A simple guide to insuring art, jewelry and collectibles

From toys and dolls to art and jewelry, Americans love to collect things.

Whether you collect to relive your childhood or simply for the thrill of the hunt, the last thing you want to worry about is what would happen if your collection were stolen, damaged or destroyed.

Even if your collection is irreplaceable, taking out an insurance policy designed for collectibles can protect your investment and provide peace of mind. Here’s what you should know about insuring collectibles.

Why you shouldn’t rely on your homeowner’s insurance alone

Homeowner’s insurance policies often have basic provisions for covering collectibles, but it’s unwise to rely on this coverage alone for any valuable collection:

  • Homeowner’s policies set limits for your home’s contents that could prevent you from fully recouping a loss. For example, the total amount covered may be limited to 50% (or a similar percentage) of your home’s value.
  • Homeowner’s insurance often excludes many collectible items like guns, stamps and bullion.
  • Homeowner’s insurance likely covers the cash value of possessions, not the market value.
  • Many collectibles are fragile, but homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover losses caused by accidental breakage and the like.

Basics of insuring collectibles

Collectible insurance is designed to fill the gaps in homeowner’s insurance. It has a whole host of advantages over your homeowner’s policy:

  • The amount insured is the agreed value you state before paying for coverage.
  • The agreed value never depreciates.
  • Collectible insurance covers a much wider range of items.
  • Collectible insurance has broad coverage for accidental breakage as well as burglary, fire, flooding, theft and hurricanes.
  • You can choose to account for inflation with coverage that automatically increases by a set percentage quarterly or annually.
  • You also have the option to insure your collectibles when traveling with them or exhibiting them.
  • You don’t need to have items professionally appraised unless they’re over a certain value.

What can be insured?

The items covered are as many and varied as the items you collect. Some common examples:

  • Fine art
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Furniture
  • Sports and military memorabilia
  • Coins and bullion
  • Stamps
  • China
  • Musical instruments
  • Vintage toys and model trains
  • Dolls and figurines
  • Wine
  • Books
  • Comic books
  • Trading cards

This list is far from comprehensive—if your collectibles aren’t listed, don’t hesitate to give us a call (on 800-224-6693) and talk to an agent.