Appraising furs for financing, insurance or a charitable donation qualifies as a necessity when requirements dictate. In addition to accuracy, an appraiser who prepares a valuation report should strive to present professional-looking documents that will impress a bank, insurance company or the IRS as being valid. There are other reasons that appraisals of mink coats and other furs may be necessary such as in matters involving estates, bankruptcy, purchase & sale, damage claims or equitable distribution. Whether for reasons of characteristics or cachet, there are certain furs such as mink, sable, fox and chinchilla that will always be prized by consumers.


Donating furs to charity is both worthwhile and financially beneficial to you. Fur coats can enhance many lives through the financial benefits they provide. The tax deduction that is enjoyed by the donor is, of course, another good reason for considering such a gift. The St. Lucie Appraisal Company provides fair market valuation appraisals in all 50 states for many useful purposes such as estate dissolution, equitable distribution, damage claims as well as for donations. Appraising furs for donations and insurance is a highly specialized field. Knowledge of fur-related items is one key requirement but another essential necessity that an appraiser of furs needs is a database of past sales of comparable items. Whether the appraisal is going to the IRS, an insurance company or a magistrate, it must be documented by sources for the information contained therein. In the case of a tax deductible donation in excess of $5,000.00, you must have a written appraisal in which the appraiser will complete an IRS Form 8283 for you.

Due to changes in IRS reporting requirements, a fur piece can no longer be appraised by the dealer where it was purchased unless the item will be donated to a non-profit within two months of when it was acquired. If the item is worth less than $5000.00, then usually you don’t need to hire an appraiser to value it for you. Unlike automobiles, fur coats can’t be evaluated by year, make, model. Factors that should be considered are condition, fashion and the popularity of a particular coat.

Insuring furs is usually a straightforward process unless the item is a one-of-a-kind article or presents the insurance company with difficulty in placing a fair market value on the item. Claims, however, are a different story. Obtaining a fair settlement for fur coats in a homeowners or flood claim, unless they have been insured under a separate policy, can be a nightmare because insurance companies are far less accommodating paying claims then they are in collecting premiums. An appraisal based on real world comparables is a necessity in these cases.

Obtaining financing from a bank or credit union for the purchase of fur coats often requires the borrower to have the items appraised. Furs can either appreciate or depreciate over time so lenders are careful about financing them. Banks and credit unions, as there are no guide books, often decline to offer adequate loans. Hiring a licensed appraiser is a means to obtaining the necessary financing.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company has provided valuation appraisals of furs since 1981. We are licensed appraisers and provide service in all 50 states. The cost of a fair market value appraisal depends upon the research necessary to make an accurate determination. However, with the extensive database of past sales at our disposal, we can most often provide an appraisal of a small fur collection for $375.00.


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