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Insuring your collection

A Place to Post Your Collectable Bows, Archery and Hunting Equipment

Insuring your collection

Postby droptine59 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:33 am

Updated from an earlier article I wrote:

Protecting your life’s work: The Bow Collection
By: Rich Lopez

Bow collecting is a fascinating hobby. It is rewarding, romantic, riveting, and for the most part, expensive. To some it is a life’s work. The investment is never realized until it is gone. Unforeseen events can be catastrophic. Flood, fire, or theft, are situations beyond our control for the most part.

Just because you have homeowners insurance, does not mean you are "covered" in the event of these life changing catastrophes. Most home owner’s policies require "riders" to the contract to cover collectable or specialized items of value.

My collection (which changes yearly) is an inclusive one. Should I have my collection stolen, or damaged, I am compensated per its appraised value at that given time.

An insurance rider is a policy add-on, sort of like adding a sunroof or a CD player to your car. Riders add extra benefits, usually for an added cost, though not always. A rider you may be familiar with is technically known as "accidental death benefit", which is more popularly known as "double indemnity." In our case it is an insurable interest of an irreplaceable object.

When it comes to insuring special treasures like bows, most people can make do with a rider on their home insurance policies. Depending on the bows involved, they might be able to get the insurance coverage they need without hiring an appraiser. All inclusive if you will.

The best reason to hire an appraiser is to get objective documentation about the value of the items you're insuring. Possessions such as vintage guitars, bows, archery collections in general, stamp collections, coin collections, antiques, wine collections and fine art are all good candidates for appraisal.

Questions to ask a potential appraiser:

Are you accredited by a professional appraisal society? (Three such societies are the Appraisers Association of America, the American Society of Appraisers, and the International Society of Appraisers)

How long have you been in the profession?

How would you describe your code of ethics?

Do you have a particular field of expertise?

Have you taken any tests in order to get your accreditation?

American Society of Appraisers
The ASA prides itself on the high ethical standards it requires of its members. Read about them and search for an appraiser on the society’s web site. This is for hard core collection like multi-million dollar art, jewelry, etc.

Appraisers generally operate under a strict code of ethics. Seek out an appraiser who specializes in the kind of valuables you own. The American Society of Appraisers, for example, lists appraisers according to their specialties.

Each accredited member of the American Society of Appraisers has earned a professional designation in one or more specialized areas of appraisal,” says the society’s executive vice president, Edwin Baker. “To receive the accreditation, the appraiser must pass intensive written examinations, submit representative appraisal reports for peer review and be screened for his or her ethical behavior.

It's important to keep documentation of your appraisal in a separate location, so that you'll be able to substantiate any loss. Discuss with your appraiser the methods used to determine the value of your items, to make sure the appraisal meets your insurance needs. Often the distinction between cost and value is lost in the appraisal of personal property. Value is a measure of the future utility of property. Cost is the monetary equivalent of that property for the purposes of an exchange. Sometimes the two terms are numerically equal, more often they are not.

Now for what we do in the world of collecting bows, a credible appraiser is someone who is a known world class bow collector. Us in the traditional community know these people and can direct others as to whom to contact. But first speak with your insurance agent if an appraisal from a large scale collector/historian is acceptable.

The larger more known collectors all been at it for over 30 years and can give fair assessment of value based on experience and frankly, EBay can be used as a tool for gauging "basic" worth. NOTE, that market is determined cyclically and is an up and down climate and can be false at times due to false prophets selling their wares with bad information so beware.

Worth is not what you paid for it. Worth is determined what it will sell for any given year so be realistic on worth. That $1500 1960 Kodiak could be worth $2 should for some unknown reason 30,000 of them hit the market all at once. On the flipside, a Grumley bow will probably will get more valuable with each decade since one guy hand made them over 65 years ago.

So as you go forward, spend time with your collection. Document each bow, and it’s information. Take and archive pictures of it. There is no reason you should not protect your investment. Besides an accident or catastrophe, what does one do should you pass away? You think a widow or the kids want to deal with the headache of what to do with a hundred plus bows? I think not.

It is a life’s hobby that someday may provide your family financial stability. At the very least the appraisal will be a starting point should the collection have to be sold by the grieving family. Personally I plan to sell my entire collection ahead of time so I do not have to burden my family with my lifelong madness. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Lady if I gotta to pay ya, then it's gonna hurt!
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