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Standards and Guidelines For Appraising Insurance Agencies/Brokerages
Throughout this publication, whenever the word “”agent or “agency” is used, it is meant to include “brokers” or brokerages”. Insurance agencies have their own unique business attributes. For appraisal purposes, these attributes do not “fit the mold” that is used by the business appraisal community in general. Part of the reason for this is that the major asset owned by an insurance agency is an intangible one that is unique to insurance agencies. In few other businesses can the owner create a salable asset using simply “a pen and a promise”. It is a well-founded premise in the appraisal community that performing an appraisal for any kind of business is not an exact science and that being an appraiser involves using a significant amount of informed judgment. Because informed judgment plays an important role in the appraisal process, for an appraiser of any kind of business to provide a reasonably accurate opinion of the business’ value, the appraiser must be intimately familiar with the operations of that particular kind of business, as well as of the industry associated with the business. Over the years the members of the American Association of Insurance Management Consultants (AAIMCo) have experienced — primarily from those who are not intimately familiar with our industry — many misconceptions about appraising insurance agencies. Therefore, one of the primary purposes of publishing these Standards & Guidelines is to establish consistent procedures that can be recognized formally and legally by the courts and higher authorities. The major appraisal societies and organizations (such as the American Society of Appraisers) certify appraisers as qualified to appraise particular categories of businesses. Unfortunately, no nationally recognized appraisal society or organization offers an accreditation or designation for appraising insurance agencies. It is because of that fact that the American Association of Insurance Management Consultants has resolved to issue its own Standards & Guidelines for Appraising Insurance Agencies / Brokers manual.
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