If 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:
- The International Society of Appraisers. (Personal property).
- The American Society of Appraisers (Business, gems, real estate, and personal property).
- The Appraisal Institute (Residential, commercial, and industrial property).
- The Appraiser’s Association (Fine and decorative arts).
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!
Personal Lines Manager