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McAllister/Fossum Seattle Appraisal Services
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Damage & Loss Reports 

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Accredited Reports of Damaged or Lost Items

While it is recommended that collectors protect their art and collectibles with an insurance appraisal before disaster strikes, this often isn’t done in time. Sometimes damage or loss occurs when no appraisal exists, and McAllister/Fossum Appraisal Services can work with you to piece together existing information to make sure a damaged or lost item is properly valued so a claim can be filed. We often see cases where damage to a painting or beloved family heirloom is sustained in a move or an accident, and we can work with you to make sure the item is properly appraised as of the date of damage or loss so you can file a claim.

Frederic Remington, Prospectors Making Frying-Pan Bread, 1893, oil on canvas, Frederic Remington Art Museum

Reports that Stand Up to Insurance Adjusters

Theft, fire, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood can leave collectors in a situation where they have no records, documents or photographs of the items that were lost. Insurance companies may play hardball with a team of their toughest adjusters when no record of a lost item exists. You will have to prove the validity of each claim, including that the item actually existed, that the item was property evaluated as to its condition, and the the item was competently valued at the time of loss. Documents such as receipts and certificates of authenticity are good to have to help verify ownership and some identifying details, but they are only one component of damage/loss appraisal and cannot stand on their own as acceptable documents for a claim.

Robert Davidson (Haida), Sea Anemone, 2017, serigraph on paper, 39-3/4 x 30 inches, edition of 10

Cost of Damage/Loss Report in Seattle

Our fees for damage and loss appraisals are always based on our hourly rate and never on the value of the item. Once we have completed the inventory of the objects to be appraised, we will send a fee estimate and make sure we have a client’s approval of all fees before beginning valuation research and report preparation. In some cases, we are able to complete appraisals without an on-site inspection, from images provided by the client and as well as other necessary documentation. Insurance company underwriters and adjusters require that full detailed appraisal reports with photos be written for most items of value, and we work with insurance companies regularly and are in the know about what they require in a damage or loss report.

Completely Objective Reports

As an independent appraisal firm, McAllister/Fossum Appraisal Services’ damage and loss appraisals are completely objective. We apply our many years of experience to consider the quality, relative importance, history and condition of your artwork and collectibles when determining the current Retail Replacement Cost. We have no financial interest in the property being appraised because we are not affiliated with any venue that is sells personal property for a profit. This allows us to value the property in line with the current market and maintain an arm’s length relationship with the objects we appraise.

Reports Using Current Retail Replacement Cost Basis

Each object is appraised on a current retail replacement cost basis, ensuring if damage or loss has occurred, fine art and collectible assets are protected and a claim is filed with your insurance company. The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) defines Retail Replacement Cost as the cost necessary to replace an item of personal property with a new or comparable (used) item of like kind, utility, and having similar qualities within a reasonable amount of time in the relevant marketplace.

Accredited Appraisal Reports

The damage and loss appraisal reports written by McAllister/Fossum Appraisal Services are accepted by brokers and underwriters across the country and have received accolades from internationally recognized insurance companies. Reports strictly adhere to the rules and guidelines of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) set by the Appraisal Foundation, which is based in Washington D.C. Erin Fossum is an Accredited Member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and follows the report writing guidelines and ethics that are imperative to writing appraisal reports that will be accepted by insurance underwriters and adjusters.

Available for Expert Witness Testimony

Should court testimony be required, we provide qualified and impartial expert witness testimony.

Note: The Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA) recommends that fine art be appraised every three to five years.

Erin G. Fossum, MA

Accredited Appraiser

Erin specializes in appraising fine art, antiques & residential contents. She offers appraisals for a variety of purposes, including insurance, estates, donations and divorce.

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