Auto Insurance Appraisal Laws

By John Hewitt

  • Overview

    Auto Insurance Appraisal Laws
    Auto insurance is a heavily regulated industry. Laws, regulations and government agents oversee every step of the process of auto insurance appraisal, both for just determining the value of a car or processing a claim. Some knowledge of the laws involved can help save you substantial amounts of money and time in dealing with anything related to auto insurance appraisals.
  • Function

    Most appraisers are independent contractors who spend most of their working days in auto mechanic shops looking at damaged cars and coming up with appropriate figures for the damage involved. These appraisers have been licensed and reviewed by relevant state regulatory bodies, and often have close working relationships with many insurance companies to help them come up with accurate and fair numbers for damage claims.
  • Potential

    The work of auto insurance appraisal is necessarily a subjective one. In some situations, when there are multiple appraisers--like one from an auto body shop and another directly from an insurer--disputes can arise as to how much money the insurer should pay out for the damage. In cases of severe damage, it may reduce the difficulty involved in coming up with a final number to go directly to an insurer's in-house appraiser than to rely on an independent contractor.

  • Features

    The majority of state regulatory frameworks covering auto insurance appraisal stipulates specifically that appraisals be handled in a timely manner. If an appraiser seems to be taking an unusually long time to return a figure, you may have legal recourse available to you. At the very least, it may be grounds to seek another appraiser to handle your case.
  • Warning

    Disputes involving auto insurance appraisal are often both costly and time-consuming, especially when they involve multiple parties. Make sure that your car is thoroughly checked by an auto mechanic as well as an appraiser when looking for damage. Get regular tune-ups for your car to make sure that you have records of all the parts being in good repair before the accident so that you can prove that any damage resulted from a crash.
  • Considerations

    When it becomes apparent that a dispute is brewing, it often proves to be beneficial to contact a lawyer with experience handling auto insurance claims. Even though it can carry significant up-front expense, retaining a lawyer may make it far easier to negotiate with insurance companies and ensure that you get all of the money that you're due. Make sure that the people conducting your auto appraisal have the appropriate licensing from relevant state authorities.
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