How to make sure that your theft insurance pays out
Burglary and Theft Insurance Tips
We all too often come across policyholders who have been victims of break ins and thefts of their precious possessions. The current downturn in the economy is causing a huge increase in thefts and break-ins.
The items stolen have generally been amassed over many years and the value is usually significant and for many items the sentimental value is in calculable. Popular items for burglars are jewellery, diamonds, silver, gold, coins, watches, cash, iPods, tablets etc. (anything that can been sold off quickly).
Unfortunately, insurance compensations for stolen items are notoriously difficult to get. IF YOU CAN’T PROVE YOU HAD AN ITEM, YOU WILL GENERALLY NOT GET PAID.
The good news for policyholders is that if you have theft cover, you are generally covered by your insurance policy to the specified limit. Bad news, it is that it is up to you to prove to your insurance company that you had these items in the first place.
Insurers will generally refuse compensation, or seriously reduce a payment, unless you can produce one or more of the following proofs of ownership:
- Original receipt or invoice
- Photographs of the items (where the item ownership can be confirmed)
- Credit card statements
NO PROOF=NO PAY
Sounds simple enough? In reality many of these items would be in excess of 5 years old and many items would have been family heirlooms (mothers diamond ring, grannies watch etc.) original receipts would not be available, photographs would be scarce and valuations rarely available. Many of these items would have seriously increased in value since they were purchased many years ago and you would not be aware of their current value. We deal with a large number of cases that this information is not available and it is extremely difficult to get a fair settlement.
Before you take a Theft Cover, ensure that you can prove the ownership of the goods you are about to insure
- Take a photograph of all high value items in your property and store safely.
- Every time you add to your collection take another photo. This will ensure that you have minimum proof should an incident occur.
- Bring all your jewellery to a jeweller and pay for a detailed valuation of all items, send this to your insurance company for their records and ask your insurance. company if you need to specify any of the items on your policy.
- Keep as many receipts as possible. If bought by credit card, keep your credit card statement.
- Find out your single article limit for each item (most policies will pay up to 10% sum insured for contents for any one item).
- Take out all risks cover for expensive jewellery items so they will be protected.
ICS offer inexpensive Policy Cover Review to ensure that your home and your valuables are adequately protected.
If you had a burglary and yo had your high value items stolen, call ICS Loss Assessor. We are independent of your insurance company and we will fight on your behalf to get the best compensation for your loss. Call us on 086 357 1713.