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Home insurance for collectors

Protect your collections with home insurance

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

By Maddie Rajah

Published: 28 June 2019

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What is collectors’ insurance?

Collectors’ insurance is a specialist product which helps protect your collections in case anything should happen to them.

Collections often build in value over time, and insurance can help to cover the monetary value of your collection, in case items are lost, damaged or stolen.

It may also give you peace of mind that you could replace any items, or even the whole collection, should something happen to them.

What does collectors’ insurance cover?

Collectors’ insurance protects the value of your collections against theft, damage and loss. You can buy collectors’ insurance for all sorts of collectables, including:

  • Coins
  • Toys
  • Art
  • Wine
  • Stamps
  • Comics
  • Records
  • Antiques
  • Model trains

How does collectors’ insurance work?

You can choose to insure your collection on your regular home insurance contents policy, or by taking out a specialist collectors’ policy.

You’ll need an estimate of the total value of your collectables for both the home insurance and the specialist collectables insurance policies. This sum should reflect how much it would cost to replace your entire collection in case it’s damaged or lost as a result of accidental damage, fire, flooding or other events.

Adding your collection to a home insurance policy

Your home insurance policy can help to cover the cost of repairing or replacing items in your collection if they’re damaged by:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Lightning and storm
  • Flooding
  • Malicious damage
  • Earthquakes

If no individual item is worth more than £1,000, you’ll only need to include the entire estimated value of the collection in the total contents value for the house.

However, if a single piece in your collection is worth over £1,000, insurers consider it a high-value item. You’ll therefore need to add it to your home insurance policy separately to ensure it’s covered.

You will have the option to insure any of your items outside your home by taking out ‘personal possessions/belongings cover’, to help protect them against damage and loss when you take them to exhibitions and outings.

You will normally need to add accidental damage cover to your home insurance policy if you require this level of cover.

Insuring your collection with a collector’s insurance policy

A specialist collector’s insurance policy can offer the same protection against fire, flood, malicious damage and other events. Some collectables insurers will offer accidental damage cover as part of their standard policy.

Collectors’ insurance can also cover specific risks to your particular collectables, including temporary location cover for exhibitions or emergency evacuation of the collection where needed. This might involve an additional cost, or come as part of an ‘all risks’ policy.  

Your policy will generally cover the total value of your collection, rather than listing items individually (unless the insurer thinks they have a particularly high value).

Types of collectors’ insurance

Agreed-value cover: Specialist collectables insurers can cover the cost of replacing your whole collection – with no minimum or maximum – if it’s damaged, but there may be a limit to how many items you can insure as part of your collection

Depreciation cover: If anything happens to your collectables and they either can’t be repaired, or their value has depreciated after repair, a collector’s insurance policy can help you recover the lost value  

Defective title cover: Defective title cover or defective title indemnity insurance (DTI) can cover the cost of your collectables in case somebody claims that the item rightfully belongs to them

Temporary location cover: Protects your collection if you take it outside your home to any shows or exhibitions, and can include worldwide cover

Emergency evacuation cover: In case you need to move your collection because of a home emergency

Legal expenses: Collectables insurance can cover the cost of any legal disputes when you come to buy or sell items, for example

Things to keep in mind

There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind with a home insurance policy or collectables policy:

  • If you make a claim on your home insurance for your collection, it might affect the cost of your home insurance in the future. Taking out collectors’ insurance rather than insuring your collection under a contents insurance policy can help to keep the cost of your home insurance down
  • If any items in your collection increase in value, it’s a good idea to update your policy to make sure the full value is covered. The cost of your collector’s insurance may increase as a result
  • Keeping your collection secure in a safe or protected by an alarm could help to keep the cost of your collector’s insurance down    
  • Home insurance policies and specialist collectables insurance won’t usually cover your collection against wear and tear
  • If you keep your collection in an outbuilding (your garage, for example), there will still be some level of protection – but the amount you can claim and the circumstance you can claim for may be less comprehensive than if the collection is in your house. You will still need to keep your garage secure to claim

Comparing collectors’ home insurance policies

You can compare collectors’ home insurance policies using MoneySuperMarket. Include the value of your collection in your home contents policy total estimated value, and add any individual items in your collection that are worth over £1,000 separately.

You can also add ‘personal possessions’ to help keep your high-value collection protected outside your home. You may need to include accidental damage cover as an add-on to help make sure your collection is protected.

If you’d prefer to take out an insurance policy that’s specifically designed for collections, there are non-standard home insurers who can offer you a specialist collectables policy.

Looking for home insurance?