What Does Neutral Evaluation Mean?

Sinkhole damage claims are not like other insurance claims. There are certain processes that both sides must adhere to in order to proceed with a claim, prove a claim as well as appeal a denied claim. It is critical that you have a qualified sinkhole attorney review your claim and help you with the entire process to make sure you receive maximum compensation for the damage.

For more than 20 years, Williams Law Association, P.A., in Tampa, Florida, has been helping clients with the sinkhole damage claim process. Our lawyers are familiar with all the unique qualities that these types of claims present, including neutral evaluations. If your property has suffered sinkhole damage, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

What Is Neutral Evaluation?

In Florida, a new legislation has been passed concerning how sinkhole claims are evaluated and contested. If the insurance company disputes the existence of a sinkhole on a homeowner’s property and what repairs may be needed, either side can file for what is called a “neutral evaluation” with the Department of Financial Services in Tallahassee.

This department has a list of “neutral evaluators,” and you can select one of these evaluators, who is usually a geologist, to review all the reports of the insurance company, as well as other independent reports that may or may not prove a sinkhole exists on the property in question. They will also go to the property and inspect it to render their own opinion as to the condition and whether a sinkhole does in fact exist. They will also recommend any repairs they may feel are necessary.

The neutral evaluator’s report is not binding on the parties, though. More importantly, although they are called “neutral,” most of these evaluators are paid for by the insurance companies. In fact, to be deemed neutral only 90 percent of their revenue can come from insurance companies!

An experienced sinkhole attorney can help you navigate this process and make sure you are fairly represented. We will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to make sure all your repairs from sinkhole damage are covered. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us start working for you.