Reviewing Property Appraisal Data for Better Quality Control

by Gary Tate, Quality Control Manager

Ensuring Appraisal Data Integrity

When it comes to determining insurance ratings and rates, having accurate insurance appraisal data is crucial for more informed decision-making — both for insureds and insurers alike. Quality control reviews play a pivotal role in maintaining data integrity, safeguarding against errors, and enhancing data confidence. In this blog article, we’ll dig into the intricacies of quality control reviews, highlighting the proactive measures our team at Centurisk takes during the review process — and the collaborative role our customers play throughout — to improve overall project success.

Understanding Quality Control Reviews for Property Appraisal Data

Quality control reviews are assessments conducted to validate the accuracy, reliability, and compliance of appraisal reports. These reviews serve as vital checkpoints during the data collection process, identifying discrepancies across the body of data as a whole and ensuring adherence to industry standards. For many organizations, this bird’s eye, holistic view is one of the first times their property data has been examined collectively, so it becomes the perfect opportunity to catch red flags, note inconsistencies, and correct potential long-standing errors.

What We Do During the Quality Control Process

At Centurisk, we follow a proven process to pinpoint data irregularities, maximize institutional knowledge, and update data points. The steps are typically as follows:

1. Centurisk initiates the customer’s review of their Statement of Values (SOV)

The process begins when our property appraisal team connects with the property data owner — typically, the member of a Risk Pool, State, or other relevant entity — to initiate a thorough review of their Statement of Values. This is to identify any missing buildings, as well as any buildings listed on the SOV that have been sold or demolished prior to the start of the on-site appraisal services. At this stage, we also request information on any electrical, plumbing, roof, or building code upgrades that have been performed before the valuations begin.

2. Following our onsite valuations, quality control takes the driver’s seat.

Once our valuation associates return fresh from the customer’s onsite appraisals, we upload the collected data into our AMP property risk management software and the quality assurance process continues. We scrutinize property details, COPE (Construction Occupancy, Protection and Exposure) data, any catastrophe risk data, and our pending replacement cost values. During this time, the data is first reviewed by the appraiser who visited the property, then by the regional manager. During this time, the Quality Control Manager will also perform random project audits. Every set of expert eyes on the data helps reduce potential for human error.

3. Centurisk staff create customized reports and audits

We generate customized reports through our proprietary property risk management software, AMP, highlighting any “red flags” for potential issues, such as blank data fields, extreme value increases or decreases, etc.

4. We keep up on industry best practices for continuous improvement

Quality control is an evolving process. We continually explore additional measures to enhance customer satisfaction and data accuracy.

What Customers Can Do

Good communication is important to the success of a Centurisk valuation project, and communicating with our customer contacts can help us bring the highest level of quality to the final result. Here are a things customers can do to help us achieve greater data accuracy and effectively meet their organizational goals:

1. Review their Statement of Values (SOV)

During the kickoff stage of the appraisal process, customers should review their Statement of Values to identify any buildings that should be removed from the SOV due to property sales, demolition, or other changes.  Additionally, they should ensure that newly constructed or recently purchased buildings have been added to the SOV. In our experience, this type of property can slip through the cracks, affecting the total insurable value and potentially causing an organization to be underinsured. By providing this and any other requested information to the appraiser, a customer can help ensure the project is completed thoroughly and successfully.

2. Get to know the appraisal basics

By having a basic understanding of appraisal processes, customers can help facilitate more effective communication and collaboration throughout their valuation project. Understanding the process helps customers grasp the factors that influence their property’s value and manage expectations. It allows them to ask more informed questions, provide more relevant information, and address any concerns they may have throughout the project. And, lastly, knowing the basics helps customers make more informed decisions regarding their property based on the appraisal results.

3. Engage proactively during the review process

Customers are an important part of the review process, particularly when questions arise. By addressing any concerns promptly, a customer helps keep the project’s momentum going, reduces the cycles of follow-up, and helps avoid oversights. Further, while we at Centurisk always strive for accuracy and thoroughly review preliminary reports, customers should carefully review the reports for discrepancies, as well.

We’re in it Together for a Quality Partnership

Quality control reviews are important safeguards in the insurance industry, ensuring the reliability of appraisal data. Through collaboration and continuous improvement, we at Centurisk aim to provide our customers with the highest quality service. By working together, we can uphold data integrity and enhance decision-making processes, so you get real value from your valuations.

About the Author

Gary Tate resides in Beaver, PA with his two daughters, Allison and Esa. When he is not acting as Quality Control Manager for the Risk Management division of Centurisk, he spends most of his time with his fiancée Stephanie, his kids, and their dog, enjoys going on a daily run, loves to cook, and is a collector of fine red wines.

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