working on appraisal program

As a pool administrator or manager, it’s likely that you’ve run into efficiency and organizational issues when it comes to your appraisal program. We’ve created a checklist to help you properly prepare. When you engage HCA, we walk alongside you to ensure the ultimate success of your program. 

Step 1: Project rollout milestones

In this step, it’s important to assign realistic dates to each item you’ll need to complete. It is essential to think through how long each task will take in order to create a truly realistic timeline of your project. 

Some things to include: 

  • Project announcement correspondence 
  • Appraisal fieldwork period
  • Appraisal valuation period
  • Report delivery, review, and import

Step 2: Identification of project stakeholders and contact information

Now is the time to identify each of your project participants—and we’re not talking about your members. By overlooking important stakeholders, you may later realize the data collected is incomplete or improperly formatted. Think globally as you prepare for your project. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are my stakeholders (think reinsurer, broker, agents, actuary)?
  • Will we capture all the required fields of property data?
  • How will I want this data presented to members and insurers?
  • Who else needs to be involved in this process? 

Step 3: Confirm the scope of appraisals (and assume nothing)

This is the step in which most of the work will be done. 

Determine how many members to include in each cycle. 

Make sure your buildings and structures will be recorded and classified based on policy definitions, and done so in a clear and consistent manner. 

What’s the methodology for recording contents? Will it accurately include ALL the property that should be insured without including property reported elsewhere (think IT assets, consumables, mobile property assets, etc.)? 

What’s your methodology for inclusion of insurable property in the open? Are there clear definitions for the appraisal team to follow so ALL assets are recorded consistently and accurately?

What do your deliverables and resulting schedules need to look like? 

Specifically, what “secondary” COPE data will be collected and how will that be reported? Are there additional items you or your underwriters will benefit from (think Flood Zone, Elevation, Quake info, Roof Age and other Characteristics, etc.)? Having this discussion with your appraisal firm and understanding their capabilities / limitations before you start is critical.

Step 4: Review policy language for handling of unique asset types 

Review all current policy language for consistent handling of these items:

  • Leasehold improvements
  • Other excluded items specific to buildings
  • Athletic fields and play structures
  • Swimming pools (outdoor)
  • Underground / above ground fuel tanks
  • Generators which are free standing (example: treatment plants)
  • Other unique exposure types (anticipate as many as possible)

Other potential items to review for proper inclusion / exclusion in your project:

  • Lagoons
  • Bridges
  • Dams
  • Traffic signals
  • Underground water / sewer lines
  • Piers, wharves and docks
  • Underground fiber optic cabling between location
  • Retaining walls which are not connected to a building
  • Debris removal and demolition costs 
  • Vacant / unoccupied property

Step 5: Final touches

It’s time to put the final touches on your project! Ensure each of these items have been completed: 

  • ID any software issues (export / import; file layouts from appraisal team)
  • Determine report formats (hard copy, electronic, etc.)
  • Determine annual trending service / schedule
  • Discuss potential appraisal participation in future annual meetings / workshops

Planning and preparation are key elements in launching a successful property appraisal program. If you’re unsure how to manage these steps, we’d like to assist and ensure you’re getting quality, accurate data which will ultimately benefit you, your members and all other stakeholders. Download a more in-depth checklist here and reach out to us here to see how we can help you.