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Photos of guns for Insurance

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by usmarine0352_2005, Jun 6, 2011.

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  1. usmarine0352_2005

    usmarine0352_2005 Member

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    I just wrote down all of my guns Serial #'s, models and types for insurance purposes, such as fire or stolen.




    I heard some folks take pictures of their guns.




    Should I take photo's of my guns or am I good with just the Serial #'s.






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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  2. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    I have a list sorted by type (rifle, pistol etc.) s/n, model, scope & misc. One day I will drag them all out at once and do the photo thing. I will photo the serial numbers when I do that.
     
  3. usmarine0352_2005

    usmarine0352_2005 Member

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    Why though?


    .
     
  4. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    Absolutely you should take photos. We were burglarized several years ago and had a few guns stolen. During claims settlement the insurance company wanted me to show evidence of ownership of the firearms. I had a few receipts, but they also said that a photo would suffice, as well as a statement from anyone (non-relative) that knew I owned them. I now keep all receipts, and photograph every gun. I too document the serial numbers, and other pertinent details. I do not, however, intentionally photograph the serial number.
     
  5. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I think the photo is a good idea as it just adds more credibility that you own it should there ever be a dispute. I had a friend who had his house burn down, he now has very good documentation on what he owns in general. Not that hard to do with digitial cameras. Keep a least one copy somewhere other than your home.
     
  6. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Why not? Just curious?
     
  7. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    One other thing...you should also find out what your insurance coverage limits are for guns. Chances are, if you have a few, that your homeowner or renters insurance will have a fairly low limit of coverage. My homeowners policy limit for guns is $2,000. I can can add an addendum to my policy to cover guns at a higher limit, but the cost gets a bit interesting as the coverage level goes up. Your insurance carrier may be different, but it's certainly a good thing to know what you have, and make the choice, before facing the reality (for the first time) after a loss.
     
  8. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    With my one insurance loss experience, it really didn't come up as an issue. When reported to the police, they wanted the serial number, but I didn't have to provide evidence of each serial number.
     
  9. Toforo

    Toforo Member

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    The more documentation the better (yes, for fire, flood, theft - etc)

    and nearly as important as that - keep TWO copies of everything (including receipts) - one at your home in your "safe" place and one OUTSIDE your home (i.e. bank safe deposit box) in a "safe place"
    (I keep these copies with other important documentation to include - but not limited to - birth certificates, car titles, life insurance policies, bonds - etc.... or anything else that's important to you)


    Pics are good - video is great (but store NEITHER on your computer for "safe-keeping" ) - especially because you can very easily document the condition of the "valuable" - it's serial number, any other identifying marks - etc.

    Why? For the unplanned things (fire, flood, theft, accidental-DEATH/your estate - etc)

    And yes - every year, as your "hobby items" increase in size and value, double-check that you have enough insurance (and it's NOT that expensive to add additional "riders" onto existing policies to ensure you have enough coverage) - for example,
    I JUST discovered that all of my reloading equipment is considered as part of my "firearms etc" coverage and I needed to increase my coverage accordingly.

    Your results may vary (but in this case........ not by much, lol)
     
  10. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    I used to use software that let you keep a record of all your firearms
    I lost the computer code and didnt want to purchase another one so I went into Microsoft Office and made an Excel file with every bit of information I could document including pictures

    I listed manufacturer model number amount paid accessories serial number and short description of the firearm things like that

    I keep this file on both my computer and also a thumbdrive that is always with me

    I also figured that an excel file would be easier to read and more common than a proprietary gun cataloging software

    I tried including pictures of the firearms at good descriptive angles that show them to be exactly what they are and also close ups of the serial numbers for verification
     
  11. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    I take photos. Why not? Add just another level of protection. Also, when I say I own a Glock 17 with the serial number of XXXXX, and a photo of a Glock 17 also showing that serial number, makes things nice and easy
     
  12. C96

    C96 Member

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    Dimis that is an excellent way to keep a record. I did one long ago using Lotus 123. Easy to update. Keep a printed copy in my safe deposit box along with photos and purchase paper work.

    I was burgled years ago and lost a 1911. The police wanted the serial number, the insurance wanted purchase information. I do have replacement cost insurance which is a good thing. For your insurance check on the need for a rider and just what the coverage includes.

    If a person doesn't have Excel, Open Office has a good spreadsheet and Open Office is free.
     
  13. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    Yes, that's exactly what I've done as well. I've even called the manufacturer to get the "birth date" of each used gun I've purchased. It's all documented on the spreadsheet, in maticulous details.
     
  14. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    My gun was stolen about 2-3 months ago. I had my original receipt with all the info on it. The Officer did ask me if I had any pictures in to better identify it. The only picture I had was of the gun was the manual.

    Take pictures. EVEN OF THE SERIAL. Take all serial numbers down, Make and model. You will be doing yourself a big favor. Also, Lock em in safe. Lesson learned the very sad and hard way.
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. Whey you say to the insuance company that it was as-new, you have a picture. That said, I don't have pictures of my firearms although it is something I intend to do.
     
  16. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Good idea but you must get a clean photo of the serial number as all 1911's look pretty much alike to the average insurance adjustor.
     
  17. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Yes. You should photograph everything of value for ownership and insurance proof.

    What is the argument for not doing it?

    Also, you should ensure that your insurance covers it all. Most basic insurance covers only a few thousand dollars.
     
  18. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    That's a good reason to get the picture when it's still new. ;)

    I wonder if the insurance companies would accept a picture as being evidence of the firearm's latest condition?

    What does our NRA coverage include for fire or burlary loss from our homes?
     
  19. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    the best way to get a good picture of a firearm is to use a flash camera, and photograph it in a white(or light colored) bath tub ( drain the water first).

    Stand the weapon off the bottom using a few 12ga shells set on end and stand on the edge of the tub shooting down- you'll want to give the light plenty of room to bounce around.

    Without a flash, a bright sunny day, but out of direct sunlight- again, the light bouncing around will make for a nice soft light that will show details well.
     
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Ramone, should you clean the tub before taking the pictures? :D

    I'm somewhat of a profectionist and the "how to" take a good picture is generally what keeps me from doing a complete photographic gun inventory. I know it is no excuse, as an average picture is a lot better than no picture at all.
     
  21. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    I use a video camera and I narrate it as I show the firearm, turning it over to get various views. "Today's date is June 1, 2011. This is a Smith and Wesson 686, I bought it at Academy about 3 years ago for $xxx. The serial number is xxx-xxxx-xxx. Here is a Garand, bought from CMP for $xxxxx"... and so on.

    I do the same with pretty much all the house contents. Once a year or so I update the video and put it in my safe deposit box.
     
  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Like TR, I video and then store the video.

    Easy to make sure that everything is accounted for in the event of a fire or theft and no debate over values.
     
  23. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    And something else, not really gun related directly but insurance related for sure.

    You'd be surprised how much "stuff" is in your house. If you really had to sit down and list EVERYTHING in case of a total fire loss could you?

    I mean, bed sheets, washrags, extra detergent in the closet, canned food, boxes of new batteries, cans of car wax in the garage... endless trivial items that add up to thousands of dollars.

    My father has been an insurance agent for decades and he tells me that people consistently underestimate the value of items in their home by 20-30% because they are good with listing TVs, DVDs, and furniture but forget all those little things that pile up.

    Video is a great way to remember its there. Open drawers, film linen closets etc.

    Anyway, works well for guns too :)
     
  24. Stope Rat

    Stope Rat Member

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    An earlier poster mentioned carrying a thumb drive with info.

    Being more than a little OCD, I found that I had lists of guns, lists ofinsurance policies, lists of books I wanted to buy etc. But they were never handy.

    I took the Excel spreadsheets, 'printed' them as PDF files and then downloaded to my Kindle e-book reader. Now I have a ready reference with me that doesn't require me to have my laptop to view.

    And as soon as I did that, I realized that I could also download the manuals for all my guns the same way, and have a ready reference library of everything gun-related I needed.
     
  25. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I shoot photos of most of my valuables because I'm too lazy to create a video.

    Good thing with pictures is that you can store them online by emailing the pictures to yourself. This will make the pictures available to you (most) anywhere in the world and at any time for download if you need it. In case of catastrophic fire, tornado, tsunami, etc. that destroys your entire home & all records, you can download these records from a friend's house, hotel, internet cafe, etc.
     
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