I had a friend once who said she didn't really care if her quilts got lost in the mail because then the insurance she bought at UPS would recompense her for her loss. This is not necessarily so. They WILL pay you for the loss of your materials but that may be all. Unless, of course, you have a written appraisal from a certified appraiser.
It also allows you to put a rider on your home insurance for a fairly nominal fee to cover your loss in other situations. And if your quilts are insured on your home insurance, you really don't need to purchase insurance each time from UPS or FedEx. At least, this is what I've been told. Thankfully, I've never had to find out.
Yesterday, I went to the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway to meet with Connie Brown who appraised two of my quilts. She has just recently been certified by NQA and I feel fortunate that I live near enough to her that getting my quilts appraised is no longer such a big issue (I used to drive to Raleigh from Charleston before and it also involved an overnight stay).
Connie is so knowledgable about the quilting process and the materials of construction because she is quite a good quilter herself. And it was really interesting hearing her discuss the quilts from that perspective. Here she is measuring the quilt--not just the perimeter, but also the width of the borders and size of the interior. And when she was totally finished, she photographed the quilt for her records. The same photo will be on the written appraisal that I receive. And inbetween the measuring and the photographing, there was much discussion about the types of stitches used in the quilting, the kind of batting used, were the fabrics batiks or handdyes and other details that I hadn't even considered. For instance, she asked me if in this particular quilt was it being viewed from the inside of a window . I really hadn't thought about that at all and it made me really look at from someone else's perspective.
So, the bottom line here is this: If you don't presently get your quilts appraised and you feel they might benefit from it, then go ahead and do it. You can sometimes get them appraised at quilt shows and you can also go to NQA website and check the list of qualified appraisers in your area. AND, if you're fortunate enough to live within travelling distance to Asheville, you can contact Connie for a friendly, bright and thorough quilt appraisal experience. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org