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Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Help valuing built models for insurance claim
DeskJockey
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Virginia, United States
Joined: July 17, 2006
KitMaker: 1,557 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 05:52 AM UTC
I recently moved and (surprise) discovered that the movers irreparably damaged several of my built models. The movers have given me forms to file a claim with them. How do I value my built models, and where can I find documentary evidence to back up those valuations? Thanks for any help you can give!
Tank1812
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: April 29, 2014
KitMaker: 630 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 06:24 AM UTC
I think the best you can hope for is kit replacement costs. A number of people I know who have built for a fee, it is mostly pennies on the dollar for a completed product compared to the value of your time. Most people would't pay fair value for a completed kit. A select few can get good money from a select few but I don't believe that is the case for most people. Good luck and I hope I am wrong.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,022 posts
AeroScale: 699 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 06:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I recently moved and (surprise) discovered that the movers irreparably damaged several of my built models. The movers have given me forms to file a claim with them. How do I value my built models, and where can I find documentary evidence to back up those valuations? Thanks for any help you can give!




This will be difficult. Your best bet might be to find a LHS willing to make an independent estimate. Or someone in leadership from a local IPMS chapter. Documented letterhead valuations are what you need. But It's difficult to asses the time put into a model. While working for a large distributorship, a sewage/water pipe broke in one of our storage areas. We had a devil of a time with an insurance claim, these were unbuilt kits in boxes with documented wholesale value that were ruined. That said, I was doing commission work at the same time, and I did at least two wood model ship rebuilds (destroyed in separate robberies) paid for directly to me by the insurance companies when the rebuilds were completed. But I had to document the repairs and my time. The distributor/LHS I worked for was also asked to provide an independent estimate by an insurance claimant for a house fire with smoke damage to 15 plastic ship kits. In the end, we couldn't do much of an estimate because the models were really nothing special, so the owner got the value of the unbuilt kit only. The first thing an insurance company will want is a previous valuation, if you have one. If you haven't got one, the next thing you'll need is a photo which can be assessed by an independent estimator for value, or the parts of the destroyed model which might be repaired or estimated.

But frankly, if it was just a run-of-the-mill model that you'd assembled and painted as a hobby, with intrinsic value only to you, you might be better off claiming the value of the kit by providing prices for a new kit from a LHS or from an on-line catalog. In the end, the distributor I was working for got about 80% of wholesale kit value back (about $8,000) but was not allowed to keep the undamaged bagged models either-- the insurance company claimed them, then dumped them in the dumpster as damaged beyond repair. The remaining 20% of loss value was allowed to be claimed in an income tax certificate furnished by the insurance company.

I guess the bottom line for you is you'll need to prove the intrinsic value of the model, through an estimate, or you'll need a receipt or catalog price to make the claim. This goes for books too-- I moved 34 times in my 30 years in the Army, and along the way lost some books-- I got the money back for them by going to ABE books and furnishing prices, but that's about it. We modelers look at our builds as precious, but insurance companies don't. Good luck.
VR, Russ
DeskJockey
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Virginia, United States
Joined: July 17, 2006
KitMaker: 1,557 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 09:59 AM UTC
Ryan and Russ--thanks a bunch! I'll start by documenting the cost of the kits and aftermarket items and talking to the moving company to see what their policies are. I don't think I have much chance of getting more than that given what you guys have said.
Kevlar06
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,022 posts
AeroScale: 699 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 10:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ryan and Russ--thanks a bunch! I'll start by documenting the cost of the kits and aftermarket items and talking to the moving company to see what their policies are. I don't think I have much chance of getting more than that given what you guys have said.



That's not to say you shouldn't try to get estimates for built up kits-- and do you have household insurance? You might get a better deal there, but be aware this may affect rates in the future.
VR, Russ