Your home / condo owners or renters insurance policy should be reviewed once a year to make sure your coverage is right for your current needs. One of the most common mistakes people make is to assume their valuable possessions are covered under their standard property policy. This is not true in most cases.
Some of the items that need extra protection include jewelry, furs, cameras, silverware, antiques, musical instruments, collections, fine art and manuscripts or books. Some policies don’t cover breakage, so if you have a collection of art glass or porcelain you may need special coverage as well.
Additional protection can be obtained by purchasing scheduled personal property coverage or a floater / rider. Rates are generally a small percentage of the total value of the items you are insuring. To determine the value, you’ll need to provide a receipt or hire an independent appraiser qualified to appraise the type of items you have.
Everyone’s policy is different, so check with your insurer to determine your needs. If you purchase new items you’ll need to add them to your policy as well. Review your policy regularly.
Insurance Coverage: Know Your Choices from A Homeowners Insurance Guide to Natural Disasters
What is Covered by Standard Homeowners Insurance? from the Insurance Information Institute
International Society of Appraisers
About the Author: Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP is a certified appraiser of personal property designated in Antiques and Residential Contents with the International Society of Appraisers. She is based in Southern California and serves the San Diego and Palm Desert regions.
We don’t like to think about it, but there are several situations where our art, antiques and collectibles will be affected in a major way. Life’s events have a way of separating us from our possessions.
The Canadian Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers recently posted a good article on the subject titled “Not Till Death, Debt, Divorce Do We Part” by Julia McLaren. It discusses the first three D’s and how proper planning and use of professional appraisers can assist during these times.
I would like add a fourth “D” to the list ….. disaster. Our beloved objects can be damaged or in the worst case scenario, destroyed. I discussed this subject in an earlier post titled “Protecting Your Valuables from a Disaster”.
Protection of your collection and planning for the future is essential. By having an inventory and professional appraisal, you can make informed decisions regarding insurance, donation, division or liquidation. At the end of every episode of the TV show “Strange Inheritance” they remind us “you can’t take it with you”.
The Appraisal Foundation sets the guidelines for all appraisers and publishes the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).
They have added a new page to their website with resources for consumers seeking personal property appraisals. The following is available:
Resources For Personal Property Appraisers
- Links to major appraisal societies with searchable databases of personal property appraisers (including the International Society of Appraisers, of which I am a member).
- Brochure titled “The Personal Property Qualification Criteria”, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
- Informational brochures describing the process of valuation for different types of property including Gems and Jewelry, Fine and Decorative Art (see below), Machinery and Equipment.
Valuation of Fine and Decorative Art
Users of appraisal services are encouraged to take advantage of these informative resources.
You may have seen the fairly new television series on Bravo titled “Untying the Knot”. It features a prominent divorce mediator helping couples split up their joint assets.
As part of the process, appraisers are brought in to value the personal property. The level of value may vary slightly by state, however in California the appropriate level is “Fair Market Value”. For television purposes, the appraisers are verbally reporting the values. In real life, a written appraisal report must be provided. It is important to choose an impartial and credentialed appraiser who may be called to testify at formal mediation or court.
In most cases, property owned prior to the marriage is separate and retained by the individual. Individuals with large collections or family heirlooms may want to consider having their items documented and appraised as part of their pre-nuptial planning.
As an appraiser, I cannot give legal advice. Please consult a professional attorney.
“What Should I Know about Divorce and Custody?” from the State Bar of California
Divorce or Separation from the Judicial Branch of California Courts
About the Author:
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP is a certified appraiser of personal property designated in Antiques and Residential Contents with the International Society of Appraisers. She is based in Southern California and serves the San Diego and Palm Desert regions.
The Appraisal Foundation will be holding the second personal property roundtable on September 23rd in Washington, DC titled “Envisioning the Future: Building Public Trust”. Topics of discussion will be of importance to personal property appraisers and include qualifications, standards and oversight. Panelists will include a wide variety of personal property disciplines, as well as auction houses, appraisal associations and law firms.
The roundtable will be conducted from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM and is free and open to observers. A networking reception will follow. For more details and registration, see the Appraisal Foundation website.
As an appraiser, I receive calls daily from potential clients saying they have an antique to be evaluated. If the caller is in their twenties, they may be speaking about something only 30 years old. On the other hand, if I ask a room full of senior citizens how many of them think they are antiques, the majority of people in the room raise their hands. It’s a matter of perception.
Although we may see varying descriptions, there is a U.S. government definition for an antique. Guidelines were originally established by the U.S. Customs Service for import tariffs. In the Tariff Act of 1930 an antique was defined as an object made before 1830, after which mass production became common. In 1993, Title VI of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), also known as the Customs Modernization or “Mod” Act, became effective. These provisions amended many sections of the Tariff Act of 1930 and related laws. Thus, there is a rule of 100 years old to describe something as “antique”.
“Shopping For Antiques” from the Federal Trade Commission.
“Works of Art, Collector’s Pieces, Antiques, and Other Cultural Property” from U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP is a full time personal property appraiser designated in Antiques and Residential Contents with the International Society of Appraisers. She is based in Southern California and serves the San Diego and Palm Desert regions.
The Foundation for Appraisal Education offers annual scholarships for personal property appraisers to further their education. For the 2014-2015 year they are offering two scholarships for new appraisers (with less than 2 years experience) and two for experienced appraisers. The deadline for application is May 30, 2014 and is approaching quickly. For applications, guidelines and procedures go to the FAE website and click on “scholarship”.
It’s important for professional personal property appraisers to take continuing education courses. Not only to sharpen our skills but to acquire education credits with our professional appraisal associations. The following events will take place over the next few months in California:
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) for personal property appraisers, 7-hour update class:
May 10, Seal Beach, College For Appraisers
Workshop on the Identification and Care of Architectural Drawings and Photo-reproductions: June 18-20, Stanford University Libraries
Foundation for Appraisal Education Seminar, August 27-29, hosted by Michaan’s Auction House in Alameda. Featuring lectures on modern, Asian and California art as well as wood I.D., snuff bottles and Tiffany glass. Additional post-seminar tours available on August 30.
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP is a full time personal property appraiser specializing in antiques and residential contents in San Diego and Palm Desert, California.
The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) has a public meeting scheduled in San Diego, California on Sept. 13 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 N at the Westin San Diego.
The AQB is part of the Appraisal Foundation, authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications. Both personal property and real property appraisers adhere to the Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the biyearly updates. For personal property appraisers, compliance is voluntary but usually required by their professional appraisal societies.
According to the Appraisal Foundation website:
The AQB establishes the minimum education, experience and examination requirements for real property appraisers to obtain a state license or certification. In addition, the AQB performs a number of ancillary duties related to real property and personal property appraiser qualifications.
As part of their work, they established Personal Property Appraiser Minimum Qualification Criteria to be used by major clients of personal property appraisers. Compliance is voluntary.
For more information including the AQB meeting agenda and registration form, visit the Appraisal Foundation website and click on Events / Meeting Registration.