Insuring Your Collection
by Bob Brooke
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
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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