Guide to insuring collectibles and memorabilia
Collecting is a popular hobby, spanning all ages, across all walks of life, and the range of collections is unlimited – from dolls, coins, clocks, and cameras seashells, rocks, and butterflies. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what people collect.
As your collectibles and memorabilia appreciate in value, it’s important to have them properly insured. Only some home insurance policies cover collectibles and memorabilia, so you should check your home insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover your collection, you can purchase additional coverage by adding an endorsement to your policy.
You can also purchase a standalone insurance policy, separate from your home insurance, which will protect your collectibles and memorabilia. Below are details on how to ensure you have the protection you need.
Check your current home insurance policy
Most home insurance policies have limits restricting contents coverage. This means collectibles and memorabilia aren’t always adequately covered under these policies. Some policies may exclude collectibles and memorabilia completely. In addition to collectibles and memorabilia, items such as jewelry, watches, comic books, bicycles, and sports cards may not be covered.
Since limits, coverage, exclusions, clauses, and basis of settlement vary between policies, it’s important to read your insurance policy carefully. Should your collection be damaged or stolen, your policy limits dictate how much you are entitled to receive. Taking the time to read and understand the details of your policy could save you a lot of time and money down the road.
Your home insurance policy may already include coverage for collectibles, memorabilia, or other high value items. It may also include endorsements, sometimes called “riders,” which might include the removal of restrictions, clauses, and/or increases in limits and coverage. Endorsements are adjustments you can add to your policy.
Some endorsements add coverage or change your policy to include coverage of your collectibles, memorabilia, and other high value items. Since endorsements are adjustments to your policy, they generally change the policy premium.
Make an inventory of your collection
Life is full of unexpected events – you can’t predict when a fire, flood or theft may occur. Any of these events could have a devastating impact on your collectibles. However, you can be prepared in case something happens, for example, by having a list of your possessions, which is important if you have to make an insurance claim.
To be prepared, take an inventory of your collectibles now and keep it in a safe place. Keeping a physical copy in a safety deposit box or a digital copy in secure online storage are both great ways to retain an inventory of your collection. Here are a few tips for creating your collection inventory:
- Prepare a list of your collection ahead of time. This is always much easier than creating the list from memory later.
- Include details such as the date of purchase, amount paid, and any other important details.
- Be sure to save photos or videos of each item.
- Keep receipts for new additions to your collection.
- Keep any documentation of prior appraisals.
- If you ever need to file a home insurance claim, you’ll have the information ready at your fingertips.
- Get an appraisal for your collectibles and memorabilia
Sometimes appraisals for your high value goods are required for special insurance coverage. Many insurance providers offer specialized coverage to protect collectibles to a replacement value. To be eligible for these policies, collections need to be appraised by a certified expert. Getting an appraisal by a certified expert will help you decide how much insurance coverage you need.
Appraisal details depend on the insurance company and your policy, so be sure to contact your insurance company for guidance on getting an appraisal.
What’s the difference between collectibles and memorabilia?
Collectibles and memorabilia are not the same thing although they are often confused. Here’s the difference:
Collectibles are things like vintage toys, baseball cards or record collections. They are purchased for fun and don’t have any other purpose. Many collectors seek to complete their collections. That means one item can have a lot of value if it’s the one thing someone is missing.
Memorabilia is something that was created with a purpose. For example, merchandise from old Olympics or sporting events or vintage advertisements are considered memorabilia. The value of memorabilia depends on its condition and how rare it is. Your tickets from last night’s Blue Jays game aren’t considered memorabilia – but if you have a program from a 1961 Montreal Expos game, you might want to get it appraised.
At DPM Insurance Group, our brokers and CSRS are happy to discuss the coverage that will best protect your collectibles and memorabilia. Whether your passion is fine art, records, antiques, coins, jewelry, wine, vintage cars or other treasures, make sure your valuables are safeguarded with the right insurance coverage.