Can you Recognize Contraband?

blog-image_2015-01-14Webinar helps adjusters identify illicit goods

Think “contraband” and a pile of booted DVDs, iPads, Oxycontin and Rolex watches may pop in your head. But for property owners and claims adjusters, a contraband item may be the Persian rug under your feet that was purchased cheaply somewhere after the Iranian trade embargo. If an item is illegal to possess then it’s likely un-claimable.

Items such as fireworks are legal to own in some states but considered illicit in a neighboring state. What about souvenirs carved from ivory? Did you know there are three different classifications for what constitutes contraband? An eagle feather said to have been discovered by a claimant while camping in Maine would not be reimbursable if it were to appear on a claim line.

These issues are covered in more detail in our webinar “Recognizing Contraband” which is now up on our site at

In this 30-minute webinar we cover such items as:

  • Differences between prima facie, contraband per se, and derivative contraband
  • Statistics on the economic impact of contraband items in the US market
  • Current embargoed countries
  • Examples of products to look out for in your claims
  • Things you may be surprised to learn are contraband

The webinar’s underlying theme is that contraband may not always be so obvious to spot. We will look at some of the more obscure items considered contraband. We’ll also discuss laws governing contraband items. While insurers follow their own set of best practices for handling illicit goods, our goal is to help field adjusters identify goods that may be considered illicit.

Claims pros will learn that contraband may be defined more broadly to include any item that is illegally imported into the US, as well as those that are used to commit a crime. Because insurers are not expected to pay for goods that are expressly forbidden by law, it’s important to know what those goods may constitute as well as their true face value.

On a typical day US Customs and Border Patrol will seize nearly $5 million dollars’ worth of products that violate Intellectual Property law. Given the overall size of the contraband problem, it is not rare for a claims pro to come across illicit property.

Adjusters, claim reps, claim managers, claim supervisors, claim directors and anyone dealing with non-restorable contents claims will benefit from this opportunity to learn the scope of the contraband trade and ways of identifying potentially illegal goods.

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