Summertime is peak time for home sales. Real estate signs pop up like daffodils in the spring and continue long into the summer months. If your home is on the market, there is a never-ending laundry list of “to-do’s.” If you’re not moving, you in all likelihood are not off the hook either.
Two out of three homeowners purchase their home during the summer months. If that includes you, your insurance policy renews at that same time of year. Your insurance agent will likely send you a statement showing the coverages of your home and contents for the upcoming year along with the annual premium rate. Although this is a very important document to review in general, it is even more important to review the scheduled items section – your most valuabled personal possessions.
Furs, rugs, fine art, wine collections and jewelry could very well be a part of your scheduled coverage. The special coverage that protects these valuables should reflect the current cost to replace them. Your appraisal helps define your insurance policy needs and assures a comparable replacement in the event of a loss. Weather, the economy, production costs and collectability are all factors that influence the markets of these collections. Due to the changes in these markets, if you have not had your appraisals updated in the past two to three years, it is likely that you are not fully covered under your current policy limits.
Seeking out a professional appraiser for your valuable personal property is essential. Unlike real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers are not licensed and there is very little federal or state oversight of these appraisers. So, how do you find a professional appraiser for your most treasured possessions?
Your appraiser should have the experience and qualifications to do the job right. Beyond education and experience in the field specialty they practice, your appraiser should be formally educated in appraisal methodology, appraisal report writing, and be USPAP compliant. Look for an appraiser who has undertaken the accreditation requirements of professional appraisal organizations like the International Society of Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers, and Appraisers Association of America. After all, not only is your appraisal an important document that will help protect you, your appraisal is your peace of mind.
Tracey Kahle, owner of Kahle Appraisals LLC, is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and ISA Certified Appraiser of Personal Property.