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TOTM How do you balance OPSEC and the need for insurance protection

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by Witch Doctor 01, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I think that many of use think that the current insurance policies protect our investment's in our homes and prep goods... A friend of mine who preps in my AO recently had a break in/house fire and due to the way he collected his preps (in small cash purchases, guns from individuals, etc...), was not able to get insurance to pay off on the total loss... (note this was a small insurance company and not a major chain...)

    • should he have photographed his preps,
    • taken an extra policy rider for the guns that were off the books?
    • how do you balance OPSEC and the need for insurance protection
    I would like to know your thoughts this subject should be addressed...
  2. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I sold Property and casualty insurance years ago but the answer to the first two questions is yes and not only that he should have kept receipts for the items. He might be able to claim a casualty loss on his federal sch A (tax return), however it is bs deduction because 1: you have to itemize to claim it, it is subject to the 2% rule, which means you can only deduct expenses in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income, and my brother ( a tax guy) says that it is heavily looked at by the irs. I have pics and "somewhat" of an inventory list and keep it in my fireproof safe place. Insurance companies are very hard on casualty claims that are not backed up with documentation, so i can not say for sure but i dont believe small vs large company had anything to do with it.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    What vs said. The first two bullets, yes and yes. Third bullet is problematic in that agents have a duty toward confidentiality, but there's no guarantee that they can't be corrupted or subverted. That said, it's a personal choice to go out in the rain without a rain coat, so it is with that last item buried in the fence row and not recorded on a policy.
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Pictures, Serial Numbers, Estimated Values, of everything in the house, especially Jewelry, Guns, and Electronics..... Store them on a couple of Encrypted ThumbDrives. One goes in your BOB, and One goes in the Safe Deposit Box. (That could be an Off-site Cache, if you do NOT trust Banks)
    No sense messing around with your wealth, Document Everything, and trust only Immediate Family with the Encryption Key for the ThumbDrives, just in case, you are the one that, ISN"T available when the Information is needed. (because your Dead)
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

  6. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    Here is what I found:
    Fair Use Source: p. 175, James Wesley Rawles' How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times: James Wesley Rawles

    "Another must is fire and theft insurance. Given enough time, determined burglars can penetrate even the most elaborate vault. Many homeowners-insurance policies have specific limits on firearms, often absurdly low dollar amounts, unless you get a separate rider to your policy at additional cost. If you aren't sure about your coverage, pull out your policy and read through it thoroughly. The National Rifle Association offers a modest-dollar-value firearms-insurance policy that is free with NRA membership.

    I also recommend making a list of serial numbers and detailed descriptions of each gun, camera, and electronic gadget that you own. I have found that using three-by-five index cards is convenient for updates, since your inventory will change over time. Also take a few detailed photos of each item. Store the index cards and hard-copy pictures annotated with each item's serial number in a vault belonging to a relative or a trusted friend, and offer to do likewise for him or her."​
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
    Witch Doctor 01 likes this.
  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    Taking photographs and keeping an inventory list is always a good idea. It's just common sense.

    A policy rider is a personal decision. You cannot have it both ways and expect an insurer to pay for property that you won't admit owning. I bought extra coverage for my guns, ham radio gear, and precious metals. They did not ask about how many or what kind, so I don't see any big OPSEC hole there. You are covered for a defined dollar amount, not specific items.

    There isn't different insurance for guns that are "off the books"...whatever that is. If the total value of your collection is greater than whatever standard coverage is included in your home owner's policy, then you are underinsured and either need to buy more coverage or carry the loss yourself.

    My agent explained that they will not pay for losses of food and consumable household goods, such as soap and toilet paper. So yeah, even though I have a ton o'cash plowed into freeze dried food, I'm on my own for replacing the items if something happens.

    kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Now, if they are ever recovered from the river bottom, they can then march serial numbers and tell which ones were lost, and which ones were stolen, right?
    Seriously, keep receipts for everything you expect an insurance company to cover. Document everything. They have to prove you had it, before they can even think about replacing it.
  9. natshare

    natshare Monkey++

    I'd say it would depend on the insurance company, and, more importantly, on the guy coming out to do the damage/loss assessment.

    7+ years ago, when the rental house I was living in had a natural gas explosion in the middle of the night, the guy who came up (the next day) for Farmers insurance took one look at the house, whipped out his pen and clipboard with forms, and said, "Let's take a walk through what's left, and see what you can remember was there." Great guy, he covered stuff I wouldn't have considered asking for (like the 10 y/o washer & dryer, that had a door land on top of it.....virtually no damage, but he replaced both of them with new units!), and listed anything I told him.

    In fact, the toughest thing was remembering everything! Hell, I probably ripped myself off, because my memory was so poor (and I forgot a few things)!!

    Couple pointers:
    1. photos and a log are a GREAT idea! Even if you don't need it for the insurance company, you'll probably need it for yourself!! Theft, fire, houses blowing up around you....they tend to shake you up a bit, and your recall might not be as good as you'd wish later it had been!
    2. if you don't want to just keep a jump drive with that info handy, e-mail it to yourself. Plenty of good, free web-based e-mail services out there to use, go sign up for one, and e-mail the photos to yourself as attachments to e-mails, along with a description of what you have (while still keeping anything you want to keep some OPSEC on, on that secure jump drive). Better yet, if you have Microsoft Office, make a Word document, and insert the photos into the document (should keep Google, Yahoo, etc, from "borrowing" your photos!).
    3. make sure you get full replacement insurance coverage! Yeah, it costs a little bit more, but it's worth it!! When my little bit of excitement happened, I was glad my insurance guy had talked me into it, as it made the difference between getting ~$11,500 (depreciated value) and the full $25,000 (limit of my renter's insurance policy). Can YOU afford to throw away 1/2 (or more!) of your possession's value?? Me either! While you're at it, go ahead and get double the coverage you think you need, as, over time, you accumulate more "stuff"....but usually forget to upgrade your insurance policy to cover it all. Chances are, it doesn't cost that much extra, and you'll be glad later on down the road.
    Yard Dart, Tevin and Witch Doctor 01 like this.
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