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How much does it cost to insure collectibles?

April 9th, 2018  |  Home Insurance

Collecting or investing in antiques or vintage items is a pleasurable pastime. Anything from fine art to fine china, collectible musical instruments to expensive fur coats require some sort of safe keeping.

You may have inherited collections from generations before you, or perhaps you’ve amassed a giant collection of sports memorabilia over time. Wine collection? Antique furniture? Autographed posters??

Evaluate your collection

Once your collections start to take on significant value, you should think about insuring them. Majority of property insurance policies do not automatically include coverage for special items such as collectibles, so you need to review your coverage and have the conversation with your provider when you decide to insure your things. This holds true for condo insurance, homeowners insurance and renters insurance.

Just take a quick gander over your policy and read the provisions or exclusions surrounding special collections. Some policies will limit you to a maximum claim amount on these special items between $500 to $2000, while others will exclude them altogether.

If your collection is worth more than what you’re covered for, you’ll have to take out a separate insurance policy for them or add a specific rider to your policy that details the insured collection.

Document everything

You will need documentation for your collection and will benefit greatly from getting your items legitimately appraised. Take photos and store them in a safe (preferably fire proof) place.

What about appreciation? You’re going to want to ask your insurer if they will take into account the appreciated value on your things that increase in value in time. 

For example, say you have a $10 vinyl record signed by the late, great Michael Jackson (Thriller). You will need to know whether actual cost value will cover you for the thousands of dollars that LP is worth today, instead of the replacement cost of $10.

So how much will my insurance cost?

The cost of the collectibles insurance policy can range greatly based on the value of your special items.

A high valuation on your collection can cost a lot to insure. It'll cost less to insure something at $1,000 valuation than it would to insure something at $1,000,000, naturally.

The cost to insure a $4,000 basketball memorobilia collection, for example, could cost as little as $20 to $40 per year to cover. However, when you insure things worth tens of thousands of dollars, your annual premium could get pushed into the high hundreds.

If you’re insuring millions of dollars’ worth of fine art and jewelry, you need to consult a specialty provider.

And not all valuables appreciate in value, so it’s important to get up-to-date appraisals for things that may have been a highly sought-after trend at the time. A classic example are those Beanie Babies stuffed animal toys from the 1990s that were worth thousands one day, and dollars the next. 

Last word

When you’re informing your insurer about the value of your items, once the value goes above $5,000 or $10,000 they will require proof and detailed documentation.  

How you store your items will also change your insurance premium. The safer you keep them, the less you can expect to pay per year; alarm systems, safes or lock boxes can make you eligible for a discount.

Make sure to shop around for an insurer that provides the best rate on collectibles coverage.

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