Collecting is a very popular hobby, with collections consisting of everything from touristy fridge magnets to expensive porcelain figurines. According to newson6.com, some of the most popular items to collect include stamps, coins, baseball pins, vinyl records, comic books, wine, trading cards, and toys. Some collect just for fun and others collect to trade and sell, even hoping to make a profit. It’s a pastime that can take many, many hours of research online, searching through antique and specialty stores, and hunting through garage sales for that perfect addition or that one missing part. Our collections may be proudly displayed or carefully put away, but we all love to talk about them when we have the chance.
If you are a collector, it’s advisable to carefully review your home insurance policy to ensure your carefully curated assortment of bits and bobs is fully covered. Home insurance often carries a cap (or what is called a special limit) on the amount to be paid out should a collection be stolen or damaged, unless otherwise stipulated. You want to know if you will receive an amount adequate for the replacement of your entire collection or to match its monetary value.
Once you check your special limits, and brokers like us at Lane’s can help you do this, if you discover your insurance does not provide enough protection for your collection, there are a couple options available for collectible insurance. One is to purchase a separate endorsement to add to your current policy. Another is to purchase a standalone collectible insurance policy. The most important thing, however, is to first know exactly what you have and what it’s worth.
Document every item carefully
It’s very important to keep a detailed record of every item in your collection in case you ever have to file an insurance claim. Having this sort of inventory can simplify the claims process and help expedite your settlement.
- List out every item and include details like the purchase date, how much you paid, and any modification or additions if applicable. Include the receipts whenever possible.
- If you believe an item has appreciated in value, provide proof of this somehow.
- Take photos of each item from several different angles.
- If items came with additions, such as a sword or a cape for a Harry Potter figurine, be sure to note those as well.
Keep your collection’s inventory up to date at all times. Store it in a safe place, such as a weatherproof lockbox, or online in cloud-based storage, so you know you will always have it available.
Consider having a professional appraisal done
Some of the world’s most expensive collections have gone for amazing amounts of money. In 2016, the Brazilian football legend Pelé sold his vast collection of sports memorabilia, including trophies and medals, for $4.8 million. In 2015, a collection of 22 Swiss enameled watches from the Industrial Revolution era went for $6.1 million. Baltimore banker Louis E. Eliasberg sold his coin collection, which contained an example of every U.S. coin ever minted, in 1982 for a whopping $44.9 million. And, it’s hard to forget Elizabeth Taylor’s breathtaking jewelry collection breaking a world record in 2011 went it went for a total of $157 million at Christie’s New York.
You just never know what may be hidden among your collection. Perhaps you have a rare Canadian 1921 50-cent piece, which could be worth more than $300,000, or a hard-to-find Star Wars Sand People figurine from 1978 that is now worth close to $500. If you believe your collection might be of considerable worth, having it appraised by an expert in the field could be a good idea. Be sure to check your home insurance policy first (or contact a professional insurance broker such as us at Lane’s), as your coverage may contain conditions on the types of appraisals that are acceptable, and sometimes may not accept an appraisal as proof of value at all.
What are my considerations for collectible insurance?
Collectible insurance can come in a few different forms. Check for any special limits you may have on your home insurance policy specifically related to collections and what the total amount of coverage is. If you would not receive enough to replace your collection should it be lost, damaged, or stolen, an endorsement might be an option. An endorsement essentially lifts the special limit and allows you to name the amount of coverage you actually need. This will likely add a little to your insurance payments, but is more than likely worth it for complete peace of mind.
Another option for your collectible insurance could be to purchase a standalone insurance policy separate from your home insurance policy. For those with extensive collections with a number of items, this may be the most comprehensive choice for coverage. This option requires separate payments, however bundling your home, auto, and standalone policies may help you earn a discount.
Ask an insurance broker. That’s why we’re here!
If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, insurance brokers are your allies. We work for you, not the insurance companies. We cross-compare policies from the best and most trustworthy carriers in the Alberta insurance industry to find you the exact coverage you are looking for. The experienced brokers at Lane’s will help you find excellent rates on collectible insurance and every other type of protection you need to safeguard your what you have worked so hard for. To learn more, contact a Lane’s Insurance customer service representative.