Fire, floods, earthquakes, and tornados; theft, vandalism, and negligence. Whether it is mother nature, an untrustworthy employee, or simply an error in judgement, business losses are a reality that cannot be ignored. When business owners suffer an equipment loss (and sometimes also a loss of accompanying records), nothing compounds that stress more than worrying about how to prove the value of those losses to an insurance company. Should you ever find yourself in the throes of the unthinkable, and you did not obtain equipment appraisals ahead of time, a retrospective appraisal could be your best path forward. 

Eventually, damaged equipment will need to be either repaired or replaced. Retrospective appraisals comprise a trusted approach to dealing with significantly damaged equipment and involve the careful study of remaining paperwork and equipment to determine a defensible valuation of losses. Appraisers evaluate the equipment (if possible), as well as available records such as original purchase paperwork, maintenance logs, repair receipts, and other documentation that would support the equipment’s prior condition and resultant valuation. Most appraisers would also weigh demand for the equipment and other market conditions. 

Sometimes, losses due to widespread disasters cause additional complications because supply and demand are impacted. In these instances, it is not uncommon for supply to dwindle and demand to spike or, conversely, for demand to dry up. Qualified appraisers know how to maneuver these situations and assign value accordingly. Additionally, if a loss was suffered in the distant past, appraisers have the ability to pull data from historic repositories to perform their work for a specific time in history, as well. 

Retrospective appraisals enable business owners to secure fair compensation for damaged equipment, whether you are pursuing matters with your insurance company or simply claiming a loss on your tax returns. Owners also seek retrospective appraisals when documenting equipment donations or for litigation. 

Performing equipment appraisals after the fact is not an easy undertaking, which is why it is so important to hire a seasoned professional for the task. Independent, third-party valuation experts are without a doubt the best choice to perform this type of work. Machinery and equipment valuations can be complex operations that involve weighing multiple factors within the context of a specific methodology. Damaged or lost equipment and/or records only complicate the process, making it even more critical to seek professional assistance that will hold up to scrutiny in court, and with insurance and tax agencies.