During times of crisis, emergencies, or other types of disruption, authorities often order closures of non-essential businesses and services.
During these times, essential services are permitted to continue operations. In fact, they are expected to remain in operation. Why? Because, among other reasons, essential services are necessary to preserve basic societal and economic functions.
The Appraisal industry is recognized as an Essential Service in most jurisdictions.
What makes appraisals an Essential Service? The banking, finance and insurance industries are Essential Services as they provide basic economic functions. The appraisal industry is part of the supply chain to the banking, finance and insurance industry, thus appraisals are an Essential Service.
Being recognized as an Essential Service is an important responsibility placed on the shoulders of the appraisal industry. We do not take this lightly. We understand that it is our duty to continue providing high quality professional services while doing our best to protect the health and safety of the public and the appraiser(s).
The COVID-19 crisis affects appraiser’s ability to do property inspections. Travel and inspection safety are not new territory to a professional appraiser. We routinely encounter all kinds of risks while in the field, and managing inspection risk is part of our training. At Suncorp Valuations, we added pre-inspection procedures and questions to identify potential COVID-19 issues as much as reasonably possible. When we do identify a risk, we communicate with our client immediately to identify ways to mitigate the risk.
At Suncorp Valuations, we have also developed alternatives to full inspections such as desktop analysis or exterior only inspections with preliminary reports, to be followed by a final report once we are able to complete a full inspection. This is a good example of how we continue to serve the public and support a functioning economy, while minimizing risk to all parties.
Here at Suncorp we are committed to remain in full operation during the COVID-19 crisis, however keeping governmental guidelines and protocols in place to limit exposure for our clients and staff.