Appraisals & Management of Personal Property


When buying insurance for the contents of your home or apartment you need to revise your old way of thinking about household insurance. There are general homeowners and tenant’s insurance, fine arts, and valuable articles coverage. Homeowners is “everything that is inside your home or apartment.” This is expensive insurance because you are thinking with fear about what you cannot see or remember. Most often you are merely guessing the cost to replace Burberry raincoats, golf clubs, Picasso prints, oriental rugs and a million other items that you would need to replace due to smoke, fire, or flood. Smoke ruins the original finish on furniture. A broken pipe from the upstairs neighbor can warp, discolor, and lift veneers leaving the furniture item with little or no value. There are broad restrictions on coverage provided by homeowners’ insurance such as breakage, damage by pets, spilled wine, mysterious disappearance, and worn burst pipes. There are also limits on silver and jewelry—and high deductibles!

There are broad restrictions on coverage provided by homeowners’ insurance...

Is Your Current Insurance Enough?

Valuable articles insurance does not carry a deductible. Ask your Agent to add “breakage” to your policy. And, for a very small added premium, it’s less expensive and better coverage to simply purchase a comprehensive valuable articles/fine arts policy. This should include art, antiques, expensive clothing, and anything else within the family holdings that is moveable!

Each state and insurance company are different in their coverage and options. Some offer discounts for security systems, fireproofing in the building, 24-hour doormen, etc. At some agencies, “Bank Vault In-Out” is offered allowing the owner to keep the jewels in the vault, and notify the company when they will be removed and returned, for only one-third of the regular premium.

Avoid common misktakes!

Don’t spend money on having your household contents recorded on video! A video only proves that an item was in your home at the time the video was made. Your sister could have lent that Picasso lithograph for the day. The Picasso could be a mass-manufactured photo offset print. And the insurance adjustor can’t tell if the elaborate tea and coffee service is really sterling silver or silverplate.

And forget about receipts in a catastrophe. Does the receipt have all the information your insurance company requires to replace the item in like-kind? Do you have receipts for everything? Are they recent enough?

Remember this: An insurance policy is only as good as what you can collect in the event of a loss! So, be sure you have up-to-date appraisals or recent receipts for all your valuable possessions, if you expect full replacement value in the event of a catastrophe.

Another important aspect to consider: to take a tax deduction for a stolen or lost item, it must have been insured at “Full Retail Replacement Value.”

Taking all these options into consideration, the only way to fully protect yourself and your family from severe loss in the event of a catastrophe is by having an airtight, BCG-certified appraisal that gets updated very inexpensively every two years. A BCG listing of all valuable possessions and their replacement value will give you peace-of-mind in the event of a catastrophic event involving your valuable property.

We can help you understand the process and protect your assets correctly

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