Insurance Fraud Statements“Any person who knowingly and with intent to defraud any insurance company or another person, files a statement of claim containing any materially false information, or conceals for the purpose of misleading, information concerning any fact, material thereto, commits a fraudulent insurance act, which is a crime, subject to criminal prosecution and civil penalties.”
With that statement in mind, hiring an appraiser with known inflated and erroneous values will actually harm more than help.
Erroneously filing a claim (insurance fraud) is a felony under Georgia Law. See O.C.G.A. § 33-1-9
What happens if you hire an incompetent or unethical appraiser:
- Your claim will be denied
- The appraisal you submit will be rejected
- You will lose the appraisal cost you paid
- The claim will go to umpire (1st party claims)
- You will waste your time
Many clients conduct an “appraisal shopping” approach to selecting an appraiser, they call many appraisers and get as many free estimates as possible ultimately choosing the appraiser with the highest value. This is not helpful!
When selecting an appraiser, first thing a client needs to do is to check their credentials, check with complaints filed against them with the BBB, look online and see if they have any negative reviews as well as checking his refund policy and customer service history.
Beware of appraisers that engage in appraisal bumping, these unscrupulous individuals purposefully inflate their appraisals and scare clients into believing their theories, if the estimate is too good to be true, it probably is!
You know an appraisal is unethical if:
- Will give you a DV Estimate greater than the loss amount on vehicles below $80,000 in retail value.
- Will tell you a dealer will NOT buy your car at any price
- Will tell you your car is not safe to drive without them physically inspecting it
- Will tell you that repaired frame damage will reduce your vehicle’s value 50%
- Will give you a high value appraisal without looking at your car
- Will charge you a percentage or a contingency
- They GUARANTEE payment or settlement amount
At the end of the day, an estimate is not a settlement, it takes direct negotiations to achieve a settlement, do you really want to use an unreliable and unethical appraiser representing you?