TheJabbaWookie wrote: Snaketibe wrote:
MightyMike wrote:This is something I've worried about and bought a IP camera to set up if someone needs to work in the house.
But I have wondered if there are any specialist insurance companies people use? HAs anyone had to make a claim?
There are specialist insurers out there, however most home contents policies cover vintage Star Wars toys as they don't fall into the traditional insurance company definition of 'collectibles' (i.e. gold, silver and other precious metals, gems, jewellery, paintings, works of art, antiques, etc.). Of course if vintage values continue to skyrocket, there's no guarantee that will always be the case, but for now specialist insurance isn't usually necessary, although obviously you may choose to investigate it and take some out anyway for extra peace of mind.
This just cropped up in FB... someone having to claim after a house fire. They made a claim and the insurance company said show us the receipts. He said they were bought from car boots and toy fairs and the company wouldn’t pay out. The more I hear about it the more I think if you’ve got a valuable collection you need to get it professionally valued and get specialist insurance. I have it insured through my home contents insurance but I reckon it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.
If there was a house fire, what exactly did the insurance company think happened to the receipts? Or did the collector stupidly fail to ask for asbestos ones?
Seriously though, I know insurance companies have a reputation for being tight-fisted slimy bastards that try to wriggle out of paying up when a claim is made, but how many people permanently keep receipts for everything that they own, even the expensive stuff? Manufacturers' guarantees are usually only good for 12 months, and who owns a house comprised of entirely new goods, every single one of which came with a receipt that they still possess, regardless of how many years have elapsed since they were purchased? And by their very nature, vintage Star Wars toys appreciate over time, so even if a receipt for a MOC bought 15 years ago could be presented, that's by no means a guarantee of proving what it's worth today. Therefore, by no stretch of anyone's imagination is the insurance company behaving even remotely reasonably in the circumstance you describe, and as such presumably the person suffering the loss could take matters further, via the appropriate industry ombudsman or the courts, if necessary.
As with any valuable collection, it is highly advisable to catalogue what you own and where possible document what it's worth, or at least provide the means to obtain a current valuation (e.g. the Star Wars Tracker), and above all to photograph it, ideally both in close-up, and also in photos which clearly show it in your own home. Offer a copy of your catalogue and photos to your insurance company (most won't want to see it, but it's good to go on record making the offer). Ensure a copy of your catalogue and photos is given to a trustworthy person not residing in your home (a family member living elsewhere, a trusted friend, etc.), or in a secure location (safe deposit box, etc.). That way, in the event of needing to make a claim, even in the event of a catastrophic one such as a house fire, you can present some evidence of what you owned and that it was in your house. If you can prove you owned it and the condition it was in, that's half the battle won, as after that the then current value can be investigated and argued over. Receipts, unless very recent indeed, aren't worth the paper they burn up on.