Canadian Underwriter
Feature

Beware the One-Page Appraisal


June 13, 2018   by Kelly Juhasz, Principal, Fine Art Appraisal + Services; and Darlene N. Wong, Personal Property Appraiser, Owner, Brilliant Evaluations & Appraisals


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As an insurance advisor, you have likely been presented with a one-page appraisal report for personal property such as artwork, jewelry or antiques. This seemingly simplified form can complicate your life immensely.

Here’s a common scenario: a client hands in a one-page appraisal report written by the business where she originally bought her object. The business told her they did appraisals. However, when she submits the one-pager to her insurance company, the carrier won’t accept it. Now either she or her insurer are calling us as qualified appraisers.

The value of some fine art, jewelry and other collectibles has increased substantially; for other objects, it has fallen drastically. Given the fluctuation in value, clients need to know that their insurance company will accept their claimed values and that their coverage for treasured assets is accurate.

Insurance brokers and claims adjusters who rely on appraisal reports to make decisions about their clients’ futures are insisting on independent, impartial, and objective opinions of value.

The industry is increasingly rejecting the one-page report – and for good reason.

Darlene N. Wong, Personal Property Appraiser, Owner, Brilliant Evaluations & Appraisals

The one-page report may not contain the proper description information or include photographs of the object. It may not be signed by the person who created it, and it may not include the credentials of a qualified appraiser.

Using jewelry as an example, the one-page report may not have been prepared by a qualified gemologist, goldsmith, or by someone who was also a qualified personal property appraiser. He or she may not have a solid understanding of appraisal methodology that is backed up with extensive training, accepted standards and rules, and an industry agreed-upon reporting format. Proper jewelry identification is only part of the appraisal process.

Kelly Juhasz, Principal, Fine Art Appraisal + Services

In a one-page report, there is often neither a justification for the value given nor a market analysis stating where the value opinions were developed. There may not be an accepted definition of value tied to the purpose of the appraisal. And the desired value definition, if present, may not be correct for the purpose.

Read the full article in the Digital Edition of the June 2018 Canadian Underwriter.

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