Have a Prized Collection? It May Not Be Properly Insured

If you’re like most collectors, you’ve put time, money and effort into your endeavor, be that stamps, baseball cards, jewelry, fine art, wine or other collectibles. Your collection is probably valuable to you financially, and some pieces may also hold a sentimental value.

However, if the collection is destroyed or damaged, there is a strong likelihood that your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover the loss. Consider the following ways a collection can be damaged or lost:

  • Breakage – Damage caused by dropping an item.
  • Mechanical breakdown – Spoilage (like wine) due to climate-control system failure.
  • Break-up of drain or sewer – A collection may be destroyed if you have a drain or sewer failure, and especially if you keep your collection in the basement or cellar.
  • Natural disaster – A collection is fully or partially destroyed in an earthquake, flood or other weather-related event.
  • Diminished value – Due to cosmetic or water damage to the item.

Obviously, you don’t want to put your hard-earned collection at risk. Consider a collections policy to protect your valuables properly. This is a specially designed insurance policy for people who want to protect their valued collectibles.

 

Value of having a collections policy

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize their homeowner’s insurance does not offer adequate protection to their collectibles, For example, did you know that the standard homeowner’s policy will cover only up to $500 worth of jewelry? Remember, your deductible is probably more than that also.

Instead, you can get a collections policy, which can be tailored to a few items in your collection or for blanket coverage of an entire collection.

 

Features of a collections policy

  • No deductible
  • 50% more coverage is available at the time of a loss, if the item is worth more than the value scheduled
  • Mysterious disappearances are covered
  • Worldwide coverage is included
  • Coverage during shipping
  • Covers theft both inside and outside your home.

 

Depending on the insurance company, you have the option to include the following:

  • Blanket coverage of a collection up to $10,000 per item, with the option to raise it to $100,000 in some instances.
  • Insuring the true value of items within your collection.
  • Inflation protection at the time of loss if the value of an item has increased over time.
  • Coverage for new purchases and for items on loan for up to 90 days.
  • Discounts for collectibles kept in a safety deposit box, safe or other secure place.

 

One of the keys to ensuring prompt and full payment should you suffer damage, loss or theft is to document your investments. Do this by:

  • Keeping all original documents, including purchase receipts, auction catalog or private seller information.
  • Keeping photos and detailed descriptions of items, including those with unique marks and vintage or production year.
  • Maintaining an updated inventory list, including descriptions, counts and storage locations.
  • Getting routine, professional appraisals of your collection and keeping a running record of appraised values.

 

The takeaway

By not properly insuring your collectibles, you’re unnecessarily exposing yourself if any of those valuable items are damaged or destroyed. You can call us to discuss options for how to best cover your collection.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a professional advisor, please contact ACBI Insurance at 203-259-7580.

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