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Insuring Your Valuable Collections

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Chinese Antique Store

Chinese Antique Store

Guang Niu/Getty Images
You've spent years and a lot of money on your collection - but have you thought about insurance? What happens if something happens to your collection? What happens if a natural disaster strikes, will your insurance cover the loss of a collection? What about a simple case of clumsiness? Will your current insurance cover accidental breakage of a single piece or two?

Unfortunately the answer is not always good news. Yes, if you have home owners insurance your collection will most likely be partially covered, but it could be lumped in with other personal property, such as furniture, lamps. Dan Ramsey of IIAOK, says to ask yourself "Do I own or collect anything that is unusual, of extraordinary value, or special interest? If the answer to this question is "yes", more than likely you need to discuss this matter with your insurance agent."

Talk to your homeowners insurance agent to find out if a special rider or separate insurance policy can be written for your collection. Or you might want to do it through an insurance company that deals specifically with collectors.

Separate Policy with Homeowners Insurance Company
For several years I had a separate insurance policy (connected to homeowners insurance) to cover a glass ornament collection. The policy had a lower deductible limit than homeowners policy, but to be honest it was a bit of hassle keeping up with the listing of each separate item when it was purchased. I felt the price was reasonable, winding up to be about the price of one ornament.

Policy with Specialist Company
Another insurance option is completely separated from the homeowners or rental policy one might have. The policy is purchased from an insurance agency that specializes with antique and collectibles. The policies will cover your collections, be it stamps, coins, pottery or even muscle cars. Since the agencies are set up to insure antiques and collectibles, a policy holder will be dealing with a knowledgeable person when and if a claim is made.

Prices for this type of insurance ranges from $48. to $75. per $10,000, a small price to pay for piece of mind.

Two well-known companies that insure collections are: American Collectors Insurance and Collectibles Insurance Services, LLC. The companies offer similar products from different insurance companies. The few small differences in the policies will help you make the decision on which one is the best fit for you and your collection.

The most important differences appear to be rates, claims on breakage/theft of multi-piece or pair items and deductibles.

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