Valuable Collectibles Need Special Insurance

While basic homeowners, condo, or renters policies should provide ample protection for ordinary possessions, if you own collectibles, you may need to boost your coverage. Standard policies provide little coverage for collectibles.

While basic homeowners, condo, or renters policies should provide ample protection for ordinary possessions, if you own collectibles, you may need to boost your coverage. Standard policies provide little coverage for collectibles.

The easiest way to insure most collectibles is to add an endorsement to your home policy. All insurance carriers that write home insurance will cover valuable articles unless they’re extraordinarily valuable.

In insurance lingo, that’s called scheduling the items—establishing a value for each set of items and insuring them specifically. Collectibles are listed or scheduled on what is commonly referred to as a “floater” or “valuable articles” policy.

Yes, the same insurance that protects your jewelry would protect your trading cards, china, memorabilia, toys, rare books and magazines, dolls, coins, and many other things. Some collectibles have mostly sentimental value, while others are worth cold, hard cash. If yours are in the latter category, your insurance agent or broker can advise you what steps to take.

Some insurers often aren’t too stringent about documentation for collectibles worth less than $5,000. But for more valuable things, carriers will want to see a verifiable appraisal, with a detailed description and photo or a recent sales receipt if the item was just purchased. This provides an insurable value and proof of ownership.

For the unusual items or unique tchotchkes such as figurines or porcelain dolls, where obtaining an appraisal may be difficult, collectors’ magazines that list market and auction prices can help establish value.

Insurance isn’t expensive for most collectibles. The cost of insurance varies by the kind of item. A $2,000 diamond ring could cost just as much to insure as $5,000 collection of baseball cards or dolls.

All-Risk Coverage

Insuring valuable collectibles is smart and has a lot of advantages. For one, scheduled coverage is “all risk.” That’s notable because the standard home policy covers only specified causes of loss, such as fire, storms and theft. Losing something, like dropping a ring down a drain hole, isn’t covered. Nor is having the family dog or someone bump into a display case and destroying valuable china. But both accidental loss and damage from household accidents are covered by an all-risk collectibles floater.

And there’s no deductible on scheduled items. If the item is stolen, destroyed or lost, you’ll get a full payout, Carrasquillo.

Mark Carrasquillo is an insurance broker with E.G. Bowman Company, an independent insurance agency in Manhattan. Founded in 1953, E.G. Bowman offers all types of commercial and personal insurance. Mark can be reached at mcarrasquillo@egbowman.com.