Our Appraisers Are Adjusters; claims are what they do every day!

Engle Martin’s Appraisal & Umpire Practice (AUP) is an Alternative Dispute Resolution team dedicated to reaching a fair and impartial resolution in the adjudication of residential and commercial losses through the appraisal process. The selection of an Appraiser or Umpire with extensive capabilities and specialized claims handling expertise is essential to a successful appraisal outcome.

Why Engle Martin’s Appraisal & Umpire Practice (AUP)?
Despite the best intention to resolve a claim, disputes may happen. Engle Martin’s AUP team is backed by decades of claims experience. Our team of Appraisers and Umpires provide fair and unbiased results to reach a fact-based, satisfactory resolution to claims disputes.

Engle Martin’s AUP team is comprised of an elite team of 130+ highly trained, certified, and licensed General Adjusters, National General Adjusters, and Executive General Adjusters who perform appraisal and umpire work. As W-2 team members, our Appraisers receive continuous training that is tailored to the nuances of the appraisal process.

In a recent conversation with Engle Martin’s Appraisal and Umpire Quality Control Manager, Leif Norstrand, he commented on the wealth of experience, expertise, and training our appraisers have. Mr. Norstrand noted that “In my experience, including with other independent adjusting (IA) firms, there is no comparison for how prepared our Engle Martin Appraisers are to perform this task.”

Mr. Norstrand resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has 35 years of experience in the industry working both as an Adjuster and Appraiser. Mr. Norstrand also pointed out AUP’s unique position in the marketplace noting that, “The good thing about Engle Martin is that we are primarily a commercial IA firm which requires a more knowledgeable and experienced Adjuster.”

Rodgers Truitt, General Adjuster, in Brownsville, Texas agrees and commented that “Claims are what our appraisers do every day and that is reflected not only in the scoping and estimating of damages, but also in our reporting to the carrier once the appraisal is completed. I regularly receive positive feedback regarding the quality of our reports. We not only include an accurate estimate but also a detailed summary within our closing report that allows the client to understand the thought process of the Appraisal panel and how the settlement agreement came about.

Our Appraisers are Adjusters

Our Appraisers are adept at handling some of the most complex claims in the commercial property space. The majority of our appraisals are residential claims which allows our Appraisers to maintain impartiality throughout the appraisal process.

Sam Winkel, National General Adjuster, out of Tampa, Florida spoke about the benefits of having an Appraiser that also has that Adjuster background. “Our experience as Adjusters allows us to approach the appraisal with that background expertise and identify what is appropriate to scope for the actual damages and cost to repair. Backed with that experience, our training, and our ability to negotiate, we can reach a fair and accurate resolution.” Mr. Winkel has over 12 years of experience as an Adjuster.

Mr. Winkel also provided a real-world example of where his expertise in the adjusting space was beneficial in negotiating a fair outcome on an appraisal. “I had an appraisal several months ago where a clay tile roof was damaged during a hurricane. The carrier wrote for the repair of about 100+ damaged tiles. The roof in this case had so many damaged tiles that my knowledge as an adjuster helped me reach the conclusion that a full replacement was necessary. During the appraisal process, the opposing Appraiser and I we were able to agree that a replacement was the appropriate resolution however, their estimated price was significantly inflated. Through negotiation, we were able to agree to a fair cost for the damages. I think that it’s these types of situations where having that adjusting experience is beneficial.”

Due to our Appraisers in depth knowledge of insurance and the appraisal process, they are adept at understanding the insurance policy. While the job of the Appraiser is not to make coverage decisions or to apply the policy, their claims background helps guide the process to what is appropriate to include in an estimate.

Colby Chavers, National General Adjuster, in Kansas City, Missouri commented that “the benefit that Engle Martin can bring with having Adjusters that put on their Appraiser hat is to try to help mitigate certain situations that aren’t appropriate in an estimate. The appraisal process doesn’t mean it is out of the Carrier’s hands, the policy still needs to be applied. In these situations, we may not always agree with the opposing Appraiser but with negotiation, we can resolve the appraisal at an agreement that everyone is happy with.”

Adept Negotiators

Engle Martin’s AUP team is made up of a talented group of Appraisers who are adept and willing negotiators to reach fair and reasonable outcomes.

Tom Koralewski, Executive General Adjuster, out of Houston, Texas has over 20 years of experience as an Adjuster and almost a decade of experience as an Appraiser. Mr. Koralewski pointed out that “What makes a good Appraiser is someone who is good at negotiating and is able to look at the broad view to come to a reasonable outcome. My goal is always to resolve the claim with the best possible outcome for each party.”

Mr. Koralewski provided an example for a challenging appraisal where his ability to negotiate using fact-based evidence provided exceptional outcome to resolve the claim. “I worked an appraisal where the opposing Appraiser’s estimate was around $700,000 in repairs to the building. The opposing Appraiser was not willing to negotiate or come off their estimate. When I wrote my estimate, it was based off actual invoices for the cost to repair the building. Because of the unwillingness to negotiate, we took it to the Umpire. The opposing Appraiser, Umpire, and I met at the property where I was able to present my estimate and show that it was supported by factual data and actual invoices. This resulted in an agreement for around $95,000 for repairs, about 13% of the opposing estimate. What made this a good settlement outcome was that it was accurate and based off factual costs.”

If you would like more information about how Engle Martin can support your Appraisal and Umpire needs, contact our Director of Appraisal and Practice Group, Chris Benson at CBenson@englemartin.com or info@englemartin.com.