what are the acceptable proofs in case of theft?

Posted in InsuranceInsurance matters

In the event of theft, a photograph, for example, is not proof of the value of the property. It should be remembered that it is up to the person claiming compensation from his insurance company to provide proof not only of the value, but also of the ownership and existence of the stolen property.

In practice, it is often difficult to find all purchase invoices.

Some people are then tempted to forge documents or add objects based on the evidence they already have in their possession in the hope of easily compensating for the damage (they think).

The purchase invoice: proof of ownership and value

We systematically request original invoices; those issued by luxury establishments, for example, have a paper and logo that are easily identifiable and all the legal mentions appear on the document.

In this respect, we invite you to read the latest practical sheet issued by the Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister) on August 1, 2018 on the legal mentions of an invoice.

For example, we will reject handwritten invoices written from a notebook that is not numbered in accordance with the regulations, or concerning excessively large cash payments.

Indeed, since October 2015, the amount of bill payments to merchants has been capped at €1,000 (site légifrance. ).

The photograph is not proof of the value

For jewellery and watches in particular, in the absence of an invoice, the question of valuation is more difficult.

Photographs taken in everyday life situations allow a superficial view of the watch or piece of jewellery. Even if the model seems to be known, the photograph is not precise enough in characteristics such as the weight or quality of the stones.

Although we can recognize the face of the insured (sometimes 20 or 30 years later), it is not possible to certify that it is a diamond or an imitation stone.

One should then expect a valuation corresponding to a "costume" or gold-plated jewel, according to an "appearance value", far from that generally expected, causing disappointment for some and a desire to compensate by other means.

Close-up (macro) photographs can be useful by showing the punches, for example, if they are accompanied by a professionally prepared description such as preliminary estimates.

Certificate of warranty, notarized inventory, sales receipt, purchase order and others.

After several moves or other life events, some documents get lost. Over time, the shops have disappeared. A more distant search is needed to trace the purchases.

Sometimes, the guarantee certificate can remain at the bottom of the original case which will allow an evaluation thanks to the description of the object (weight, metals, stones ...). The Expert will be able to find the price of a new item of equivalent nature and characteristics on the day of the loss.

In summary, admissible documents are those that clearly identify the seller and describe the object in a manner (model reference).


A system for keeping receipts in the cloud or on the block chain is now possible, but this innovative system has not yet proved its worth in terms of guaranteeing the value of goods. For valuable goods, a prior expertise carried out by a professional will always be useful. Keep it all!

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