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Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow, the popular PBS television series in which specialists offer appraisals of antiques, collectibles, and family heirlooms? Even if you are not a fan, you have likely happened upon the show while channel surfing, pausing for a moment to find out if that oil painting found gathering dust in the attic of a San Francisco, Calif. home is an original Edward Hopper or a clever (but essentially worthless) imitation.

Currently in its 14th season and drawing almost 10 million viewers per week, Antiques Roadshow has had a significant cultural impact by bringing collecting to mainstream awareness. It has also planted the seed in the minds of many that they may unknowingly possess unique treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. In most cases, the life-changing windfalls are few and far between, but the potential for such drama is the appeal of the show.

Now if you put yourself in the shoes of a claim adjuster on a property loss—perhaps a fire that has destroyed half of the insured’s home—you find yourself at the center of an entirely different type of drama. You are charged with ensuring a timely and accurate settlement for the structure and all lost or damaged contents. You must walk the tightrope of meeting the customer service needs of devastated insureds while preserving the accuracy of all assessments and valuations.

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