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Some people are lucky enough to acquire an item they deem priceless. The antique music box you inherited from your late grandmother would likely seem invaluable to you, but insurance companies may not hold the same opinion.

Homeowners insurance coverage is a great investment for the welfare of your house and belongings, but it’s easy to overlook the value of items that aren’t replaceable. Your standard insurance coverage likely has a limit, and will only reimburse the price of heirlooms based upon their actual value as objects, rather than the value they’d net in an auction or antique sale.

That’s why insurance appraisals are so important. While you could go to a local pawn shop or antique store to get an idea of an item’s worth, the most reliable method is to hire the services of a certified appraiser. Organizations like the Appraisers Association of American can connect you to professionals who will gauge the value of your heirlooms without getting personally involved.

With retailers, you run the risk of them being interested in buying your treasures, which can affect the accuracy of the appraisal. By appraising your most valuable possessions, you can schedule them under your insurance coverage so that the appraised value will be covered in the event of a disaster or even personal negligence.

When you seek homeowners insurance coverage, compile a list of any possessions that need to be appraised. Musical instruments, fine china, silverware, antique furniture or knick knacks, stamp collections, jewelry and anything that has been passed down through a family are prime suspects. When hiring a certified appraiser, you can often send them pictures of your items in an email before committing, which can save you both time and money if the items prove to lack the monetary value.

With a bit of foresight, insurance appraisals will help you keep your¬†peace of mind. Insurance won’t be able to replace an item that is one-of-a-kind, but it can certainly lend support as a monetary award.

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