The winter holidays are approaching fast, which means many people will soon be brainstorming about all of the expensive purchases to make for friends and family. That brand-new, state-of-the-art flat screen television would go great in your son’s bedroom or the game room. You dream of that $500, high-powered mixer that looks fantastic on your kitchen counter. Don’t forget the new table saw in the shop out back!
Although you usually think of expensive gifts during the fall and early winter, you should consider protecting your valuables all year long, including your one-of-a-kind antiques and the gifts you just purchased. Take a look at the following five tips on the best ways to appraise your valuables, whether they are new purchases or family heirlooms.
Understand What You Have:
Understand what the value of certain pieces might be in terms of sentimental value passed down from one generation to the next. Antiques might be in the form of jewelry, toys, furniture, rugs, artwork, and even wine. You’d be surprised about the hidden value of certain items. Once you figure out what you’ve got, it’s time to find an appraiser.
Find the Right Experts:
If you have antiques that you think might be worth some money, find the right experts who may know a few things about what you have on hand. Ask around with your lawyer, insurance agent, real estate broker or financial adviser to see if any of these people know any good appraisers in town. Search the Appraisers Association of America website to find an appropriate expert. Some appraisers may examine an item using pictures you send them remotely as opposed to showing up to your home in person.
Vet Your Experts:
Once you find an expert for your item, ask them questions about their services. How much of a fee does an appraiser charge? What are the person’s qualifications? Does the appraiser have any referrals? Find out the answers to these questions before hiring someone to determine how much your valuables are worth and the additional costs of their appraisal services.
Update Your Appraisals Regularly:
Just like the value of your home or car changes over time, so does the price of your antiques and high-priced electronics. Experts recommend updating appraisals every five years. That way, you can adjust any insurance coverage you want to purchase. Every so often, peruse online auction sites such as eBay to see if any items similar to yours are selling. This can give you a rough estimate to see if the value of your item is going up or down.
Retain Your Documentation:
It’s very important that you keep your documentation as to what your items are worth, including a written statement by the appraiser. For your winter holiday gifts, retain your purchase receipt and any warranty information. It is also recommended to make a list of all items that you have had appraised and catalogue each one by estimated value, last date of appraisal, the name of the appraiser and next expected appraisal date. Keep these important papers locked away in a fireproof safe or in a safe deposit box in a bank. Otherwise, your insurance policy may not be able to help you.
Insurance for Valuables:
Your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the contents of your house, just the structure itself. Taking out an insurance policy on your valuables protects your assets in case of fire, a natural disaster or even theft. If you don’t take out the right kind of insurance policy, an insurance claim for your valuables might be denied. Talk to the experts at Northeast Insurance to find out what insurance policy is right for you.
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