tip: Remember that the number one most important aspect of the entire appraisal process is to secure the right umpire!

Christmas Presents For Kids – Should I Get A Dog?

Soon it will be Christmas again and you will get your kids the most wonderful presents. For a long time now your son or daughter has been wanting a dog. With Christmas coming up you might ask yourself if a puppy would not make a fantastic surprise under the Christmas Tree.

Contemplating this you imagine all the joy and happiness on your babe’s face, the glee of the dream come true in her eyes.

But wait, would this really be such a good idea after all? Will that cute little puppy really stay cute for long? Or will it turn into a dog with his own needs and expectations?

Will your kid really stick to all her promises once the Christmas days are over? You know all those promises of looking after her dog, taking him out on walks, feeding and grooming him… for the next ten or fifteen years?

Let’s face it – in the end it is always the parents responsibility to look after a dog, no matter what the kids promise.

So as it will be your dog in the long run, you need to ask yourself some serious questions.

  • Do I really want to share my life with a dog?
  • Am I really fond of dogs and is my partner fond of dogs?
  • Do we as adults have the time and patience to look after a dog, to care for his needs, be there for him in times of trouble?
  • Can we afford to keep a dog or is our financial budget too tight anyway?
  • Does a canine fit in with our plans for the future?
  • Is there enough space in the house for another family member?

Since health is always an issue you also need to make sure no member of your family is afraid of dogs or even allergic to dog hairs and dander.

If you are very house proud and a keen gardener you also need to take into account the fact that a pooch goes places he should not go, sheds hair at least twice a year and leaves muddy dog paws all over the place – in short, your house will not be as clean as it was without a dog. Your work load will increase.

A dog makes a fantastic friend and companion. Canines give a lot but they also take a lot. They need company most of the day to stay healthy and happy, they need proper training, exercise and nourishment.

Owning a dog means being responsible for another being at every level of his existence.

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

If you are ready to share your life with a canine, if you as parents really, really want a dog – then and only then does a dog make a wonderful Christmas surprise.

Using Fire Pits to Negotiate Fairly and Effectively

As fire pits become increasingly common in both homes and corporate offices a growing number of businessmen are making the surprising move of returning to the ancient tradition of negotiating around a fire. While this may seem a bit unusual, the fact of the matter is that human beings have been negotiating around a fire pit for tens of thousands of years. While some people like to think that modern man has somehow evolved passed the point where traditions like this are useful, this really is not true in the psychological or neurological sense. In fact, negotiating over fire pits is still a crucial part of the culture in many parts of the world, including some societies that we might consider quite advanced. From the aboriginals of the Australian outback to nomadic tribes in Africa and the Middle East, many leaders and merchants continue to find it useful to negotiate over a roaring fire, and they have a number of good reasons for doing so. While society may have changed a great deal, we are still hardwired with the same basic instincts as our ancestors, and this is what makes negotiating over a pit so effective.

Negotiating over a pit helps clear the air for everyone involved in a given negotiation. Because sitting around a fire appeals to our most basic instincts, they remind everyone involved in the discussion that we are all just human beings and have the same basic needs and desires in life. There is also something about a fire that calms to the nerves of everyone who watches it, as anyone who has been hypnotized by a campfire can attest to. This helps everyone involved in the negotiation clear their mind of the other stressful personal and professional problems that might be at hand and discuss the various factors involved in the negotiation in a calm and constructive manner.

Due to the fact that fire pits are becoming more and more common in people’s homes, it seems likely that people will begin using fire pits for negotiations outside of work as well. Whether it is a controversial negotiation that your family needs to work through or there is a problem in your community that could be solved if everyone would just sit down and talk about calmly, inviting everyone over to negotiate over a fire pit can really break down some walls and lead to a peaceful conflict resolution.