Insurance Claims estimate??


True Grumbler
Feb 21, 2006
We could use some input on how to "value" artwork that has been damaged. A good customer brought us several pieces that are damaged beyond repair due to a flood. The framing end of it is simple. But some of the artwork is simply old poster quality artwork on cardboard...but it has "sentimental value". How in the world do we list these on the estimate for the insurance company? I thought of simply saying "artwork not replaceable" and show no value. Help please....and thank you!
While I don’t hesitate to estimate the cost of replacement for a picture frame, I don’t feel qualified nor do I have the credentials to appraise the contents of the frame.

Insurance companies may not accept an estimate from someone other than a certified appraiser, anyway. You might try to find one from the American Society of Appraisers web site.
the cost of appraisals for such materials will exceed its value.

As an appraiser I would suggest looking at a local market (flea, garage, resale shop) to arrive at a value. Other than a very rare item, these values will be close to actual market value for outdated ("functionally obsolete" used art)
We do quite a lot of reframing and repairs for items damaged in fires, floods, and storms.

Insurance companies usually do not consider sentimental value. Their typical concern is monetary value based on the current market.

If the owner were concerned about insuring the sentimental value of an item that has no market value, then he/she should have addressed that issue with the insurance company prior to the claim.

Lesson: If you have items of significant value, or value not easily verified, call your insurance agent and ask about specific coverage. Sometimes a rider costs a few dollars a year, but it is well worth the little added cost to have coverage.