The 350-year-old piano
Occasionally adjusters run across clients that are rich.
In the beginning of your career, everything you see is going to blow your mind. Later on everything is just numbers. That is how you deal with it. If you get paralyzed every time you see a Farri, you are in the wrong line of work!
Typically, the wealthy have tons of insurance to protect their high-end stuff, so most insurers handle their claims with care.
But clients of more moderate means can also pose challenges.
Sometimes an adjuster is part Antiques Roadshow, part Detective and part Diplomat, especially when there is bad news for a valued client.
Here is a great story of just such a case…
Following a fire in Needham, Mass., an adjuster was sitting in the living room with the homeowner and his contractor. The homeowner was talking about how expensive the 350 year old piano was. The adjuster had inspected the piano and was suspicious of its alleged age and value. He asked the contractor to look underneath the piano where the soundboard would have been. “What kind of wood is that?” The contractor studied it a bit and replied, “Well that’s OSB.” The adjuster then asked, “You mean Oriented Strand Board?” “Yes.” “So when did they start producing OSB?” The contractor replied, “Well, it was in the 20th century.”
You can imagine the look on the homeowners face upon hearing that news! He had just told them it was 350 years old, but in reality, it could not have been more that a few decades old.
When the value difference is tens of thousands of dollars, it requires Diplomacy!
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