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What Is “Proof of Ownership” For Insurance Claims?

Whether you’re a renter with tenant insurance or an owner with home/condo insurance, part of your insurance coverage is meant to protect your personal belongings like furniture, clothes, electronics, art, and jewelry in case any get stolen or damaged. However, just because you own the items doesn’t mean they are all thoroughly covered. This article will cover what “proof of ownership” is regarding these types of insurance claims.

Protection from Insurance Fraud

Every year there are many cases of insurance fraud in Canada, which is why insurance companies do their best to protect themselves from fraud. When it comes to personal injury claims, an insurance company may get an investigator to ensure claims are genuine if the claim is large enough. However, insurance companies also use other safeguards to protect themselves from fraud, like proof of ownership.

Proof of Ownership

When it comes to stolen or damaged property claims, a safeguard that insurance companies use to protect themselves from fraud is called proof of ownership. This means that the claimant must prove that they owned the stolen or damaged property before the insurance company can reimburse the claimant. This is especially true for expensive items. Insurance companies do this because it is easy for claimants to exaggerate or even lie about the value of goods that need to be covered.

How to Show ‘Proof of Ownership’

Any document that can give details of the personal belongings that were stolen or damaged and need to be replaced can count as proof of ownership. However, different insurance companies will have different requirements. The following documents are usually good examples of paperwork that can be used as proof of ownership in a tenant or home/condo insurance claim.

Receipts

Receipts (physical or digital) are great examples of proof of ownership as they show the item purchased, the date it was purchased, for how much money, and occasionally other details about the item.

Photos

Another excellent resource for proof of ownership is a photo of the item. Pictures can show specific possessions in your home, their details, and the condition on the day the photo was taken. You can also take pictures or scan copies of the receipts.

Financial Statements

Other resources, like financial statements, may be accepted as proof of ownership. Insurers sometimes get bank or credit card statements showing specific purchases from retailers.

Warranties

Another essential document that some insurers may accept as proof of ownership is the warranty. They will usually provide details similar to a receipt, information on the purchased item, the date, and the purchase price.

Certificates

If the personal belonging has been evaluated and appraised in the past, then a certificate of that appraisal is sometimes accepted as proof of ownership by insurers.

Serial Numbers

The item’s serial number can sometimes be used as proof of ownership. Many people write this inside the operating manual for a TV or appliance.

Manuals

An operating manual for the item may be accepted as proof of ownership.

Packaging

An item’s packaging may also be used as proof of ownership sometimes.

No Proof of Ownership?

If you don’t have any proof of ownership for a valuable asset, there may still be ways to ensure they are covered in the case of damage or theft. A big key is communicating well with your insurance provider to see what you need to do.

Need Help with Proof?

Tips to Secure Proof of Ownership

If you’re wondering what you can do to ensure all your valuable and expensive assets are covered in the case of theft or damage, follow the tips below.

Take Inventory of All Assets

Taking a complete inventory of all your valuable assets is a great place to start, starting with the most expensive. Documenting each asset and its details (when they were bought, how much they were bought for, their model, and any other relevant information) can help meet proof of ownership requirements.

Photograph Everything

Taking pictures of all your inventory inside and outside of your home will provide even further proof of ownership to insurance companies.

Keep Documents

Keeping documents like receipts, warranties, financial statements, and even old packaging can help meet proof of ownership requirements.

Discuss Proof of Ownership with a Professional

Contact Harbord today if you have any pending questions about proof of ownership or anything else. Our insurance brokers and professionals would be happy to help answer any questions.

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