Blog reader question: Theft of goods on consignment
I received a question from a blog reader as follows:
I have had a crystal stolen from my shop which was on consignment. My insurance is refusing to pay out as buried in the small print it states that shoplifting is not covered (the theft was when the shop was open & trading). The crystal was on consignment. Can you advise who is responsible for the insurance on this item, me or the owner. The theft was a team including distraction group, & we only have one staff on at a time, so could not have been prevented by us doing anything differently. It was too big to be under lock & key.
Angi [Surname and email provided]
My response to Angi read:
Sorry to hear of the theft. We need to bring back stocks and or public floggings. I think all of us are appalled at the rising crime rates and the slap across the wrist with a wet tram ticket if they do get caught.
When you say on consignment, I assume you mean, the everyday meaning that being you hold the item on trust until it is sold, it would depend on the terms of the consignment. If it had just been delivered and you are referring to a consignment note, then this is something different.
If there is no terms and condition in the consignment agreement, then in the first instance, I am sorry to say, you would be regarded as a bailee and as such you would be responsible unless you can show that you have exercised reasonable care.
I think this is going to be a challenge on the information you have advised.
If you would like me to read the consignment agreement and give you more specific advice I am happy to do so. My email is email@example.com. There would be no cost for this service.
Sorry again to hear of the loss and the situation you find yourself in. It is probably worth installing a CCTV system if you can to offer yourself some protection or at least as a deterrent.