With almost 60% of its homeowners insurance business consisting of coverage for homes valued at $1 million and up, Novato, Calif.-based Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. understands that appraising affluent homes is an extremely tall order.Expensive dwellings don't come equipped with run-of-the-mill furnishings. Often, such homes feature rare and exotic items ranging from Pella French doors, Italian granite countertops, premium carpeting and elaborate building materials.

As part of its Prestige Home insurance line, Fireman's provides added protection for homeowners in a single policy, offering broader coverage than the average home can obtain. But in providing this additional protection, Fireman's appraisers must quickly and accurately determine the replacement values of all items-both inside and outside the dwelling.

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