Dee Ann, .... There are others, quick guess is that one probably sees 6 to 8 regulars advertising in the trade jounals many of us get each quarter. Get your hands on Real Estate Valuation Magazine, or Valuation Insights..., or Working R.E., or the Communicator. You'll find them all in these. Yes, I had Hobbs, for one year with expiration and needed renewal in early July. As I was informed.....They lost their underwriting support with Lloyd's of London and were carried then by a new source who made an across-the-board premium hike of 33% on all polices. So, I was faced with 33% jump with my renewal. Calling them was a real chore. As I was informed.....they are a 2-person office there in Chicago. As for service, how does one ever truly gauge service ? ...unless one gets tossed into the frying pan....and then needs their help. I switched to LIA in Santa Barbara. They seem to earn their reputation far better than Hobbs did. Pres. of LIA and a prime legal rep who works with them came out to our city about 2 years ago and spoke to our assoc. of appraisers about what things appraisers do that trigger claims and some tips on how to prevent cliams by simple common-sense ways to put proper wording in report fields and addenda. At their website they also post these similar tips to "stay out of the soup". Hobbs had neither of these benefits to offer. Basically, for the cost of 1 and 1/2 2055's fees per year you get some protection, and like the gym teacher taught us in high school.....it's always important to carry protection. --- Maybe a Hobbs rep is monitoring the Forum and will correct some of my comments.
I've used Liability Insurance Administrators out
of Santa Barbara and I've only got good things to
say about them. I knew one case where a big
loan company sued over a forged Form 442,
they hired a good attorney to defend the appraiser
and the case was dismissed.
I've been able to write them explaining situations
and they have always been reasonable....plus
they send out letters with suggestions for limiting
I'm sure they're not perfect, but their ok in my book.
I think LIA (Liability Insurance Administrators) is one of the giants of the E & O business today, but no matter which direction you go, ask the right questions. For instance, I once had an E & O Carrier who informed me that they did not cover Review Work under the Appraiser's E & O since "it is not an appraisal, it is a consultation". The result was that I had to carry both Real Estate Broker and Appraiser E & O to be covered for Review work. Also, if you do any State work (or any other group that requires "Hold Harmless Agreements"), be aware that "hold harmless" agreements are generally frowned upon by E & O Carriers. Ask them if they cover that.
Also ask what happens if you "stretch" a number. Generally, that is an intentional act and may not be covered. As a matter of fact, it may be fraud and therefore a felony, which is typically not covered anyway.
Be aware of which type of policy you get. If it is a "claims made" basis that covers you only for claims made during the policy period regardless of when the action occurred. That means you have to carry extended coverage if you retire or change E & O insurance carriers. There are a lot of different questions. Be sure you ask the ones that cover what you are doing.
Thanks for your responses. You all have good things to say about LIA. Unfortunately they turned me down for coverage because I had been out of the appraisal business for a few years. They wanted 2 years of recent experience. I guess I'll have to wait a while to get their insurance.
A claims made policy covers you only for claims made while the policy is in effect, regardless of the timing of the reason for the claim. If your policy is in effect when the claim is made, you are covered, regardless of the time at which you performed the appraisal. If your polic is not in effect, even if the occasion was during the policy period, it is not covered.
This is rhe reason that extended coverage is offered by the Insurance Companies. Make certain that you will be covered for any circumstances, regardless of when the claim is made.
Also, be aware that when you "stretch" to meet a number, that is an "intentional act" and is not covered bythe Errors & Omissions Insurance whih covers only unintentional acts.