Counter-expertise in Property Insurance


It is not uncommon for the amount of compensation offered by insurance companies in the event of fire or flood claims to be deemed too small. Therefore, do not limit yourself to the opinion of the expert of your insurer, and seek the judgment of a counter-expert or private expert! Discover in this article the multitude of advantages of its intervention in the case of complete claims.

What are the advantages of calling upon a counter-expert in the event of a claim?

When unfortunately a complete fire or flood disaster occurs in a home, it is mandatory to notify your insurance company in order to be compensated. The insurer will assess the compensation to which the victim of the disaster is entitled by appointing a real estate expert to estimate the damage related to the disaster. It is on the basis of this expert’s report that the compensation will be calculated. If, however, the person concerned disputes the amount of compensation, he may call on a counter-expert to review upwards the amount deemed insufficient.

There are also other cases. There is no need to wait for the insurer to send its own expert. You are legally entitled to anticipate things, and to dispatch a counter-expert or private expert directly after the occurrence of the fire or water damage. This will save you precious time.

The value of a second opinion is major in order to obtain optimal financial compensation for the damage caused by the fire or the flood. It is common knowledge that insurance companies do their best to compensate their clients as thinly as possible, and to avoid any intervention by a counter-expert. This will allow you to benefit from an objective external opinion, to counterbalance the poor proposal of the insurer and to increase the amount of compensation through negotiations with the insurance company.

In addition to this major advantage, the counter expert will:

  • Establish damage files for movable and immovable property;
  • Compose the claim for compensation;
  • Defend the interests of the victims vis-à-vis the insurer;
  • Take the first precautionary measures.

Be aware that in the event of serious disagreement, the client can sue the insurance company. If necessary, the judge may mandate a judicial real estate expert to assess the damage and estimate the amount of compensation. This judicial real estate expert also intervenes in the event of disagreement during an inventory, problems of servitude or joint ownership, inheritance, etc.

Counter-expert fees: which part to pay them?

It is logical for the insurance to pay the fees of the counter-expert, but be vigilant with the clauses of the contract that you signed with your insurance company. Some of them do not stipulate anything in this regard in their contracts, which means in other words that it is the client who is unjustly responsible for paying the costs generated by the second opinion. Other insurers mention this aspect in their insurance policies, but limit the amount of fees covered. So keep an eye on the general conditions and the specific conditions of your contract. Be sure to sign a document in good and due form with an insurance company that pays fees for a second opinion deemed “normal”.

Counter-expertise: a service to request yourself, or via an insurance broker

It is obvious, in view of the aforementioned information, that it is not the insurance companies who will contact a real estate expert for you to carry out a second opinion of the damage caused by the disaster. It’s really up to you, or your insurance broker if you have one. This is also a good intermediary between the victim and the insurance company in the event of complete claims. He is also independent and therefore theoretically disinterested in the commercial objectives of insurance companies. He can therefore provide objective advice to the victim without lucrative ulterior motives.

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