A company recently received a call to consult regarding the contents in a home that had experienced a fire. The adjuster described the contents in the home as “high end.” The home owner had hired a public adjuster who had listed a signed Chagall painting among the contents. When the inventory specialist spoke to the public adjuster, the PA indicated that he had researched the painting’s value on the Internet and determined the value of the Chagall to be $40,000. The inventory specialist immediately knew the claimed value could not be correct. Paintings by Chagall routinely sell for millions; any painting by Chagall would fetch much more than $40,000.

When the company conducted an inspection with the public adjuster, he immediately noticed the art was under glass. Oil paintings are virtually never framed with glazing. Framing under glass would be far more typical of a print, which should be under glazing to offer UV filter protection to keep the print from fading. The public adjuster pointed to the artist’s signature in the bottom right corner and confidently noted the art had a “Certificate of Authenticity” (COA) on the back. The certificate read “Limited Edition Facsimile Signed Collectible Print.”

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