Quick: Off the top of your head, do you know if your personal insurance — such as a homeowner's or renter's policy — covers collectibles, jewelry, and art?
If you're not sure, you're definitely not alone. Most people probably aren't sure if their current insurance covers valuable belongings. Many policies only offer coverage up to a certain amount, leaving these (often irreplaceable) items unprotected. Some policies actually exclude valuable items, such as jewelry.
From heirloom rings to stamp collections, musical instruments to sports memorabilia, knowing your items are protected offers peace of mind. Here's a guide to protecting your investment through collectible insurance.
What is Collectible Insurance?
First, the basics: What, exactly, is collectible insurance?
In a nutshell, it's a type of personal insurance that specifically covers valuable items. Often, standard homeowner's insurance policies exclude valuable items from coverage. Excluded items often include guns, stamps, gold, and similar items.
Other policies may offer coverage, but only up to a certain amount — usually from $1,000 to $1,500 per item. In some cases, that falls far below an item's value. For instance, Grandma's engagement ring may have been appraised at more than $10,000. But if it's stolen, a homeowner's policy may only pay up to $1,500.
In addition, standard personal insurance policies generally will only pay out the cash value of an item, rather than the market value. That can be a significant difference. Plus, though many valuable items are fragile, most policies won't cover losses due to breakage or damage.
There are a few ways collectible insurance protects investments for peace of mind. One way is by adding a Valuable Items Endorsement to a homeowner's or renter's policy. A valuable items endorsement essentially offers blanket coverage of a certain class of property, such as art or jewelry, up to a determined limit.
Collectible insurance also comes in the form of what's known as a Personal Articles Floater (PAF). This type of coverage requires a list of all specific items to be covered. Personal Articles Floaters may protect against risks such as loss, theft, or damage.
PAFs are a good choice for multiple items across different classes. They require an inventory of specific items to be covered. The stated value of items at the time of coverage doesn't change.
Which Items are Covered by Collectible Insurance?
Collectible insurance can cover a wide range of items. These may include, but aren't limited to: • Antiques • Bicycles • Books • Cameras • China • Classic cars • Coins • Computers • Crystal • Dolls • Figurines • Fine Art • Furniture • Gold and silver • Golf equipment • Jewelry • Military memorabilia • Musical instruments • Pedigreed pets • Sports memorabilia • Stamp collections • Trading cards • Trophies • Watches • Wine
These items may have different coverage requirements. For instance, items may need to be professionally appraised by an independent appraiser before they can be covered.
Who Can Purchase Personal Insurance for Collectibles?
To obtain personal insurance for collectible items, work with an independent insurance agent. They'll be able to determine which types of collectible insurance make the most sense, whether it's a Valuable Items Endorsement for an existing policy or a Personal Articles Floater.
Be prepared to compile an inventory, with documentation (such as photographs and receipts) where required. Certain items may also require a professional, independent appraisal to obtain coverage.
When it comes to keeping valuable items safe, a homeowner's or renter's policy isn't usually enough. Limits on coverage limits and exclusions mean those treasured belongings aren't completely covered.
Fortunately, collectible insurance fills that gap. Whether for jewelry, instruments, collections, heirlooms, computers, or antiques, a collectibles policy is a cost-effective way to gain peace of mind.
For answers to questions about collectible insurance — and other types of personal insurance — speak with an independent agent. Leap Carpenter Kemps Insurance Agency is here to help. Contact us today to find the best coverage options for your valued belongings.
Melissa specializes in auto insurance, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, special event insurance, renters insurance, and watercraft insurance. She prides herself on knowing our markets inside and out.
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