Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wondering How Many of us Would Break a Window for a $3,600 Louis Vuitton Bag

I bet when you park next to a car, especially a nice one, you glance at the interior. I know, you're not casing these cars, but it's just kind of interesting to note how the other half stocks their vehicles. I'm sure that even two centuries ago, people would check out the fancy horse or carriage parked in front of the general store. Sure, you could be shot for stealing someone's horse back in the day, but people still would have coveted what others owned. Today, we keep a lot of junk in our locked cars, especially if we're worried about someone strong-arming us in parking lots. That means the items we need with us stay in the car, and thugs know this. Of course, most of us don't even know if the purse inside is worth more than our entire home entertainment systems.





I have to admit that I tend to leave my $5 sunglasses in the car. I have some spare oil in the trunk. And jumper cables. All told, if you rummaged through my car, you'd be about $20 richer for the effort. It's unlocked in my driveway right now, so go for it. Just don't break my windows because those are worth more than anything inside.

I know I'm not most people. You might have your $500 handgun, $1000 laptop, and $200 sunglasses hanging out in your Land Rover. Maybe even your $1000 smart phone. That would be an expensive day at the gym if all that stuff went missing, along with a smashed window. Or you could just skip all the small stuff and toss your $3,600 Louis Vuitton bag on the passenger seat.

Back when my car got broken into in the 90s when I was in college, I lost my CD player, backpack with textbooks, architectural materials for those classes, and probably some other stuff I couldn't afford to lose. The problem was that I didn't even hit the deductible, or it was just barely met. I'd heard stories of people claiming more items stolen in order to get some love from their insurance companies, but I wasn't devious or organized enough to produce the receipts.

Obviously, I'm not saying that a woman would have this story ready for the insurance company. But really, if you own a Louis Vuitton bag (even if it's in your closet at home) and have receipts to prove it, that's a pretty good way to meet the old $1000 deductible in a hurry. My problem is that I don't own any items that could be stuffed in my car to meet my deductible (assuming I had full coverage). OK, I have a $1,200 camera that's a decade old. I can't pretend my 60" TV was in the car, and that's even older than the camera. I have a pretty nice refrigerator and washing machine, but those won't fly, either. Really, if you think about it, do you have any $3,600 item in your house? No, that diamond ring isn't worth that even if he paid $10,000 for it, but nice try. Even my really solid leather couch, which also would not fit in my car, was worth about $500 fifteen years ago.

My wife had this fairly nice Dooney and Bourke handbag that I bought her for about $100. She never liked it, but she pretended to for a while. Finally, she donated it to Goodwill this fall. Someone was happy to buy it barely used, I suppose. If someone buys it for $20 at Goodwill, I wonder if that person will claim it's a $200 Dooney and Bourke when it gets stolen.




I'm not an insurance investigator, but I think I'd want to see footage of the Louis Vuitton in the car in order to pay out. Honestly, if I was an insurance guy, I wouldn't pay out $3,600 if someone stole Louis Vuitton himself from your BMW. Assuming he's a real person and not fake like that Alfred Dunner guy.

So the lesson here is to keep receipts for expensive items and be ready to say they were all in your car when it gets broken into. At least if you own or have ever owned any items worth more than your deductible. And have full coverage insurance. And no moral compass. But this is Florida, so I have faith in you. Also, since it's Florida, I also believe someone would leave a $3,600 purse in a car. So that makes it complicated.