Family Heirlooms Destroyed - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Family Heirlooms Destroyed

Posted: Updated:
One of Janice Bauer's broken Hummels One of Janice Bauer's broken Hummels
Janice Bauer Janice Bauer

You have something you think is valuable. Fortunately, it's insured. Unfortunately, it breaks, and the insurance company won't pay what you say it will cost to replace. What do you do? It's a tough battle, which is why one South Florida woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- In Janice's home, there is one thing she truly considers priceless. His name: Percy.

Janice Bauer: "I rescued him in, I think it was 1999. He was just a little pup. He has now grown up. He will be 15 in July."

Percy is Janice's treasure, and figurines like these, handed down in her family, are a treasure to her as well.

Janice Bauer: "They're called Hummels, little German figurines that were started back in about 1929."

Throughout the years, Janice's family collected the Hummels and gave them to her for safekeeping.

Janice Bauer: "Just knowing if they were in mom's house as a child, and my grandmother's and my father's mother's and what have you. So they've been handed down, so a lot of sentimentality attached."

The figurines were on this shelf when a company came over to clean the grout on her floor. Janice got a phone call from a friend who was house-sitting.

Janice Bauer: "And he said, 'You don't want to know what just happened,' and I said, 'Tell me it's not the hummels.' Couldn't believe that was the first thing I guessed."

Fifteen of the Hummels were knocked off the shelf and busted, crushed. Look, you use your own word.

Janice Bauer: "Many, many tears. Made the appropriate phone calls to the parents and I came home and went through the rubble, piece by piece."

Fortunately, the cleaning company had insurance, but Janice said she was stunned by their offer for these broken figurines.

Janice Bauer: "For all these pieces she gave me a quote of $415."

Janice had done her research and says she knew what it would cost to replace the collector's items.

Janice Bauer: "Minimum, $2,000 to $3,000."

The insurance adjuster told Janice the pieces weren't as valuable as she thought. Janice says they're wrong.

Janice Bauer: "Again, the sentimentality can never be replaced, but I certainly would like to have a good fair value rather than nickel-and-diming it."

Well, Howard, Janice says these collector's items are worth much more the insurance adjuster believes, so legally, what can she do?

Howard Finkelstein: "Legally, this is pretty simple. Janice is entitled to what the law calls the fair market value, meaning what those pieces would have sold for on the day they were broken. If you disagree with the insurance about their value, you can hire an expert. If they give it a different value and the insurance company still won't pay, go to court and let a judge decide."

I spoke to the insurance company. They did raise their offer from $415 to $850, but Janice thinks they are worth more, so I did what Howard suggested.

Sharon Kerwick: "I'm doing this professionally and ethically so that you can be treated fairly."

Sharon Kerwick is a well-known, well respected expert on antiques and residential properties. She agreed to appraise Janice's pieces for us, for free.

Sharon Kerwick: "There's eight different marks put on Hummels, the eight being put on now. You have a piece that is very early, from the 1940s."

Sharon put together a 110-page report of her findings, with a price for each piece based on several categories, like this one that had been damaged years ago.

Sharon Kerwick: "Someone would give you $10 dollars for it, as opposed to the next piece. You called it 'Signs of Spring' and it has a $500 price on it."

Sharon determined the 15 pieces were worth $1,285. Janice was impressed.

Janice Bauer: "I am amazed by her report, I am absolutely amazed. The amount of detail and effort is phenomenal that you went into."

Sharon says everyone who has any items in their home that they think are valuable should have them appraised before disaster strikes, or at least document the items.

Sharon Kerwick: "There is a handout in my website that shows how you can go clockwise around the room starting at the door, take all the rooms. It takes one hour."

If you want to list what valuable you have, maybe even do some research and find out what they are worth, the way to do it is on Sharon's website. You may find the link at the bottom of this Help Me Howard.

As for Janice, the insurance company has the appraisal and the adjuster is reviewing Sharon's report. They will have final decision in a couple of days, but they are now only $400 dollars apart, so it should be easy. In fact, a manager at the insurance company told me, "We'll do the right thing. We will get this settled."

Don't have hummels but have been humbled? Don't get crushed and crumble. Appraise us of the situation. No one would ever make figurines out of us, but we will figure out a way to put the pieces back together for you.

With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Sharon Kerwick
KERWICK APPRAISALS
http://www.kerwick.com
(954) 565-9031

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

  • Out for JusticeMore>>

  • Guerline Noel

    Guerline Noel

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:48:21 GMT
    Guerline NoelGuerline Noel
    She was a wife and mother who liked to help people, but one night she was brutally murdered in her own home. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a year has gone by, and the case is cold, but detectives are still determined to find her killers.
    She was a wife and mother who liked to help people, but one night she was brutally murdered in her own home. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a year has gone by, and the case is cold, but detectives are still determined to find her killers.
  • Heather Riggio

    Heather Riggio

    Friday, August 8 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-08-09 03:45:59 GMT
    Heather RiggioHeather Riggio
    She was only 19 years old and made a mistake that many young people do: She started hanging around with the wrong crowd. The next thing her family knew, she was gone. What happened to her? Here is tonight's Out for Justice with Patrick Fraser.
    She was only 19 years old and made a mistake that many young people do: She started hanging around with the wrong crowd. The next thing her family knew, she was gone. What happened to her? Here is tonight's Out for Justice with Patrick Fraser.
  • Alfred McCormick

    Alfred McCormick

    Saturday, July 26 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-26 05:00:26 GMT
    Minister Alfred McCormickMinister Alfred McCormick
    He was a man of God, but early one morning Minister Alfred McCormick was gunned down in the street like a criminal. Maybe because a crook thought he was a crook he was looking for. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out For Justice, detectives are determined to find his killer, but they need your help.
    He was a man of God, but early one morning Minister Alfred McCormick was gunned down in the street like a criminal. Maybe because a crook thought he was a crook he was looking for. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out For Justice, detectives are determined to find his killer, but they need your help.
  • Carmel on the CaseMore>>

  • New York rescue that got dogs from Miami-Dade shut down amid health concerns

    New York rescue that got dogs from Miami-Dade shut down amid health concerns

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:03:35 GMT
    A rescue organization in New York state has been closed by authorities based on claims it sold sick dogs. 7News has learned that for years, Miami-Dade Animal Services sent dogs to that rescue facility despite complaints from animal advocates. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
    A rescue organization in New York state has been closed by authorities based on claims it sold sick dogs. 7News has learned that for years, Miami-Dade Animal Services sent dogs to that rescue facility despite complaints from animal advocates. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
  • Escort service busted from within

    Escort service busted from within

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-08-27 20:58:40 GMT
    34-year-old Joshua Rubenstein and 58-year-old Doug Juiffre34-year-old Joshua Rubenstein and 58-year-old Doug Juiffre
    Two South Florida men are locked up tonight, arrested in connection with the operation of an escort service, and just one reporter was there from the beginning of a case that could be the first of its kind. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with the exclusive.
    Two South Florida men are locked up tonight, arrested in connection with the operation of an escort service, and just one reporter was there from the beginning of a case that could be the first of its kind. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with the exclusive.
  • Bad Romance: Criminal Casanova Arrested

    Bad Romance: Criminal Casanova Arrested

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:54:12 GMT
    Frank Amanti Frank Amanti
    Two women say they've been used by a seasoned South Florida felon known for breaking hearts and the law. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
    Two women say they've been used by a seasoned South Florida felon known for breaking hearts and the law. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
  • 7News InvestigationMore>>

  • Captain of Controversy

    Captain of Controversy

    Capt. Francesco SchettinoCapt. Francesco Schettino
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
  • Till Death Do Us Part

    Till Death Do Us Part

    Thursday, November 7 2013 11:54 PM EST2013-11-08 04:54:26 GMT
    Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up. Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up.
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
  • Blackwater Fever

    Blackwater Fever

    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As...
    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As Patrick...
  • Help Me HowardMore>>

  • Can't Play in Park

    Can't Play in Park

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:33:32 GMT
    "Let's go to the park and play." Sounds like fun for a kid, unless they are told they have to pay to play in the park. Why? It's why one South Florida parent called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    "Let's go to the park and play." Sounds like fun for a kid, unless they are told they have to pay to play in the park. Why? It's why one South Florida parent called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
  • Lifetime Lease

    Lifetime Lease

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:54:55 GMT
    25 years ago they signed a lifetime lease that would only allow their rent to go up $3 a month each year for the rest of their life, then the park owner said, 'Forget it, the leases have expired.' Can a lifetime lease expire? It's why one man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    25 years ago they signed a lifetime lease that would only allow their rent to go up $3 a month each year for the rest of their life, then the park owner said, 'Forget it, the leases have expired.' Can a lifetime lease expire? It's why one man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
  • Won't Return Deposit

    Won't Return Deposit

    Monday, August 25 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-26 02:50:54 GMT
    It's a non-profit organization, created 100 years ago when they said they were a club for people of color. Today their mission has not changed, helping people across Broward County. But recently, they needed help to avoid losing a grant to buy a new bus and so they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    It's a non-profit organization, created 100 years ago when they said they were a club for people of color. Today their mission has not changed, helping people across Broward County. But recently, they needed help to avoid losing a grant to buy a new bus and so they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.