Proving you actually owned them.
First off I will spare you the pictures, because if my wife ever saw in one picture all the firearms we currently own... I would surely be in for a long lecture. Bear with me on the explanation of words that will have to be worth a couple pictures. Yes unfortunately your beloved guns could be stolen, burnt, crushed, smashed, drowned, lost, burn, lawfully or un-lawfully confiscated, and other otherwise damaged. Hopefully you have a separate firearm and jewelry insurance rider policy that catalogs and covers all your guns and gold, and hopefully you have a safe that protects your valuables from theft, thugs, or damage, however at some point your may have to either prove stolen property is yours or prove your loss to get the cash for a replacement.
Generally your home owners policy will not cover your guns and jewelry so you should clarify the extent of your coverage with your insurance provider... hate for you to find out after theft or fire that you actually were not covered.
One simple thing you can do in preparing the information for your insurance agent is to photograph your gun collection with your drivers license and then photograph each gun's serial number separately with your drivers license. This does a couple things, first it proves you owned the gun... because no one in their right mind will let you do this, and second you clearly document that that serial number belongs to your driver's license.
Gun receipts can be tough, because we all are used to trading and hitting the gun shows where receipts can be a little dubious. I actually had one that listed "Gun - $225" as the line item. The other problem is that I for one don't hold on to all my gun receipts or I should say I do now, but didn't previously.
Working up word document and list of all your guns with:
- Serial Number
- Brief Description
- Approximate value to replace
We have all heard of that guy who had a gun stolen, but could not prove ownership of the recovered item. Police are not in the habit of forking over guns to dubious owners. Sadly we have also had friends and family whose homes have been affected by natural disaster and fire and lost far more than they should because all documentation was lost regarding the home damage.
Bottom line is a recommendation to call your insurance guy and assure you have the docs and coverage to assure if anything happens to our firearms that you are covered.