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I’ve got insurance. Why do I need an appraisal?

This is such a timely article (below) from International Society of Appraisers. I have many clients (current and past) who request insurance appraisals, and the majority are unaware of what their Homeowner's Insurance Policy (typically HO-3) and/or Valuable Property Rider (Personal Articles Policy) may or may not cover. In addition to the ISA's article discussion, review your policy with your insurer to understand the following:

Coverage Limits:

*Sublimits and Water Damage: Ask if there's a separate sublimit (lower payout limit) for valuables within the overall personal property coverage. Also, confirm if water damage is covered for these valuables, or if additional water damage insurance is required.

*Maximum Payout: Determine the maximum payout amount for valuables under either your homeowner's policy or the Valuable Property Rider (if applicable).

*Exclusions: Identify any exclusions in either your homeowner's policy or a rider that might limit coverage for specific types of valuables.

Coverage for Multiple Items and Transportation:

*Grouped Items Limit: Find out the coverage limit for a category of similar valuables (e.g., jewelry). Then, clarify the limit for a single item within that category.

*Storage and Transport: Ask how coverage applies when valuables are stored off-site or transported. This coverage may vary depending on the storage/transport company and should be asked of these companies directly.

Keep receipts. Get a USPAP-compliant appraisal that complies with underwriting requirements. If you have an extensive collection of high-value items, look to specialty insurance companies. And know the policy you currently have!



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