Insurance Claims - Verifying the Authenticity of Luxury Items

When you file insurance claims for luxury items such as fine art or jewelry, you will need to be able to authenticate your claim in order to receive the benefit from the insurance company. This authentication process is important because it allows the insurance company to be able to determine the true value of the item that was lost, stolen or damaged, and verify its existence. Without the authentication, your insurance company may decide to deny your claim, or worse, depending on the nature of the loss, make an assertion that the insurance claim was falsified. A false insurance claim will result in prosecution under the fraudulent insurance claims act, a federal statute.

Having a Qualified Appraisal Performed

One of the the ways in which a luxury item is authenticated for the purpose of an insurance claim is to have the item appraised by a qualified appraiser. It is the job of an appraiser to determine the fair market value of the item in order for the risk amount to be assigned by the insurance company. An appraiser can be a company or individual who is recognized and certified to perform appraisals on a variety of real property, such as luxury items.

When you acquire a luxury item through inheritance or purchase you should submit it for an appraisal immediately. This will help you acquire the insurance rider for your homeowner's insurance policy and protect your interests in the event any thing happens to the luxury item.

Request a Certificate of Authentication

Certain luxury items such as watches and fine jewelry, as well as works of art, come with a certificate of authenticity. This certificate attests the authentic nature of the luxury item and provides the owner with proof that it is not counterfeit or fake. The certificate of authenticity can be used by the owner of the luxury item as the basis for insurance and help to establish the amount of the policy. The certificate of authenticity can be requested at the time of purchase from the originator of the luxury item. It should be kept in a safe or lock box along with other important papers that you maintain, such as will and trust documents.

Take Pictures of the Luxury Item

Whenever possible you should take pictures of the luxury item. These pictures should feature the luxury item and show where it is most likely to be found in the home. For example, fine works of art should be shown hanging on the walls where they would customarily be found. Taking a picture, or different pictures of the items can provide a way to authenticate the existence of the luxury item and the state that it was in prior to any damage or loss that occurs. Any pictures that you take of the luxury item to authenticate its existence should be dated on the back.

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