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Insuring Your Collection
by Bob Brooke

 

It's estimated that only 27 percent of antique and collectible collectors insure their collections. While the Number One reason to insure your antiques and collectibles is theft, there are others, including fire, flood, and natural disasters.

Antiques and collectibles cannot be replaced as easily as newer items, such as computers, televisions, and furniture. In fact, some antiques may be one-of-a-kind. So you’ve probably shied away from insuring your collections because you figure that if you can’t replace the items, why bother. What you fail to consider is the value of the items you’ve collected.

Since many collectors are amateurs, they don’t think about insurance on their collections. What if a thief stole or destroyed some or all of your Depression Glass collection? Would home owners’ insurance cover the loss? Would the insurance company take your word for what pieces you had? Would you be able to remember each piece and the value of each piece in your collection? In most cases, the average collector doesn’t have enough content insurance to cover both the normal contents of his or her home and their collection?



Some insurance companies won’t cover the lose under a regular homeowners’ or an apartment contents policy. They usually require special antique insurance for such items. Other insurance companies will cover a collection under regular homeowners’ insurance, as long as the policy has sufficient value to cover everything. It’s important for you to check with your insurance carrier for their requirements.

Collectibles Insurance Services, of Westminster, Maryland, offers policies for collectors ranging from an annual premium of about $32 for $10,000 to $238 for $100,000 in coverage. These policies insure just about any collectible except jewelry, expensive watches, fine art paintings and art objects, and motor vehicles and require no professional appraisal. You estimate the value of your collection. And the insurance company bases the claim payments on replacement value. For unique or difficult to find items, replacement value is the estimated auction price the item would sell for in a room full of specialist collectors or on an Internet auction like eBay. Any loss over the minimum deductible of $50.00 is paid in full.

American Collectors Insurance, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in business since 1976, provides coverage only for collectors beginning at around $75 for $10,000. Unfortunately, its policy doesn’t cover paper collectibles, china ware, jewelry, coins, watches, flatware, firearms, and fine art.

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How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

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Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

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