Whether you collect comics, coins or model cars (or ANYTHING, really), make sure your collection is properly insured against theft or disaster.
Here are 10 things to think about when you plan to insure your collection:
- Homeowners insurance does not always cover collectibles. In some cases they may partly cover it, but it is unusual that they cover the entire collection. Special collectibles insurance is not only based on price value but also on an item’s current collectible value.
- Consider how you want to value your collection. You might want to over-value your collectibles, but be realistic; the higher the value, the higher the coverage that’s needed (and therefore, the higher the premium).
- Keep as many records of your collection as possible: not only keep all the receipts and invoices that you have but also take photos or a video of your collection to make sure you have a visual record of it. This is especially important for high-value items. Keep digital copies of your photos in several different places. You can easily document your collection online at hobbyDB.com, which allows you to post photos, condition, value, location and other details. Thousands of collectibles are are already in the hobbyDB database, so it’s even easier to use the existing data as a starting point.
- Don’t only rely on prices guides when valuing your collection. The prices used are listed for reference, but this does not necessarily mean you could sell your collection for that price. Price your collectibles realistically for your insurance.
- You do not need to have every single item professionally appraised. You only need to estimate the value of your collection and decide on the amount of insurance.
- If $5,000 or more, you should keep a detailed inventory list. In addition to tracking it online, you can periodically print it out.
- Personal collectors and dealers have both have different insurance coverage policies. If you are also a dealer, make sure you are covered properly.
- When shopping for insurance, compare policies for: the types of loss, exclusions, price per thousand of estimated collection value, deductible, inventory requirements, policy fees and the terms of payment.
- Keep printed or digital records of your items’ receipts in a secure place, in a different location from where your collection is. If your records are lost or destroyed along with your collection, they won’t do you any good.
- If a loss occurs, file a police report, gather your records and contact your insurance company. Be prepared to provide your contact details, your policy number, the type and location of loss, the date of loss, your records (such as inventory sheets, receipts, pictures and videos of your collection) and the claim amount.
It is usually cheaper to choose collectibles insurance as a separate policy rather than adding your collection to your homeowner insurance.