How to choose the perfect appraiser for your property, art, antiques, jewelry, and other valuables

appraiserIf you have highly valuable, treasured property or possessions, you may need to get them appraised for insurance purposes. Many insurance carriers will insist on accurate valuation of property, art, antiques, jewelry, and other items so they can ensure the correct level of coverage and premium payment.

When you’re seeking out a good appraiser, here are some areas to consider:

Talk to your friends and colleagues

If you know other people who need to insure high-value items, talk to them about their experiences. Get recommendations on good appraisers and create a shortlist.

Look at professional qualifications

There are a variety of professional accreditations and qualifications depending on the fields an appraiser trains in. These include:

  • International Society of Appraiser’s credentials for fine art, antiques, and personal property.
  • A diploma in gemology for jewelry appraisal.
  • Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice exam for members of the American Society of Appraisers.
  • Principles of Valuation courses for members of the American Society of Appraisers.
  • Property appraisers should have one of the following designations from the Appraisal Institute — MAI Designation, SRPA Designation, SRA Designation, AI-GRS Designation, AI-RRS Designation.

There are various other exams and certifications available. Always check an appraiser’s qualifications to ensure they’re qualified to provide expert advice.

Check if they’re members of professional appraiser organizations

There are several industry bodies for appraisers. They include:

Many of these websites have membership directories for their appraisers.

Professional appraisers are required to uphold a strong code of ethics, including:

  • Providing truly independent valuation services, with no external influences.
  • Have no outside interest in the valued item, other than as providing a professional service.
  • Only carry out appraisal work in their area of expertise.
  • Consider all relevant factors when arriving at a valuation.
  • Treat and document property with the right level of care and respect.
  • Ensure personal remuneration and pay is independent of the value of property being appraised.

Interview your shortlist

When you have a shortlist of appraisers, call each one and ask questions about their area of expertise, qualifications, professional standards, and membership of industry bodies. Get a feel for what each appraiser is like and use that to decide which one would be right for your needs.

Remember that valuations change with time, many carriers will require updated valuations on a regular basis.

As always, if you have any questions about your scheduled property or how to get your property appraised, we are a phone call away!

Mary McGrath
Personal Lines Manager


Fine Art Insurance: FBI’s Top 10 Art Crimes

Fine Art Insurance FBI's Top 10 Art CrimesFine Art Insurance: FBI’s Top 10 Art Crimes

Iraq National Museum. In 2003, 10,000 artifacts were taken by U.S. Department of Defense contractors who used them as gifts or bribes. Seven to ten thousand remain missing.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Two men dressed as Boston police entered the  museum during St. Patrick’s Day, tied up the night guards, and stole 11 paintings, including a Rembrandt, Dega, Manet, and Vermeer worth up to $500 million. The paintings have yet to be recovered.

Oratory of San Lorenzo. Two thieves removed a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, estimated to be worth $20 million, from its frame in October 1969.

Apartment of concert violinist Erica Morini. A Stradivarius violin, known as the Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius and made in 1727. The violin is worth $3 million.

The Van Gogh Museum. Two thieves stole two of Van Gogh’s paintings, together valued at $30 million. The two were convicted for the theft but the paintings have yet to be recovered.

Ashmolean Museum. A thief broke into the museum on New Year’s Eve 1991 and stole a Cezanne landscape painting valued at $3 million.

Gallery, West Hollywood, CA. Burglars stole two oil paintings by Maxfield Parrish- the paintings, two panels of a series, were cut from their frames and valued at $4 million.

Museu Chacara Do Ceu, Rio De Janiero. Four paintings by Salvador Dali, Henri Matisee, Pable Picasso, and Claude Money were stolen from the museum- no value has been established.

Art Gallery of New South Wales. A self-portrait by Dutch Master Frans Van Mieris was stolen in Sydney Australia- estimates value the painting around $1 million.

Private Home in Houston. A masked man stole an oil painting by French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir, estimated $1 million.

Two of the FBI’s top art crimes involved pieces that weren’t stolen from national museums or exhibits. They were stolen from private homes. As an art collector, you hope that will never happen to you, but it is essential to be prepared. Make sure to protect your fine art and jewelry with a policy from Sinclair Risk & Financial Management. A Fine Arts Floater Insurance policy is one of the most important, yet most overlooked, aspects of an overall financial program. Contact us today for more information about our Fine Art Insurance programs. (877) 602-2305

How to Protect Your Fine Art Collection

How to Protect Your Fine Art CollectionHow to Protect Your Fine Art Collection

Major storms such as Hurricane Sandy are continuing to increase in frequency and severity. It’s a wake up call for art collectors and planners. As these extreme storms threaten their collections, art collectors need to be vigilant about devising emergency evacuation plans and inventory management systems for valuable works of art.

How to Protect Your Art Collection

If you have a valuable art collection, you should have an inventory management system that is regularly updated. Take Hurricane Sandy, after the storm, there were owners who didn’t have an updated inventory list. Consequently, they didn’t know what they had and couldn’t claim a loss. If you’re not sure, high and ultra-high net worth client can work with an art advisor to organize and update data on their collection. Talking to an insurance agent who specializes in coverage for high net worth clients and high end art insurance can also help you better prepare for any impending natural disasters.

Art losses from Hurricane Sandy are estimated to reach $500 million, according to the New York Times. A significant portion of damages hit Chelsea’s collection of art galleries and works in New York City. The estimates for repair include structure damage on the galleries, as well as evaluating any restoration work that could be done on pieces that the water had touched.

Art insurance prices previously had been falling for several years due to stiff competition and a low level of claims. Now, however, as the number of severe storms begins to rise, and the industry grapples with claims from Hurricane Sandy, the prices could begin to fluctuate higher.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we have access to particular markets that enable us to craft custom art Insurance, as well as homeowners and auto insurance programs that reflect the true value of your property, your risk profile, and your personal circumstances throughout the world. We’d love to sit down with you and discuss more about How to Protect Your Art Collection & properly insure it. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305.

High-Value Insurance: Match Your Coverage with Your Lifestyle

High-Value Insurance: Match Your Coverage with Your LifestyleHigh-Value Insurance: Match Your Coverage with Your Lifestyle

When you sit down to assess your finances, file tax returns, or examine your retirement fund, take a moment to look at your lifestyle. The lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to provide is a huge luxury. But high end luxury lifestyles also come with risk too. In risk assessments it is essential to examine your lifestyle, from your classic car, your exotic auto to your wine collection, yacht & any other hobbies you enjoy. Ensure you are properly protected with our high-value insurance.

Own an exotic or classic car? Purchasing an exotic or collector car can be a fulfillment of a dream for many. Whether you are looking for a restoration project or to speed down the highway, classic and exotic cars require significant dollar investments. And because of the high end luxury design of the car, its unique qualities also requires specialized exotic car insurance.

Art collector? Your existing coverage might include some coverage- however it is almost certain that as an art collector you will need supplemental art insurance to protect your investment. Make sure to get your art regularly appraised so you know their financial value and the amount of coverage you’ll need.

Diamonds & pearls? Jewelry insurance is an often overlooked item- sadly, many do not think to insure it until it is lost or stolen. The price of gold changes constantly, and your antique ring or necklace may be worth a lot more than it was 20 years ago. That would mean it’s more expensive to replace as well. That is why jewelry insurance is crucial.

Yacht owner? Among watercraft, yachts are a high end, distinctive type of private vessel that requires detailed knowledge and specialized coverage. Yachts need specific coverage that standard marine policies don’t always offer. When your vessel is a motor yacht, mega yacht, or something in between, it is essential to get specific Yacht Insurance coverage that provides you with full coverage of your vehicle.

For more than four decades, Sinclair Risk & Financial Management has forged relationships with insurance providers that specialize in providing high-end coverage. We have access to particular markets that enable us to craft custom homeowners and auto insurance programs that reflect the true value of your property, your risk profile, and your personal circumstances throughout the world. Contact us today for more information about our high-value insurance programs. 


Technology: Best Gadgets for Business Trips

Technology: Best Gadgets for Business TripsTravel is a part of your business. From meetings to conferences and tradeshows, regardless of the industry, thousands of business owner travel all over the world each year.

Packing for business trips should be streamlined, efficient, and seamless. When it comes to technology on the road it is easy to get caught up in lugging multiple gadgets around. The New York Times gives a list on the best gadgets for business trips.

Laptop. Of course, this immediately brings up the iPad/laptop debate. Sure tablets are great, but they still don’t have the capabilities that a laptop does. If you need to get serious work done on your commute, a laptop is the way to go.

Smartphone. This is nothing new. One third of U.S. adults own smartphones, and 87% of smartphone users use their phones for internet access on a daily basis according to a survey by Pew Research Center. If you travel constantly, a smartphone is essential to check email, documents, and stay connected on the go.

Backup power for your smartphone. It is a good idea to keep a charged backup battery in your bag. However, you can also get small backup power chargers such as a Mophie’s Juice Pack Powerstation that can recharge phones or tablet computers.

Various cords. Of course you’ll want a wall-charging adapter for your phone. However, it is also a good idea to bring an extra power strip (they have mini surge protector with usb chargers) in case your laptop cord needs a few extra feet to make it to the outlet in the airport lounge in between flights.

Personal gadgets. Of course, your business trip can’t be all work. Get a Kindle app for your computer to read (and save room in your bag). Rent movies from iTunes or Amazon.

Above you want to pack for the ultimate ease and functionality- being ruthlessly efficient can save money, time and stress as you prepare for each trip. Remember to always condense. Need a camera, GPS, or calculator? All in your smartphone.

You’ve worked hard to build your assets. Now let us protect them. Welcome to the exclusive world of Private Client Group, a segment of Sinclair Risk & Financial Management that is tailored for the specific insurance needs of your highly valued items, such as wine collections, art, jewelry, exotic cars, high-value homes and more. We welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and tell you more about the special programs we can develop just for you. Contact us today for more information.