Collection appraisal for insurance

Oksana Dykyj (
Mon, 14 Jun 1999 08:54:30 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Videolibbers,

What has been your experience in collection appraisal for insurance
purposes? My institution is asking that everything from armchairs to videos
be inventoried and appraised. There are a number of questions I have about
this process which I will address to the appropriate persons on my end, but
was hoping that some of you may have gone through a similar process and
have some advice.

The issues that concern me relate to replacement cost and depreciated
values. Clearly any item (from computer to telephone) depreciates in value
with use (unless it becomes a collector's item and that's another
headache)and 5 years tends to be the standard time for depreciation. But
does that apply to media collections? A $100 media item used continuously
may be "worth" $2 after just 2 years because it has been rendered
unwatchable, but if it is not heavily used, it may be "worth" $75 (or even
$175) after 10 years, assuming it was properly housed. However, if this
same item were lost or stolen, how much would it cost to replace it? Well,
if it's still in print and distributed, the bets are that it will be the
same as the original cost or less, depending on format, but if it's out of
print, we're in the stratosphere.

It's easy to say that an average replacement value should be x for videos,
y for laserdiscs, z for DVDs etc, when in fact, if you lose your entire
laserdisc collection, for instance, you may have to pay up to 10 times y
for those titles not found in another format and only available on the used
market. If it's specific educational titles on film or video, chances are
they cannot be found on the used market and CANNOT be replaced at all.

Any thoughts?
Oksana Dykyj voice: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources fax: 514-848-3441
Instructional & Information Technology Services
Concordia University
H-342, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W,
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3G 1M8