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Re: [TowerTalk] Dealing with Insurance Dweebs

To: David Vondrasek <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Dealing with Insurance Dweebs
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 14:43:36 -0700
List-post: <>
At 08:53 AM 8/27/2005, David Vondrasek wrote:
>I'm being sent  forms for "Inventory" of what was damaged, On this form I
>have to provide the Cost of the items when new and the year, and also the
>model and ser #'s.. ,Then this information is put through a Process of them
>telling me what a "depreciated" value of the item is and how much I get for
>replacement value. If Im lucky I think I might get enough "value" to go buy
>a new CB radio!

Presumably, then, you have insured the "value" of the equipment as opposed 
to having a "replacement cost" policy?

If they are going to put you through standard depreciation schedules, 
you're probably out of luck. Standard schedules are based on business 
needs, and it would be unusual if the depreciation period for a piece of 
electronics lasted longer than 7 years.  More likely would be 3 years. 
(this is notwithstanding that  the equipment is still usable.. it's just 
that the "book value" is now zero).

However, if you're estimating the basis cost of the equipment, it's not 
just the price you paid.  You can include the shipping cost, the sales tax, 
etc.  And, don't forget any maintenance costs.  You can fairly claim any 
work you've done on it for repairs and modification, providing you can 
substantiate the claimed hours of work and quote a reasonable price (no, 
you probably won't be able to claim retail Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom shop rates).

This is just like figuring capital gains when selling a house, etc. Or, 
when figuring out profit or loss from an involuntary conversion.

>This is not all new gear.  The FT-990 could be bought back in 1991 for
>$1995.00, but try to explain to them it can still be bought now for around
>$1000 used when all the INRAD filters and such are installed like this one
>even after 14 years.

If, in fact, you have a good faith offer from a disinterested third party 
that will sell a FT990 with the filters with $1000, then that's pretty good 
evidence that's what the "value" is (as opposed to figuring original 
basis-deprectiation).  However, it's going to have to be a legitimate 
selling offer, not a straw man conjured up by a well meaning buddy.

>I will most likely wind up with a single transceiver
>instead of separate VHF/UHF & HF rigs because of this after all the numbers
>fall.  Because what they offer isn't going to buy a new rig for each now.
>So my current task is to play their own game and see what happens, Its a
>numbers game. The value is based on the Retail Price for the year and then
>depreciated from that. I can play this game too I guess. The FT-990 was
>brought out in 1991, but was sold for several years after that, so if I
>give the last year of manufacture with the price at that time, I have less
>deprecation then if I give 1991.

Except that they will depreciate it from when YOU bought it, not when 
someone else potentially could have bought it. This is standard accounting 

>  So I need some help from anyone that can
>help. I've been searching the Internet for prices and years for items to
>get the highest value for the items. Some I can't fine.  If anyone has old
>catalogs with MSRP and a date and year and can FAX or email a PDF showing
>this, that would be great. I need to get a nice high dollar value to
>replace at least most of the gear.  Below is the Inventory of items.. I
>need the last year of Manufacture and MSRP.

>1.Yeasu FT-990 with All the INRAD filters.
>2. Yaesu FT-736R Loaded
>         w/6 Meters
>         w/FEX-736-220 220mhz module
>         w/XF-455MC 600hz CW Filter
>         w/CW Keyer Unit
>         w/FTS-8 CTCSS Tone Squelch Board
>         w/FTS-8 tone encoder / decoder
>         w/ Voice Module
>3. CDE Ham IV ( Still available @ $559.95)
>4 Tempo 2002 2-Mtr 1KW AMP ( Early Henry)
>5. Mirage MP2 ( Still available @ $235.00)
>6. TE Systems 0510G
>Some gear I can't test as I can't put it on line like the SB-220 as I have
>no HF radio now. So I'm not  sure if it's dead or now. I'm lucky is wasn't
>a direct tower strike, or I don't know how I'd get cost of 4 each Modified
>KLM-16LBX modified to 18 LBX .

This is sort of barn door after horses leaving advice, but for other list 
members, Typically, when you have a somewhat non-stock equipment inventory 
and you're insuring it, you inventory it and have an "agreed value" with 
the insurer.   This was pretty standard for cars with substantial 
modifications (not like you can go and get a catalog price for a modified 
engine, for instance).
Same thing if you have unusual collectibles or one-of-a-kind jewelry, or 
art that you were given by the artist.

   You'll pay more in premiums of course.

The other approach is replacement cost, where the insurer is on the hook 
for replacing with like kind and function.  If the exact item isn't 
available any more, then they will replace it with the similar item that is 
available today. Beware, though, if you have some old boat anchor that you 
love the audio quality on, for instance, they're not going to go to auction 
to duplicate it.  They'll consider like kind and function as meeting the 
same general specs: frequency range, modes of operation, power output etc. 
(This is used to be a real problem for my clients who were trying to 
replace stolen office PCs, back when "PC compatible" was a bit 
sketchier.  The insurance would say: well, it's got more RAM, and it's 
faster, what are you whining about, and we'd say, but the customized 
software we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on doesn't run on that 
kind of machine).

Periodic reviews with your insurance agent about what's exactly the 
scenario are quite useful.


See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
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