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


CT Business Insurance: Holiday Party Planning Tips

CT Business Insurance: Holiday Party Planning Tips CT Business Insurance Holiday Party Planning Tips

As the holiday season approaches, many Connecticut businesses are planning their end of the year company parties and gatherings. Holiday parties offer a festive opportunity to foster employee relations and happiness, but unfortunately office parties also come with additional liability and loss exposures. When planning your company’s holiday shindig, there are a number of factors to consider: location, food, beverages, time, theme, and whether or not to make the party family friendly, being a few. These factors and more can dramatically impact your exposure to losses and other complications during what should be a fun and cheerful gathering.

Here are a few things to think about when planning your holiday bash:

  • Who is invited? While employee parties are inherently held for employees, many Connecticut businesses choose to allow their workers to bring a quest or family to the event. Opening your company holiday party up to loved ones and family can place additional liability exposures on employers who are now not only responsible for their employees but also for employee’s guests.
  • Where will the party be held? While many small businesses opt to have their holiday party in-house to save a little cash, the truth is doing so could end up costing your company more than expected. Should your employees or guests get a little rowdy and the party gets a little out of hand there are a number of property and liability concerns which can ensue. Moving the company party to a third party premises, whether it’s a local eatery or a festive venue,  will help protect your physical premises from damages and also help transfer some of the liability issues involved with injury or alcohol.
  • Will there be liquor? Providing alcohol is a traditional and festive part of the holiday season; however it might not be suitable for every office party, company or setting. Providing alcohol to employees and guests exposes employers to a host of concerns such as increased exposures to sexual harassment, damage to office property, injuries and a host of other mishaps. Hiring a caterer or a bartender or hosing your party at an outside establishment will help eliminate some of the liability your business has regarding drunken employees and their actions.
  • What are the expectations? Be sure to reinforce all dress codes and behavioral expectation when informing employees about the holiday party. Also, be sure to monitor and maintain such standards throughout the event. It is important that all company officials lead by example; doing so will help prevent things from getting out of hand because employees will follow their coworkers’ and superiors’ leads.

Hosting a company holiday party can be a great success with the proper planning and precautions, however even the best laid plans can go awry. As such, it is important to have the proper fail safes established to protect your operation for losses. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management, we specialize in helping businesses of all shapes and sizes develop strategies that will help preserve your operation’s balance sheet and increase overall profits. Our trademarked Risk Safeguard Advantage combines uncommon risk analysis and strategic risk management with human resources consulting and training to provide businesses with measurable, sustainable results. Our CT Business Insurance experts can even help you secure commercial polices specifically designed to protect your business and your assets from any mishaps your operation may face along the way. Give our specialists a call today at (877) 602-2305 to learn more about all the services we offer.