Questions and answers from Commissioner Oxendine

by | January 19, 2005 12:00 am

Question: I have specifically insured antique items listed on my homeowners policy. If I have a total loss, would the insurance company pay me their insured value?

Answer: Unlike other items, your insurance company may insure antiques on an “agreed value” of the items, as determined by an appraisal accepted by the insurance company. Payment on a total loss of an article would then be for the previously-established agreed value. You should periodically have the items reappraised and your policy updated as needed.

Question: My home was recently broken into, and I do not have sales receipts for the stolen items. What will the insurance company accept as proof of ownership?

Answer: If the sales receipts are not available, the insurance company may accept other evidence. This may include photos, warranties, owners manuals, canceled checks, credit receipts, bills, servicing agreements, even video tapes, as proof of ownership. We suggest that you consider video taping your home before a loss. However, the company is not contractually obligated to accept such evidence.

Question: Several items that I used for my business were stolen from my home. Why did my insurance company only pay part of my claim for my loss?

Answer: Generally, homeowner policies provide coverage for your non-business property. If you have substantial business property in your home such as carpentry tools, computers and/or other office type equipment, you may want to discuss with your insurer the best method to provide proper coverage for this type exposure.

Please send your insurance or fire safety questions to: Insurance and Fire Commissioner John Oxendine, 716 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia,30334; or call 404-656-2070 (toll free at 1-800-656-2298) for assistance with an insurance question, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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