The Appraisal Panel

The Appraisal Clause also known as The Appraisal Provision is found in the “Conditions” and/or the “What to do after a loss” section(s) of the policy.

This clause is used to resolve a dispute when an insurance company and policyholder disagree on the amount of damage and/or scope of loss caused by a covered event and/or the amount of payment to settle a claim.

The two parties that are represented in the Appraisal are called the Principals. They are the Principals to the Insurance contract. On one side is the Policyholder, or the Insured. On the other side is the Insurance Carrier, or the Insurer.

Either the Carrier or the Policyhoder can invoke Appraisal. Each side appoints their own Appraiser. The Principals are responsible for the costs incurred for their own Appraiser. The two Appraisers choose an Umpire. If they cannot agree on the amount of loss then the Umpire is brought in to reslove the issues. The Umpire fee and related costs are split evenly between the two Principals. The three of them (2 appraisers and 1 Umpire) make up the “Appraisal Panel“.

Appraisal is considered an Alternative Dispute Resolution . The Appraisal process can be used to help the parties involved reach an amicable solution. Appraisal is a form of dispute resolution that does not involve going to court and does not always require the assistance of a lawyer. Appraisal has several advantages over litigation including cost savings, privacy and faster resolution of your insurance claim dispute. While Appraisal is not suitable for every dispute, it can be a useful tool in reaching a satisfactory resolution.

Author Brad Hays

The Fatal Funnel

The Fatal Funnel

The “fatal funnel” is a term used to describe the most dangerous locations for law enforcement officers. These areas are extremely hazardous because they offer limited protection from potential assailants and provide restricted visibility of an area or situation. This makes them ideal places for criminals to ambush unsuspecting police officers, as well as strategically set up traps that may be difficult to avoid.

Law enforcement officers must always remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings when in potentially dangerous environments like these. They should use tactics that provide cover and concealment while still allowing them to assess a situation before entering it.

Officers can also take advantage of defensive positions such as “extreme angles” which give them a better view of the situation and allow for more reaction time.

Lastly, officers should always be prepared to take action when entering a potentially hazardous environment, as they never know what is waiting on the other side.

I have a great deal of respect for the courage and dedication that law enforcement officers and all first responders have. Thank you for your service!

I realize the Law enforcement level of danger does not rise to that level in our industry.However we can learn a lot from the similarities and apply some of the same strategies to our everyday life and our work place.

Some of the most common and obvious examples include walking roofs, walking through abandoned buildings after a storm, travel to the site while driving through debris and unfamiliar territory, meeting with unknown people and then going inside a building with them, and encountering defending pets.

After a catastrophic weather event many dogs and cats are left behind to survive on their own and become feral.  Then you have wild animals that are non-domesticated species that live in the wild. These would include snakes, spiders, alligators, hogs, and crocodiles. In some cases, there have even been dangerous animals that escaped from zoos after a hurricane, tornado and even fires.  All of these, domesticated, feral, and non-domesticated animals can be and most likely are afraid, displaced, hungry, confused, defensive, territorial and are in no mood to deal with you.

After a large weather event first responders, and adjusters are under a lot of pressure and time constraints. There never is and never will be enough daylight to get everything done you need to do.  Slow and even stopped traffic, closed roads and bridges, long lines at the gas station if there even is gas or electricity to pump it. Weak or no cell signal to let your appointment know you’re running late. Searching for food, water and sleeping accommodations.

Vacant dark buildings, no electricity, downed trees, and uprooted foliage typically result in blind cover or concealment and limit the ability to assess a situation before entering it leaving you vulnerable and exposed to potential harm. In addition, to animals, squatters, and burglars may be inside.

Other issues are exposed nails, splintered wood, unstable roofs, walls, ceilings and floors. Standing water can be very dangerous if the electricity has not been turned off. Leaking gas lines, downed power lines and other hazards need our consideration.

These are physical “fatal funnel” examples. What about the intellectual “fatal funnel” examples. Communication with stressed policyholders, contractors, adjusters, law enforcement and other service providers. Preparing for depositions and getting ready for court testimony, building codes, zoning, manufacturers installation requirements, inspection protocols, accurate estimates and convincing report writing are all “fatal funnel” considerations.

The “fatal funnel” can be a harrowing and even dangerous experience for all of us. However, with proper preparation and tactics, you can minimize your chances of being put into a vulnerable situation.  Take the time to assess the environment and situation before you find yourself in the thick of it. By planning your day, your routine, pending meetings and conversations, you can reduce your risk and increase your chance of emerging unscathed from a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.

The “fatal funnel” is an often misunderstood concept that can be the difference between success, failure, getting hurt, and even life and death for any stakeholders involved in catastrophic weather events. By understanding the dangers associated with these areas, you can take steps to protect yourself and remain safe during your daily activities. With proper training and preparation, you can safely traverse the “fatal funnel” and come out on top of any situation.

Remember, knowledge is power. Like the law enforcement officer, be aware of your surroundings and know the risks associated with entering a potentially hazardous environment. With the right tactics, you can reduce your risk and safely traverse the “fatal funnel”.

If you would like more information on specific “fatal funnel” topics, tactics, team or individual training how on you can reduce your risk and safely traverse the “fatal funnel” contact Brad at (813)940-7271.

Brad Hays

Growing Insurance Crisis Spreads to Texas

Florida came first. Then Louisiana.

Now an insurance crisis that has swept across the Gulf Coast is spilling into Texas, where increasingly scarce property coverage has forced tens of thousands of coastal homeowners to buy policies from a state-chartered insurance program.

The rapid growth has alarmed officials and insurers. And it’s raised concerns that if a major storm hits Texas, so many claims will be filed that the state-chartered insurer will force insurance companies and residents statewide to help pay them.

Click here to read the entire article.

Earthquakes cause $14.7B in annualized losses, USGS reports

Earthquakes cause $14.7 billion in damages and related losses on an annualized basis in the U.S., according to an updated estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The updated figure, which is twice that of the previous annual estimate, reflects increasing property values, and the inclusion of the latest hazards and improvements to building inventories in the report, according to the USGS.

Click here to read the article.


Welcome to The Appraisal Panel Network! My name is Zoey!

Here you will find posts and articles on a variety of topics, ranging from the latest industry news and trends to tips and advice for all the stakeholders. We’re dedicated to providing you with high-quality content and resources that can help you with the Appraisal Process. If there is something specific you would like to read about, reach out and let us know! We’re always here to help.

The content, posts and information will be a mixture of commentary, links to outside articles, and interviews created in a text format and some will be video interviews.

As often as we can, we will have APN Associates read the blogs and other content for you, so you can listen and stay up to date while driving or doing other things that may prohibit you from reading.

In the APN Library you will find downloadable helpful tools, and on-line and in class courses on a variety of topics.

The industry that supports Insurance Appraisers and Umpires is very large. APN breaks down the process, and unveils all the supporting actors in this Industry.

Our Membership List has a robust search engine so you can easily search for members, by location, discipline or trade.

We are confident the Appraisal Panel Network will help bolster your career.

From everyone here at APN Thank you for stopping by and please visit often.

Have a wonderful day!

Effective Leadership

Effective leadership is essential for any organization to achieve its goals and objectives.

A successful leader is someone who can inspire and motivate their team to perform at their best, while also providing clear direction and guidance. They are able to communicate effectively, listen actively, and make informed decisions that are in the best interests of their team and the organization as a whole.

They lead by example, demonstrating integrity, honesty, and respect for others.

A great leader understands that every member of the team has unique strengths and weaknesses, and they work to leverage those strengths while also supporting and developing areas of weakness.

They are able to adapt to changing circumstances and are always looking for ways to improve processes and increase efficiency. Ultimately, effective leadership is about creating a positive and supportive work environment where team members feel valued, empowered, and motivated to succeed.

Here are some helpful guidelines for leaders to assess how their leadership habits and styles can help or hurt the “Team”.

Author Brad Hays