Why Antiques May Not Be Covered in Your Home Policy

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Why Antiques May Not Be Covered in Your Home Policy

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How much contents coverage do I need

Almost everyone has a special collection, whether it’s a collection of antiques, coins, art, figurines, dolls, collector cars, or fine wine. It’s hard to imagine anything happening to your treasured belongings. Antiques and collectibles insurance provides coverage for those hard-to-replace belongings in your home. 

Loss Scenarios: When You Need Collectible Insurance

If you have questions about antiques and collectibles insurance and why it can be necessary to protect your items, it might be helpful to you to consider some scenarios that would make collectible insurance valuable to have. Here are just a few to consider:

  • A heat wave or other event damages your wine collection
  • Your figurine collection is broken when a shelf collapses
  • Broken water pipes destroy your collection of antique furniture
  • A home fire destroys your collection of autographed sports memorabilia
  • You lose your collection of fine art in a burglary

These are examples of worst-case scenarios that could cause your prized possessions to be destroyed. Because these items have high dollar values and mean so much to you and your family, protecting your investment in antiques and collectibles with specific insurance can provide peace of mind.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Antiques and Collectibles?

A common misconception is that homeowners insurance provides coverage for all high value items in the home, including antiques, collectibles, and family heirlooms. 

While some policies may cover your antiques, the amount of coverage is typically very limited and may not be enough to cover the replacement of your expensive possessions after a loss.

Homeowners policies typically cover up to a set limit for many specific categories of items. For example, your policy may cover a loss of up to $2,500 for your art, collectibles, and antiques.

If you determine that you need additional, specific coverage for antiques and collectibles, there are typically two methods:

  1. Work with your agent to add an “endorsement” (also called a rider) to your existing homeowners insurance policy for any items of value that otherwise won’t be covered for their full value by your home policy.
  2. Buy a separate “insurance floater” for each of your most treasured items or collections.

Consult with your agent about the best approach for you based on the value of the items you need to cover, and a cost comparison of a rider vs. a separate insurance floater.

Antiques and Collectibles: Do You Know What You Have?

Surprisingly, many collectors are unsure how many antiques they have or whether they have great value. In your search for the best antiques and collectibles insurance, you’ll want to identify each item in your collection. Be sure to include any item you would want to replace if it is destroyed or stolen.

How much insurance you’ll need depends on the size of your collection and what that collection includes. Many times, getting the appropriate coverage for your antiques and collectibles requires an appraisal of your collection. 

The appraised value of a collection can sometimes be two to three times more than the fair market value. An appraisal is beneficial to help ensure that you have a written valuation of your collection and documentation in the event that you need to file a claim.

You’ll want to carefully compare coverage options in order to select a plan that suits you.

How Much Are My Antiques and Collectibles Worth?

If you’re unsure what your collection is worth, you’re not alone. Many people collect special items for years, never realizing that those items are increasing in value over time. 

If you take the time to create a list of your antiques and collectibles, your appraiser can more easily determine their worth so you can get the insurance protection you need.

Possessions have different types of values for different purposes. These include:

  • Retail value: The price the item currently sells for in an antique shop.
  • Wholesale value: The price a dealer pays for the piece, which is often up to 50% less than its retail value.
  • Fair market value: The selling price agreed upon by the seller and buyer.
  • Insurance value: The highest monetary value given to the item if it needs to be replaced.
  • Tax or estate value: The average price paid for the same, or similar, piece at an auction.
  • Auction value: The price the item would cost if neither the seller nor buyer were in a position of forced sale. This is also known as the “open market price.”

Knowing the value of your collectibles is just as important whether you have plans to sell, or you want to be certain it is properly insured.

Determine the Best Collectible Insurance for You

Though you likely realize that protecting your antiques and collectibles with insurance is important, you may still feel overwhelmed by the process of finding the right coverage.

In the end, collecting several rate quotes is the most important step you can take to make sure you’re getting the best coverage at a competitive price. It’s highly recommended that you get at least three rate quotes on similar coverage before you buy. 

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to check the insurance company’s financial strength rating through an agency. Best to make sure you’re working with a reputable company. Insurance is a great tool that can protect your belongings, but just make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your needs and budget.

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