Posted on 05 Oct 2011
ACE Private Risk Services, the high-net-worth personal lines business of the ACE Group, introduced a new service that provides unprecedented guidance to homeowners and their agents about the value of the contents in their home. With this powerful Home Contents Valuation capability, developed in conjunction with Asset Archives, Inc., a leader in the documentation and valuation of personal property, ACE becomes the first insurance carrier to offer a select group of its policyholders customized estimates for determining their personal property coverage at policy inception.
The Home Contents Valuation service addresses a problem that has long vexed homeowners, agents, and carriers. People rarely know how much it would cost to replace everything in their home after a total loss, and the prospect of thoroughly cataloging all of their possessions is often overwhelming. As a result, contents coverage has too often been based on assumptions: either a rough guess by the client or agent, or a default percentage of the home’s structural value set by the insurance carrier.
Research conducted by ACE and Asset Archives suggests that the status quo leaves many owners of high value homes with significant gaps in contents coverage. In a pilot program with agents, ACE and Asset Archives completed more than 400 estimates over a four-month period and found that nearly half of the homes studied had insufficient contents coverage. For homes with structural values between $2 million and $7 million, the average level of underinsurance approached $600,000. Homes with contents coverage pegged to less than 50 percent of the structural value were underinsured for personal property in nearly 70 percent of the reports reviewed.
“Choosing an adequate level of coverage for personal property is a real problem, and we’re confident the Home Contents Valuation service provides a real solution for a key group of our customers at risk,” said Gary Raphael, Senior Vice President, Risk Consulting, ACE Private Risk Services. “In our pilot program, the results compared well to traditional evaluation methods typically employed by an independent appraiser, and the support we received from agents and policyholders was overwhelming.”
To deliver the Home Contents Valuation, ACE builds on a process that has already been in place. “We have always been one of the few carriers that send risk consultants to high value homes to ensure adequate coverage for the structure,” said Mr. Raphael. “Now, our risk consultants are uniquely qualified to support adequate coverage for personal property, as well, by gathering additional information during the visit and using the Asset Archives application for analysis.”
Asset Archives has developed a proprietary system and database that captures the values of more than 200,000 items totaling $1 billion and covering more than 2,000 categories, including electronics, kitchenware, books, furniture, apparel, outdoor furnishings, sporting goods, equipment and more. The data were aggregated over the past 10 years of documenting and valuing the high quality contents of luxury and custom-built homes.
“Asset Archives is pleased to collaborate with ACE Private Risk Services to bring this innovative service to market,” said Gerald Escobar, co-founder of Asset Archives. “Since our founding, we have focused on helping owners of high value homes understand the value of what’s inside to improve their risk management and financial planning decisions. The Home Contents Valuation service represents a breakthrough because it delivers this understanding as part of the normal process of insuring a home. No extra effort by the homeowner or agent is required. It presents the right information at the right time so that the agent and client can make better choices about coverage from the start.”
About Asset Archives
Asset Archives Inc. serves as the next generation for contents and collections management. The services and products offered by Asset Archives address the inventory, valuation and management of residential contents and collections for risk, financial and estate planning purposes. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA with services nationwide, we serve clients for leading insurance and financial companies. For further information please visit the company website at www.assetarchives.com or call (888) 784-6630.
About ACE Private Risk Services
ACE Private Risk Services is the ACE Group’s high-net-worth personal lines business, which provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for affluent individuals and families. Additional information can be found at: www.aceprivateriskservices.com. The ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited, a component of the S&P 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.