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Does homeowners insurance cover unique collectibles?

A man organizes his unique collection of books after learning the additional insurance coverage he needs to protect it

Unless you took into account your collectible items when originally purchasing your homeowners insurance, it is doubtful that your current coverage would adequately cover their value. Whether it’s baseball cards, coins, comic books, instruments, artwork, vintage pieces or other rare items, it’s a wise idea to have your collectibles appraised, catalogued and documented before seeking additional or separate insurance coverage. 

While your average valuable items such as a TV, computer and furnishings are typically covered by your homeowners insurance, there’s a good chance your collectibles are not. Let’s dive into what exactly classifies something as a collectible and how to properly insure it. 

What are collectibles?

Both the law and insurance companies consider collectibles as any item that is rare, valuable and cannot be found for sale at an ordinary retailer such as Walmart or Target. Additionally, to be considered a collectible, the item’s current value must exceed the item’s original value when it was initially for sale. For example, a comic book that sold for $0.25 in 1927 but is now worth $5,000 would be considered a collectible. 

Collectibles can be just about any item, but some of the most common include:

  • Books and comic books
  • Artwork
  • Pottery
  • Handicrafts
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Instruments
  • Coins and stamps

While collectibles can be any type of item, it’s important to remember that they are all extremely rare, popular, and generally worth substantially more than when they were first created and sold. The item’s age, scarcity, demand, and popularity will set the price or establish the value.

Can you insure your collectibles under a homeowners insurance policy? 

Many traditional homeowners insurance policies do not cover collectibles, which will lead you to needing additional insurance coverage to ensure the protection of your prized possessions. To accurately insure a collectible, you’ll likely need a professional assessment and to catalog the piece. Any photos or videos will also be helpful for the insurance process in addition to your proven dedication to perseverance, safeguarding and storing. It is also essential to be accurate about the item’s price and to have any documentation that may support the value. 

Home insurance policies often include personal property coverage, but this includes items that can be easily replaced, such as a TV, clothes, electronics, furniture, etc. These items are likely still in production and readily available vs. collectibles which are extremely expensive and difficult to replace. 

Examples of Insurable Collections 

While individual items can be considered collectibles, many people consider collecting a hobby and have multiple items that make up a collection of valuables. Popular collections can include:

  • Fine Art
  • Stamps 
  • Wine 
  • Firearms
  • Designer items such as bags, clothing, shoes, etc. 
  • Jewelry
  • Comic books
  • Toys
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Instruments

3 Steps to Ensure Your Collection: Schedule Personal Coverage

To guarantee your collectibles and collections are covered in the event of an accident, you’ll want to purchase scheduled personal coverage—also known as collectors insurance—which is considered a supplemental form of personal property insurance. This type of policy will cover any valuables that exceed or are not covered by your standard homeowners insurance. 

It’s important to keep in mind that collectibles often increase in value over time, so regularly scheduled appraisals can help you determine if your policy is still enough coverage for your needs. In any case, here are three easy steps to ensure your valuables are protected. 

1. Document Your Collection

When it comes to documenting your valuable collectibles for insurance purposes, you will want to do the following:

  • Document everything – It may sound cumbersome, but documenting the purchase date, price at purchase, any appraisals you had and when, where you bought the item, storage conditions, cleaning, etc. to ensure you receive the most accurate rate at time of purchase.
  • Photograph and videotape your collectibles  – Both photographs and videos are solid proof of the condition and value of your collectible(s). Be sure to get clear images of all sides and angles and include factors like serial numbers, signatures, labels or any additional details that can help identify your items.
  • Protect and preserve both your valuables and documentation – Not only do you want to make sure your collectibles are stored in safe conditions and maintained, but you also want to ensure your proof of value is also secure and will not be damaged. From storing your documentation virtually to home security systems, you can minimize the likelihood of theft or damage by securely preserving your pieces. 
  • Be careful of how you publicize your collections. Whether you’re sharing on social media or in public settings, this could make you susceptible to being robbed or burglarized.

2. Get Your Collection Appraised 

A professional appraiser can accurately determine the value of your collectibles and their opinion will be valued by the insurance company when you look into getting your items covered. It is encouraged to search for an appraiser that is an expert in reviewing your specific type of collectible and it can be beneficial for you to check their ratings, reviews and ask for referrals. 

3. Find the Right Insurance Company Through SelectQuote

Whether it’s traditional homeowners insurance or coverage for your prized collectibles, we can help you find the right coverage for your needs. In just minutes, we can compare all of your options for home insurance coverage from the trusted insurance companies we work with to ensure you’re connected to the right carrier at the right price.

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