An acquaintance of mine recently came home to the sad shocking surprise that he had been burglarized. Not only was he shocked to walk into his house to see the damage that was done, but he was devastated when he realized that his collection of firearms was stolen. He had spent countless years, dollars and hours to collect and take care of these firearms, many of which were family heirlooms. To make things worse, he did not have any formal documentation of his firearms so he had no proof of the value of his loss or even of the loss itself. He was left to deal with this emotionally draining experience and struggle to reclaim his stolen property or monies for his loss. It cost him thousands of dollars, time off of work and this was emotionally draining for him and his family.
What my friend now knows is the value of having a formal 3rd party inventory as proof of his collections. If he had the foresight to have this done, he would have been ready to prove to his insurance company what he owned and the value of each item in his collection. It would have been a much more simple process for him and his family.
If you are like most collectors, you overlook this critical and inexpensive step in protecting your assets. And this misstep can cost you thousands.
Consider that according to the 2009 Kentucky State Police crime stats, there were over 28,000 burglaries in Kentucky with a total reported value of property losses at $55,991,261.01. Sadly, it seems that theft is lurking close-by, especially if you are a collector.
To protect your collections, start by taking photos of your collections. Store your photos in a safe place other than where you store your collections such as fire-proof safe or safety deposit box. Keep other documentation such as receipts, deeds or appraisals as well. These simple steps will start to protect your collections. To fully protect your collections, have a 3rd party business professionally document, store and track your collections and valuables. The professional inventory documentation from a 3rd party business will help you to maximize your insurance reimbursement, recover financially from your loss quicker and make the entire claims process smoother.
Take a lesson from my friend; A few hundred dollars invested to protect your collection can save you thousands.