What would happen if my insurance company pays a claim for stolen property but then get recovered by the police?

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2013

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UPDATED: Sep 3, 2013Fact Checked

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Asked September 3, 2013

1 Answer


When the insurance company settles on a personal property claim, they pay you the insured value for the items that were stolen. If you had replacement value coverage, you received an amount sufficient to replace the items at the current market values, and if you had cash value coverage you received a depreciated amount. The sad fact, however, is that is so rare for stolen merchandise to be recovered, your policy may only mention it briefly in a clause or two.

What your insurance policy probably states is that any property recovered after a claim has been settled is the rightful property of the insurance company. It may not go into any detail of how you are supposed to handle delivery of the items to the insurance company, or whether you have the right to some of the items outright, such as family mementos. The solution is generally to contact your insurance company.

Inform the insurance agent of your situation, provide the amount of the settlement and a detailed explanation of which items were recovered. If you have kept a current copy of your home inventory on file with the insurance company, they will be able to refer to that record to determine what value, if any, they want to levy against the returned property. You should be given the option of returning the new merchandise and refunding the money or allowing the insurance company to claim your old property. Most insurance companies will not claim personal mementos or other emotionally volatile property.

In most situations, the insurance company will send a salvage crew to reclaim the merchandise which they have paid for in the claim. By law, they own that property, but it is the responsibility of the insurance company to claim it. You are not obligated to delivery recovered property to a location other than your home. In some situations, the insurance company will determine that the value of the items is below the cost of salvage and recovery, and will simply allow you to keep the items.

Answered September 3, 2013 by Anonymous

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