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Personal Perspective

How to Hire an Appraiser for Your Valuables

By May 1, 2014No Comments

What types of valuables do you own? If your fine art collection, fur coats, jewelry or heirloom furniture are worth a lot of money, your homeowners or renter insurance might not provide adequate coverage. You’ll need a floater that covers your valuables. First, however, learn how to hire an appraiser to assign an accurate value to your expensive possessions.

  1. Search Professional AffiliationsWhile appraisers don’t need formal training, you will want to hire one with a professional affiliation. The Appraisers Association of America and the American Society of Appraisers both follow evaluation and accreditation standards for their members.
  2. Ask About Training The appraiser you hire should take continuing education classes every one to five years. That training helps him or her stay updated on current trends, forms and values of items, so ask the appraisers you interview about their training.
  3. Evaluate ExpertiseMost appraisers specialize in a particular item or time period. To ensure you receive the most accurate and professional appraisal, hire an appraiser who has relevant experience evaluating your particular valuables. However, if you have numerous items to appraise, consider hiring a general appraiser rather than a specialist.
  4. Determine FeesEvery appraiser will charge a fee for his or her services. That fee could be flat rate, hourly rate or a per-item rate. Never hire an appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised item’s value because that fee practice is unethical.
  5. Request References Before you hire an appraiser, ask him or her for a list of satisfied customers. Call at least two or three of those customers and ask about the appraiser’s professionalism, experience and courtesy.

After you find a qualified appraiser, hire him or her to evaluate your possessions and prepare a typed and signed report that includes a complete description of the appraised items and affirms the value of your possessions. Show this report to your insurance agent, and obtain the coverage you need for your valuables.