So a contents crew finds a bunch of dusty, old vinyl records in the same room where a slow, oily fire occurred. A few were actually warped by the heat, but some look okay, except they are covered in soot.
The adjuster takes a quick look and realizes that it would cost more for the contents team to clean and restore them than to purchase new ones. They have titles like, the Beatles, “Love Me Do,” and “God Save the Queen,” by the Sex Pistols, and even another Beatles tune, “Ask Me Why.” They are all sort of familiar, but no longer popular songs. So, the decision is made to simply replace them with new albums.
But then a contents manager gives a quick online check of the monetary worth of these particular titles – a copy of “Love Me Do” sold for almost $15,000 two years ago. About 7 years ago, a copy of “God Save the Queen,” sold for almost $20,000, and an old copy of the Beatles, “Ask Me Why” sold for $35,000.
Would these copies sell for as much? The contents manager did not know, but she had the adjuster’s back and made sure the stacks of recordings were safely set aside until the owner could be contacted and the aging vinyl could be further assessed.
Contents managers often have a perspicacity born of instinct and experience. Many adjusters have expressed their gratitude for these specialists and their money-saving insights.
For example, as of this writing, a single copy of the 1993 VHS “Alladin” is selling on Ebay for $100,000. It is also selling for $9.99 (brand new). What’s the difference? Ask a contents manager, she (he) can tell you. And can show you how she saves significant sums on virtually every job simply by knowing and understanding the monetary and intrinsic worth of most items – or can get the information in order to make an informed decision. In fact, most of these contents professionals can provide a “pre-estimate” and general scope within 48 hours of an initial walkthrough.
Then the adjuster assigned to the case can make the decision as to which services can be allowed on any given job. The bonus comes in when the contents manager makes further discoveries and restores what might have been thought to be non-restorable items.
The contents valet have what they call their “Million Dollar Database,” from which they can contact experts in most fields – everyone from art conservators, to taxidermists. That is just one of the ways they save serious money for adjusters on virtually every job.
In many cases they have actually restored so many valued items from being total-lossed, that many insurance carriers have come to realize that contents specialists don’t cost, they save.