Let’s take a look at some practical examples of a contents manager making things easier for an adjuster. It isn’t always monetary when an argument arises between an insurance representative and the insured. A year or two ago, we reported a case in which an elderly member of the insured’s family wanted his collection of vintage Mickey Spillane (detective) novels replaced after they received some water damage.

The adjuster tried to explain that such books could be purchased at garage sale prices and offered what he thought was a fair cash value for such a purchase, but the old fellow wasn’t about to accept a small monetary offer for his damaged collection (which he had gathered and treasured over much of his adult life).

The contents manager went online, found a collection that was a little larger than the one the grandfather had lost (including some titles he didn’t have). The price for the lot was under $40 and the case cycled forward.

But what if you saw a book with this description: “… rather shelfworn with board showing through along bottom edges, spine rather tanned, cup-ring to front board, some soiling and small stains to cloth, topstain shows some scuffing and a small abrasion, spine ends fraying, page edges lightly browned…light tanning to spine, half inch flake to color at right side of midspine, color is starting to flake along the flap-folds, edges are a little worn and with a couple of short closed tears…”

What would you pay for it? 3 reputable booksellers have a price of $2500 posted for a signed copy. And an unsigned copy is selling for as much as $5000 to $10,000! But a source in the Million Dollar Database can get a first edition in “very good condition” for less than $500.

If the policy is ACV, it is a great time to have a contents specialist on your team!