7 juiciest stories about insurance claims

Elvis, Hendrix and Oscar
Elvis, Hendrix and Oscar © GWImages/

When her Malibu hillside mansion caught fire, a wealthy socialite escaped with her three most prized possessions: two Persian cats and one pair of army fatigues once worn by the King himself, Elvis Presley.

When Nashville flooded in 2010, a vintage Fender Stratocaster guitar once owned by Jimi Hendrix was among hundreds of flood-damaged instruments.

And when the home of a Hollywood star was broken into, the gown she wore while accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress was among the items missing.

How do claims adjusters put a price on celebrity belongings?

"It depends on whether you can document the provenance," says Kirkpatrick, the source of all three anecdotes. "It comes down to trying to locate photographs or video that might tie it to the celebrity in a much more personal way."

Straughan recites the adjuster's litany: "Who was the designer? Was it an original? Have similar gowns been sold? Has this actor's clothing ever been sold before, and if so, what appreciation in value was attached to it? All of those things are taken into consideration when putting a value on it," he says.


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