If you ever need to file a claim for a major loss, it’s natural you’ll be most concerned with the essentials above all else. After all, you’ll need to get your home up and running as soon as possible.
However, it’s not until after an event, such as a burglary, fire, or major vandalism that homeowners realize some of their most prized possessions were also affected. You might assume that your standard Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy covers these items, but you could be in for a shock.
Why the Concern?
Do you own a baseball card collection you’ve worked on for years, collect antiques given to you by a relative, have a stamp collection, or collect fine art? Perhaps you have a collection of firearms, china, Hummel figurines, or rare books. If you collect unusual, rare, or valuable items, you may not have adequate coverage under your homeowners insurance policy.
What is Collectibles Insurance?
Collectibles insurance specifically protects your cherished items. While you may not be able to replace one-of-a-kind items, at least you’ll be compensated for their value.
For instance, if you own a china collection and there’s a fire, your regular homeowner’s policy might cover you up to $500. If each piece in your collection costs $30 to replace and you have 50 pieces, you’ll only receive $500. You’ll need additional coverage to make up the difference. If the china is rare or retired, the insured value is even more critical.
Collectibles insurance covers a broader range of dangers too, often including things such as breakage, flooding, and earthquake damage not covered under a homeowners insurance policy.
Is It Worth Buying?
The cost of collectibles insurance varies based on the value of the items. Even if you cherish an item, it may not merit collectibles insurance unless it has significant monetary value. Sentimental value does not necessarily correlate to monetary value so it’s important to keep that in mind.
How do you determine value? Basically, it’s an estimate of what you could get for your items if you sold them today. If you’re a serious collector, you may already have a rough idea of worth. Perhaps you belong to a club, check eBay often, subscribe to specialty magazines that reports values of collectibles, or visit dealer websites.
If you don’t know what your items are worth you can search for similar items, and if you determine the estimated value is under $5,000 some insurers will insure your collection based only on your description and photographs. The risk is low so they often take your word for it. However, other insurance companies want a written professional appraisal or bill of sale.
Similar to collectibles, your home insurance may or may not provide enough coverage for your prized jewelry items or fine silverware/goldware. If your cherished items are jewelry, check out our video blog on how best to insure your jewelry.
Discuss your needs with your insurance agent. Your insurance company may add a rider to your existing policy for additional coverage. If you have many collectibles, you may need a separate policy. They may offer a lower premium if you have an alarm system, store your items in a fireproof safe, or use protective cases on items such as baseball cards or jerseys. You’ll also need periodic reviews to adjust for inflation and value increases.