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Specialty Vehicle Appraisal Institute

The Mission of SVAI shall be to regulate acceptable professional appraisal standards and have all members adhere to a Code of Conduct of Appraisers involved in and writing evaluations on Specialty Vehicles.


1. What is the Specialty Vehicle Appraisal Institute?

The Specialty Vehicle Appraisal Institute is an organization that prescribes professional standards and requirements that members must attain to be accredited as a qualified, trained appraiser to ascertain the value of your vehicle and provide the highest standards of a specialty vehicle appraisal.

SVAI vehicle appraisers must re-qualify for accreditation every three years.

2. Why do I need a specialty vehicle appraisal?

A specialty vehicle appraisal is for your benefit so that you have an accurate dollar value of your vehicle if your vehicle is stolen, damaged, or even for estate or resale purposes.

When you obtain vehicle insurance, your insurance broker will ask you for the assessed value of your vehicle.

3. What type of vehicles are appraised by accredited specialty vehicle appraisers?

Specialty vehicles may include vintage, customized, or modified vehicles including cars, trucks, vans, hot rods, or motorcycles.

4. What will my appraisal include?

You can expect a detailed report outlining specific features, options, modifications, and enhancements accurately describing your vehicle.

To ensure you get the most accurate report we recommend that you provide your appraiser with pertinent documentation, receipts, and records.

The appraiser will photograph the interior and exterior of your vehicle providing you with a well-documented, researched appraisal.

5. Are accredited appraisers insured?

All accredited SVAI appraisers are insured.

6. How does an accredited vehicle appraiser determine the value of any vehicle?

The SVAI appraiser considers several criteria including the condition (i.e. excellent, very good, restorable); reference material; history; rarity; and comparisons with vehicles recently listed for sale.

The value of a vehicle can increase or decrease depending on the market, not unlike any other commodity. Therefore, it’s advisable to obtain an appraisal every three to five years.

7. Do all insurance companies require a specialty vehicle appraisal?

No, some insurance companies do not require a specialty vehicle appraisal for your classic or vintage vehicle, however, it may be more difficult for you to be compensated for the actual market value of your unique vehicle in the event of an insurance claim.

8. What is the difference between a vehicle appraiser and vehicle claims adjuster or assessor?

An independent vehicle appraiser assesses the condition, upgrades, options, and unique features to determine the current market value of your vehicle.

A vehicle adjuster or assessor represents an insurance company and determines the damage repair/replacement costs for your vehicle insurance claim.
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