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Random question but how do you go about getting something like a valuation for an antique saxophone for insurance purposes etc? I was talking to a friend who is a flautist and she said I was a dummy for not having insurance for my saxophone since it's the most expensive thing I own. She has her antique flute and piccolo insured but apparently it was relatively easy for her to find their value online. Other than attempting to sell it in an auction and seeing what it goes for, I have no idea where to start. I can't see any other antique Kohlert bari saxes for sale for reference either. I paid I think about 2000AUD for it ~15 years ago but I honestly had no idea if that was a reasonable price at the time I just knew it was much cheaper than buying a brand new one and it played just as well as one.
Any tips?
 

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The best thing that you can do is to go to a reputable shop and have them make a written , signed and stamped appraisal with a value for insurance purposes. Unlike other things (arts or commodities) there aren’t many saxophone appraisers and valuers recognized by insurance companies and they will tend to trust a vendor to know this. This service is normally done for a fee but you may find a friendly shop prepared to do this for a bottle of wine there aren’t fixed rules (at least not in my part of the world).

The insurance appraisal is typically higher than a resell value would be.

Anyway any insurance company could and most likely would dispute the value if it is not realistic. Your baritone may have been worth €1200 ( converted) back then but it may be worth a bit less now since the market for a lot of lesser known horns has taken a substantial hit from those times. On the other hand you may pay a premium if you want precisely a Kohlert (by the way which kohlert model is this, there are many!)

https://reverb.com/item/2163276-kohlert-baritone-sax-with-case this was one which was offered for €1300 ( but I don’t recognize any model from these pictures and this may be engraved Kohlert but NOT being a real one!).
 

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Milandro is right. An insurance valuation should be on the high side, higher than you would expect to sell it for. It will be at least the sort of price you would pay to replace it if you went into a dealer and had to buy something similar in top condition.

It is worth having photos of it and of course you must record the serial number.

It’s also true the insurance company may dispute the value so just be prepared for that
 

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I should also add that this kind of values (not particularly high) should be covered by a general household insurance (mine does), insurance for things taken outside of the house are generally more expensive and often more convenient if made under a collective cover (union or association)
 

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Also, many shops will charge for such an appraisal (maybe US$25 or so); this is a more detailed appraisal than a ballpark guess.
 

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I went to a local shop, paid a small fee, and they gave me an appraisal for my Mark VI and King Super 20 that I provided to the insurance company. I do not know about Australia, but I had a hard time finding an insurer to insure my saxes. State Farm would not add them to my homeowner's policy and would not sell me separate insurance for them. I ended up going with Clarion Musical Instrument Insurance who I have been very happy with. They only need appraisals for horns valued over $5000. For the others I just estimated a market value based upon tracking ebay sales, what people post for on sax on the web, and what the horns sell for on sites like getasax.com, Saxquest, Tenor Madness, etc.
 

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I went to a local shop, paid a small fee, and they gave me an appraisal for my Mark VI and King Super 20 that I provided to the insurance company. I do not know about Australia, but I had a hard time finding an insurer to insure my saxes. State Farm would not add them to my homeowner's policy and would not sell me separate insurance for them.
This makes sense if you are using the instrument professionally and taking it out of the house. My home policy would cover instruments but not if I use them professionally and travel with them. So I have them covered on a dedicated instrument policy which includes being left in the boot of a car. (Although I would avoid doing that if possible anyway)

They only need appraisals for horns valued over $5000. For the others I just estimated a market value based upon tracking ebay sales, what people post for on sax on the web, and what the horns sell for on sites like getasax.com, Saxquest, Tenor Madness, etc.
That's quite a laid back insurance company. The fact that in the event of a claim there is often some negotiation to be done it is worth having whatever you can to use for haggling, profs of any added value you may have put into it etc.
 

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I went to a local shop, paid a small fee, and they gave me an appraisal for my Mark VI and King Super 20 that I provided to the insurance company. I do not know about Australia, but I had a hard time finding an insurer to insure my saxes. State Farm would not add them to my homeowner's policy and would not sell me separate insurance for them. I ended up going with Clarion Musical Instrument Insurance who I have been very happy with. They only need appraisals for horns valued over $5000. For the others I just estimated a market value based upon tracking ebay sales, what people post for on sax on the web, and what the horns sell for on sites like getasax.com, Saxquest, Tenor Madness, etc.
what kind of shop? a general antiques shop (where they might not know anything about saxophones) or a musical instrument reseller?
I'll have to check which insurance company my friend is with, I didn't think to ask. I'd always assumed it would be covered under household insurance, but it then isn't covered when I take it out of the house. I assume if I contacted the insurer they'd tell me what was required and perhaps be able to point me in the right direction for getting a reliable valuation. I'll look into those websites as well!
 

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Reply from my contact on this subject. Comments below included review of this thread.
Posted with full permission granted.
If anyone has questions send me a DM.

From Analee McClellan, ASA
American Society of Appraisers
International Personal Property (PP) Chair
Past International PP Education Chair

Insuring your musical instruments can be a bit tricky. For many instruments, coverage is included with your regular homeowners policy. For more expensive instruments, they may not be covered under the regular policy, there's usually a limit $$ of coverage. An additional policy rider will be needed in order to insure your instruments. Check with your insurance company and type of policy to see how your instrument is covered. Not all insurance policies are the same and some have exclusions if they are not located in your home if a loss occurs. Your insurance agent can provide you with options and carriers who can cover your instrument(s) if you're a professional musician who travels.

There are only a handful of accredited appraisers in musical instruments. As with other professions, the level of competence of among appraisers differs greatly. For personal property (movable objects such as residential contents, art, antiques, etc. etc.) appraisers are not state regulated, like real estate appraisers. Anyone can call themselves an appraiser. In order to better select an appraiser, ask if they follow USPAP. If they have never heard of USPAP, you may want to walk away.

Appraisers should be unbiased, objective and disinterest individuals who report on the market. Many auction houses, dealers and music stores may provide appraisals, even for free, but with the caveat that if you want to sell you go to them. This is not a well regarded practice in the profession, as the appraiser then has an interest in the object and the client.

Valuations are based on knowledge of the instrument and the market (market research) for your instrument, not numbers "pulled out of the air." Because musical instruments is a very niche area of connoisseurship, you may be more knowledgeable than the appraiser regarding the instrument, BUT the appraiser is knowledgeable about valuation methods and appraisal report writing. Help the appraiser understand the "characteristics of value" of your instrument. Appraisals usually involve a personal inspection of the item. With this information, the appraiser can move forward with appropriate research and valuation. There are many different market levels where property trades and researching the appropriate level and comparing to the right comparable is critical to getting a credible appraisal.

All professional appraisers in the US, Canada and Mexico must comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Personal property appraisers must take updated USPAP classes every 2 years, when a new edition comes out. These are the MINIMUM requirements as set forth by The Appraisal Foundation, the congressionally authorized body that established ethics, requirements, education and standards for all appraisers (Appraisal Review, Business Valuation, Real Property, Machinery & Technical Services, Gems & Jewelry and Personal Property).

https://www.appraisalfoundation.org


Here is a brochure that generally describes the valuation of personal property, which musical instrument falls under. While it speaks of art and antiques, it equally applies to musical instruments (where many can definitely be considered art objects!).

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/share/view/s7350f46d366479eb

The better insurance companies are familiar with or have some knowledge of USPAP and want appraisals performed by someone who is competent in the type of property being appraised. Appraisals need to follow the requirements set forth in USPAP, which are numerous. A one page appraisal will not stand up in court these days. Typically insurance companies question such documents when it's time to pay a loss.

With the American Society fo Appraisers, Personal Property appraisers have a checklist of items that must be included in an appraisal report in order to meet the minimum requirements of USPAP. The checklist is 7 pages long.

While an appraisal may not be the right answer for everyone, consider your instrument and your situation. Appraisal reports are considered legal documents and are not inexpensive, but can certainly save you a lot of aggravation if you ever need to file a claim with your insurance company.
 

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What you Pig Squealer quote is essentially what I wrote. There are indeed professional and recognized appraisers (in holland for example some are officially recognized by the judiciary ) but none would be an expert in saxophones ( there are in fine arts and such things but that’s a different thing).

In lieu of this a regular shop, may be considered and appraiser ( even better than a private because it has paper with names and stamps ), more so if they sell vintage instruments too, it all comes down to if the insurance accepts the valuation.

For the kind of money that OP is talking about , my household insurance insures things like musical instruments for a value several higher than he mentions. So it does for any artwork or jewels ( those have been separately declared).
 

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I didn’t quote the letter. It was reply email posted with permission from the author.
 

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Thanks :), but, to the purpose of my post it makes no difference whether it was a direct quote or a copy and paste.

Most registered appraisers would have no “ In depth" knowledge of the saxophone market and would make an educated guess based on whatever they find on line as an historical record of previous sales.
 

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Thanks :), but, to the purpose of my post it makes no difference whether it was a direct quote or a copy and paste.

Most registered appraisers would have no “ In depth" knowledge of the saxophone market and would make an educated guess based on whatever they find on line as an historical record of previous sales.
Your statement is a huge misconception of the appraisal process. Well at least the well trained ones. Many think selling prices on eBay or guesses on the antique roadshow is how it works.
 

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well at least in the Netherlands there are no legally recognized appraisers in the field of saxophones and the insurance companies normally rely on valuations by shops. I am quite confident that in Europe there are no specially qualified appraisers for the saxophones, there will be for violins or pianos but their expertise in these fields is comparable to asking a piano mechanics to say something about the conditions of a saxophone, he may know something about it but not because he is a piano mechanic.
 

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Personal Property appraisers do appraisals of musical instruments. You most likely get a better appraisal than one who only does instruments only. That is why only a limited few do musical instruments only.
 

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In my part of the world I don’t know anyone whom would have the necessary knowledge, in the US things may be different.
 

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well at least in the Netherlands there are no legally recognized appraisers in the field of saxophones and the insurance companies normally rely on valuations by shops. I am quite confident that in Europe there are no specially qualified appraisers for the saxophones, there will be for violins or pianos but their expertise in these fields is comparable to asking a piano mechanics to say something about the conditions of a saxophone, he may know something about it but not because he is a piano mechanic.
Go back to post 14 third paragraph.

Research is a large part of of establishing value. Including comments or inspections by other field experts like you. It’s all part of the documenting process. A good appraisal report documents the value.
Its just not a letter on a company letterhead with “Mk v #U812/1969 saxophone, $35,000” Would you walk into a courtroom challenging a insurance company with that as proof of value ?
 
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