how To Insure Your Memorabilia Collection

Insurance, it is something that most people probably never think about until it’s too late. When it comes to insuring your sports, comic, or any other memorabilia collection against an unforeseen event, your existing homeowners or renters policy may not be enough. It probably won’t even compensate you for the current market value of your collection.

Whether you have been collecting for years, or are new to the hobby, there are affordable options to protect your possessions. Most people think that their homeowners or renters policy will cover them in case of a loss. This may not be the case of most polices may:

  • Limit contents coverage to a percentage of the total value of your home (sometimes between 50 - 70%).
  • Limit the amount they'll pay for theft of valuable items, like your 2011 Chrome Aaron Boon autographed baseball bat.
  • May not cover losses as a result of natural disasters like floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.
  • May be based on actual cash value (the documented purchase price) and not the item's current collectible value.
  • Require you to schedule all items, including an itemized list and values.

We are of the opinion that if you are going to have something insured, you may as well make sure that you are adequately covered. Simply put, a homeowner policy, or renters insurance may not be enough.

On the other hand, there is also specialty coverage for collectors. Various specialty package’s offer full blanket coverage against such losses as: theft, earthquakes, and floods. The costs for this type of specialty coverage will vary by the amount of the deductible and overall value of the policy. Here is a list of tips for purchasing, maintaining, and creating proper records for your collection.

1) Determine if you are a collector, dealer or both, and inquire about your needs and specific coverage’s you may want in the policy.

2) Compare policies for:

  • Price per thousand of estimated collection value
  • Deductible
  • Inventory Requirements
  • Policy Fees
  • Terms of Payment
  • Exclusions

3) Be realistic when determining the value of your collection. The higher the value, the higher the coverage needs to be. The more coverage you need will also increase the cost of the premium.

4) Valuate your collection in terms of fair market and/or current replacement value.

5) Keep a copy of your inventory and certificates of authenticity in a secure secondary site. Ideally they should be located away from where your collection is kept. Examples include a safety deposit box, or even an email sent to yourself.

6) When taking photos or video of your collection, be sure to capture any and all markings that will help authenticate the piece. Keep digital copies backed up on multiple sources away from your collection. A cloud program is ideal for storing such digital files.

7) If loss occurs due to burglary or theft, file a police report immediately.

8) When loss occurs, gather your records and contact your insurance company immediately with the following information:

  • Claim amount
  • Contact information
  • Type and location of loss
  • Date of loss
  • Policy number
  • Records— inventory sheets, pictures/videos, police reports, receipts, certificates of authenticity, etc…

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