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


How to Store Your Valuable Jewelry

How to Store Your Valuable JewelryHow to Store Your Valuable Jewelry

Investments such as fine art, an exotic car, or a jewelry collection will not always be covered by standard Wallingford, CT home insurance policies in the event of a disaster, which many individuals are not aware of.

In addition to having your valuable jewelry insured against theft, you’ll want to have it protected against damages as well. The most basic rule there is in terms of storing fine jewelry is to make sure that each item is isolated from the others.  Here are ways to properly store and protect your jewelry in order to maintain the value of your collection.

Jewelry Boxes: Many modern jewelry boxes are made for decorative purposes, but when looking for a jewelry box for storage purposes, make sure that the materials used to construct and line the box are in fact suitable for jewelry.

Travel Cases: These are individual jewelry cases, usually with a small handle and a lock, designed to fit into a handbag or carry-on luggage.

Jewel Caskets: These cases are used as presentation pieces to showcase either a single piece of jewelry or a matched set. Jewel caskets are often elaborate, becoming works of art in their own merit.

Ring, Bracelet, and Necklace Boxes: Keeping the original jewel boxes your item came in can be the easiest way to store the piece, and is ideal if your collection is small.

Pearl Folders: It’s a good idea to use the original package of leather or cloth to store your pearls, since these are relatively soft and fragile.

Jewelry Armoires: These are large, often wooden pieces of furniture with multiple drawers and compartments. These are ideal for large collections, and some may even be customized with special display lighting or hidden compartments.

Sinclair has knowledgeable professionals who possess many years of experience in insuring fine and heirloom jewelry. With a trained eye, they can expertly evaluate your fine jewelry assets to recommend the right coverage and limits, and assess the potential exposures around your home that may put your fine jewelry and heirlooms at risk, such as theft, water intrusion, light and heat damage, and fire. Give one of Sinclair’s professionals a call at 203.265.0996.

Why You Need Your Jewelry Appraised

Why You Need Your Jewelry AppraisedWhy You Need Your Jewelry Appraised

Grandmother’s pearls; your engagement ring; the diamond tennis bracelet you received for your anniversary; over the years, you’ve amassed a gorgeous treasure chest of family heirlooms and precious gifts. Chances are many of those pieces are quite valuable. You have homeowners insurance to protect your home and belongings. However, not everything is covered under traditional policies- including your fine jewelry collection. There are multiple reasons why you need your jewelry appraised.

The price of gold and silver fluctuate constantly. Chances are your family heirlooms are worth considerably more than they were 20 years ago. We wrote a blog post a few weeks back on how to insure your valuables, including fine art, wine, and jewelry. What we didn’t discuss however, was the value of appraising your jewelry regularly to ensure it is adequately protected.

An appraisal is a written record of the worth of an item or piece of jewelry. It is drafted by a professional who follows the standard insurance industry practices. When getting your jewelry appraised, you should make sure they are accredited by a nationally recognized appraisal organization such as The American Society of Appraisers or Gemological Institute of America.

Routinely getting appraisals helps to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the event that any of your pieces are lost or stolen. But regular appraisals aren’t enough to ensure coverage. Many traditional homeowners policies don’t have the coverage to cover your jewelry collection.

A jewelry floater is an important, yet often overlooked portion of your homeowners insurance. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we have knowledgeable professionals with years of experience insuring fine and heirloom jewelry. We can help you expertly evaluate your assets and recommend the right coverage and limits. We can also assess the potential exposures around your home that may put your collection at risk, such as theft, water intrusion, light and heat damage, or fire.

Insuring your house requires more than just protecting the structure- it’s the heirlooms and precious possessions within that make it a home. Contact us today for more information about our fine jewelry insurance. (877) 602-2305

How to Insure Valuables: Fine Art, Wine, Jewelry & More

How to Insure Valuables Fine Art, Wine, Jewelry & MoreHow to Insure Valuables: Fine Art, Wine, Jewelry & More

As Hurricane Sandy rolls past the east coast, residents are grieving over the loss of their valuable possessions. Even as families pack up their luggage and travel to different destinations, they often leave their home and their valuables susceptible to theft. Although your home is covered by homeowners insurance, your valuable possessions inside may only be covered by a small amount. Valuables may mean many different things to many different individuals, some find the value in sentimental objects and some find it in monetary objects. However regardless of your definition of valuable, you need to be aware and educated with the best ways to insure your valuables.

Nobody wants to see their fine art, wine, jewelry, exotic car, or silverware stolen only to find out that it cannot be replaced. Because general homeowners insurance does not cover very much of these valuables, you will need to speak with an agent and purchase additional coverage. The most common policy on how to insure valuables is the personal articles floater (PAF). Although PAF varies with every carrier, it generally means it is a separate or supplemental policy added to your homeowner policy in order to protect your valuables against theft or damages.

When purchasing a PAF you will need to create an inventory which includes the name of the item, a picture and its monetary worth. In order to compute the item’s value you may have an appraiser look and examine it. Although this may seem costly, it will ultimately it will be very beneficial in the event of a loss. This will ensure you scheduled value of the possession when filing a claim.

There is also blanket coverage which is often recommended for smaller possession, such as a less valuable piece of jewelry. If you do decide to purchase blanket coverage instead you do not need your possessions to be appraised. However, blanket coverage does not guarantee that you will be covered for the full amount you purchased the item for.

Sinclair Insurance welcomes the opportunity to sit down with you and tell you more about the special programs we can develop just for you. At your convenience, please feel free to call us at 203.265.0996, email us, or return the form on this page.

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.