18 Del.C. Ch. 17 has been amended to include motor vehicle physical damage appraisers under the license requirements therein. The following regulation is required to set standards of conduct for appraisers and to implement the provisions of Chapter 17 and establish through regulations guideline procedures for the manner in which motor vehicle physical damage appraisers conduct their business.
It is not contemplated that this regulation shall apply where no appraisal has been assigned. Recognition is given to the fact that many minor damage claims do not require a formal appraisal and to require such would be an undue burden upon the parties involved.
As used in 18 Del.C. Ch. 17:
“Appraisal” is not considered to include an estimate of repair to be performed by the individual or entity making such estimate.
“Appraiser” means a motor vehicle physical damage appraiser licensed under the provisions of 18 Del.C. Ch. 17. This shall include all persons who in this State practice the appraisal of motor vehicle physical damage.
Each appraiser, while engaged in appraisal duties, shall carry the license issued to him by the Insurance Department and shall display it, upon request, to an owner whose vehicle is being inspected, to the repair shop representative involved or to any authorized representative of the Insurance Department.
The appraiser shall exchange a legible copy of his appraisal with that of the repair shop selected to make the repairs and also furnish a copy to the owner of the vehicle. This appraisal shall contain the name of the insurance company ordering it, if any, the insurance file number, the number of the appraiser's license and the proper identification number of the vehicle being inspected. All unrelated or old damage should be clearly indicated on the appraisal which shall include an itemized listing of all damages, specifying those parts to be replaced or repaired. Because an appraiser is charged with a high degree of regard for the public safety, the operational safety of the vehicle shall be paramount in considering the specification of new parts. This consideration is vitally important where the parts involved pertain to the drive train, steering gear, suspension units, brake system or tires.
An appraiser may prepare an appraisal or a repair estimate on a motor vehicle that has been damaged as a result of a covered loss either from the appraiser’s personal inspection of the vehicle or from photographs, videos, or electronically transmitted digital imagery of the motor vehicle; provided, however, that no insurer may require an owner of a motor vehicle to submit photographs, videos, or electronically transmitted digital imagery as a condition of an appraisal. If the owner of a motor vehicle is not satisfied with an appraisal based upon photographs, videos, or electronically transmitted digital imagery of the motor vehicle, the owner of the motor vehicle may require an insurer to obtain an appraisal based on a personal inspection.
Every appraiser shall promptly reinspect damaged vehicles prior to the repairs in question when supplementary allowances are requested by repair shops and the amount or extent of damages is in dispute.
7.1.5 inspect a vehicle within six working days of assignment to the appraiser unless intervening circumstances (i.e., catastrophe, death, failure of the parties to cooperate) render such inspection impossible.