Monday, May 17, 2010



VERO BEACH, Florida - My neighbor in Florida drives a 1996 Chevy Pickup truck whose odometer reads 220,000 miles. Over the years he's maintained it impeccably. Last month, in fact, he replaced the transmission which was no small expense. He's justifiably proud of his truck and confident that it will serve him for many years to come.

Recently, he and I were discussing the state of affairs of our neighborhood here in Florida. It is a very safe, crime-free area. So much so, in fact, that my neighbor remarked "I leave my keys in the truck overnight." That got me to wondering about what his insurance company would pay him if the truck was stolen. After all, once the theft occurs he'll have to look for a replacement vehicle right away. I decided to work up a total loss evaluation which showed his compensation for the stolen vehicle would be approximately $5,000.00. Less his deductible he's looking at around $4500.00.

You should have seen the look on my neighbor's face when I gave him the news. It's not as if he didn't know it beforehand. Most of us take unnecessary risks even though we know that we're courting disaster. In the case of the 96 Chevy Pickup, so many parts have been replaced over the years it is practically a new truck. He wouldn't sell it for twice what they'll pay him. So why didn't he obtain a "stated value" policy from his insurance agent?

"I thought that stated value policies were for expensive cars like Ferrari or antique and classic cars, he said. Would my insurance company write a stated value policy for my truck?" When I told him that they would, my neighbor got right on the phone, called his agent and began the simple process of insuring his beloved pickup truck for it's actual value. It worked for me, too as I ended up doing the appraisal that his insurer requested. Regardless of how much work you've put into your old car, without stated value coverage, your insurance company will give you zero consideration if it is wrecked, flooded or stolen.

Don't get the idea that stated value coverage is something that's unknown to most people. There are those who are gamblers by nature. Jewelry worth a lot? Your homeowner's insurance will cover only $1,000. Is that enough? For some folks, it must be because we receive calls after losses asking what recourse they have. The answer is none. Old car worth a lot? If it wasn't appraised and insured for the stated value you'll only get the book value after a loss. Underwriting rules are strict. The old adage "penny-wise and pound-foolish" comes to mind.

Have an old car that's in great shape?  Get it appraised and obtain stated value coverage for what it is really worth. Trust me, it's better than faxing receipts, invoices and glowing descriptions by the mechanic of your now-departed vehicle to an insurance adjuster who could care less. Either that or good luck finding a decent truck for $4,500.00.

Feel free to call The St. Lucie Appraisal Company with any questions you may have about classic and specialty vehicle appraisals and stated value policies.

P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400

Our service area includes St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, Brevard, Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties. Cities include Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood, Hallandale, Miami, Opa Locka, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall and Homestead.

Diminished Value Appraisals throughout Florida including, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Lakeland, Panama City, Orlando, Pensacola, Fort Myers, Key West, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Clearwater, Kissimmee, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainesville, Lake City, Sebring, Bradenton, Titusville, Panama City, Bonita Springs, Naples, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee.

Our rates for services are as follows:

Auto Appraisals (Donations, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Insurance Disputes) $125.00

Stated Value Appraisals (Antique & Classic Cars, Street Rods, Motorcycles, RVs, Trucks) $175.00

Auto/Truck/RV Condition Reports $225.00 and Up

Diminished Value Appraisals (Determines how much less your car is worth after accident repairs) $225.00

Personal Property Appraisals (Contents, Collectibles, Art, Antiques) $225.00 and Up

All other services and additional time when necessary  $75/Hr.

Expert Witness - Court Appearances, Depositions, Mediation $225/Hr.

You may obtain appraisals for Financing, Charitable Donation Tax Credits, Collateral, Damage Claims, Equitable Distribution, Bankruptcy, Estates, Insurance Stated Value, Purchase & Sale and Diminished Value.

Appraisals of Personal Property, Art, Boats, Classic & Custom Autos, Antiques, Collectibles & Memorabilia, Electronics, Machinery, Motorcycles & Choppers, Furnishings, RVs, Trucks & Heavy Equipment. Business Valuations specializing in all types of small businesses.


Keywords for this article: agent, automobile, florida, insurance, old cars, ST. LUCIE APPRAISAL COMPANY, stated value, underwriting, vero beach, truck

Revised 08-28-2012
Updated 06-19-2013