Home insurance for collectors

Protect your collections with home insurance

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Keen collector? Make sure you have the correct cover in place with our handy guide.

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It may be a very British trait, but we are a nation that loves to collect things from fine art to stamps to medals, coins, even comic books or toy cars. In fact, the things we choose to collect are as varied as those who do the collecting.

Some may be older collectors who have built up extensive collections over the years – or even decades – while others are younger collectors who are just starting out.

There are many different types of collections hidden away in people's homes, some of which are high in monetary value, and some of which are high in personal value.

Either way, it is vital to have the correct cover in place for these collections to cover against the unexpected such as fire, flood or theft.

What kind of cover?

It may be possible to insure a collection under your general house insurance policy, as many conventional policies will cover jewellery, coins, antiques and other collectibles.

Crucially, you need to check with your home insurance provider to see what they say – and whether they are prepared to insure your collection alongside the rest of your home contents.

Consider specialist cover

Note however, that standard policies tend to be aimed at the mass market.

Instead, you may want to consider a specialist policy which reflects the characteristics of your particular collection.

For example, a dedicated insurance policy for collections of coins will differ a great deal from a dedicated insurance policy for collections of toy cars.

Equally, a specialist insurer will better understand your individual needs and should be able to underwrite the collection far more accurately.

Getting collections valued

If you don't know the true worth of your collections, it is vital to get them valued before signing up to any insurance policy.

If you have a coin collection, for example, you should get this professionally appraised by a coin dealer who offers a service.

You could also approach your local auction house; prices for identification and valuation services range from around £150 with local auction houses to over £1,000 for a day-long home visit by a major auctioneer.
Consider specialist cover

Note however, that standard policies tend to be aimed at the mass market.

Instead, you may want to consider a specialist policy which reflects the characteristics of your particular collection.

For example, a dedicated insurance policy for collections of coins will differ a great deal from a dedicated insurance policy for collections of toy cars.

Equally, a specialist insurer will better understand your individual needs and should be able to underwrite the collection far more accurately.

Collections can increase in value

As a collector, it is also worth bearing in mind that some collections can reach a high value very quickly – which can soon take you over the limit on your standard home contents insurance limit.

Crucially, when getting any collection valued, it's worth getting two or three opinions to get a better idea of the approximate value.

The key is to check the coverage of single value items and also collective limits.

If you have your collection well catalogued with a full inventory and valuation it will make it easier to identify single items and collective limits.

Getting collections valued

If you don't know the true worth of your collections, it is vital to get them valued before signing up to any insurance policy.

If you have a coin collection, for example, you should get this professionally appraised by a coin dealer who offers a service.

You could also approach your local auction house; prices for identification and valuation services range from around £150 with local auction houses to over £1,000 for a day-long home visit by a major auctioneer.

Crucially, when getting any collection valued, it's worth getting two or three opinions to get a better idea of the approximate value.

Check the level of cover

Do not assume that your home contents policy will cover the true value of your collection, as some will only cover a portion of this. Make sure you know exactly what is and isn't covered.

When looking for a home contents policy that covers your collections, make sure you shop around to compare quotes – as this will ensure you get a good deal on your cover.

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