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Home insurance for collectors

Whether you’ve got a passion for amassing porcelain figurines, can’t stop collecting coins or own a stamp collection that’s worth writing home about, here’s how to protect what’s precious to you.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 17 January 2022  | 5 mins read

What is collectors’ insurance?

Collections can take years to build and may even be worth a fortune. They’ll probably hold a lot of sentimental value, too.

So, you’ll want to make sure that your prized possessions are adequately covered by insurance.

Collectors’ insurance, sometimes called collectibles insurance, covers items in a collection against risk.

You can usually cover your collection under your home insurance but in some cases it might not be enough, especially if your collection is worth a lot of money.

If this is the case, it may be worth looking into a specialist collectibles insurance policy.

Key points

  • Your home contents insurance could cover your collection against theft, loss and damage
  • If your collection is particularly valuable, you may need to protect it under a high-value home insurance policy or with stand-alone specialist collectibles insurance
  • With bespoke collectibles insurance, you can increase or decrease the total sum insured at any time

What does collectors’ insurance cover?

Your home contents insurance policy can insure your collectibles against damage or loss due to destructive events like fire, floods and storms, as well as theft and vandalism.

If it’s included in your home policy, your collection can also be covered against accidental loss or damage.

Personal possessions cover, often sold as an added extra on contents insurance policies, can insure your collectibles against loss, theft or accidental damage when you take them away from home.

Some policies will also cover your collection if you take it abroad. There’ll usually be a limit on how long this is valid for - usually 30 or 60 days, depending on the insurer.

Good quality specialist collector’s insurance usually protects your collections against ‘all risks’ as standard and may have higher coverage limits, too.

How does collectors’ insurance work?

You can either insure your collection under a standard home contents insurance policy, as part of a high-value home insurance policy or with a bespoke collectors’ policy.

For all types, you’ll need to calculate what your collection is worth to ensure you’re adequately covered.

You may be able to put an accurate price on your collection yourself, but it can be a little tricky.

If you undervalue your collection, you risk being underinsured. But value the collection too highly, and you could end up overpaying for insurance you don’t really need.

To value your collection, you can hire independent experts, speak to local antique and collectible dealers or search online auctions for selling prices.

Specialist collectibles insurers work with and can recommend approved valuers who are experts in their field. They can help put an up-to-date and realistic valuation on your collection.

Are collectibles covered by home insurance?

Many collectibles can be covered by your home insurance, but it depends on your home contents policy and how much your collection is worth.

Some collectibles are classed as ‘valuable items’ by insurers - things like jewellery, fine art, antiques and some coin and stamp collections, for example.

As such, you’ll need to let your home insurer know you have these items so they can be listed separately on your policy.

Your home policy will also set an overall sum insured limit on the contents in your home, for example £50,000. If your collection takes the total value above your limit, you won’t be adequately covered.

It also sets single-item limits which can be as low as £1,000 or £2,000. You’ll need to check that any high-value items in your collection fall within this single-item limit, or you won’t be able to claim back their full worth.

In cases where your home insurance can’t cover your valuable collections, you should look at specialist collectors’ or high-value home insurance.

Will my collection need specialist cover?

In cases where your collectibles may be worth a great deal of money, whether this is as a whole collection or individually, you may want to look at specialist cover which has a high sum insured limit.

High net worth insurance and bespoke collectibles insurance can provide cover for valuable collections.

What types of collector’s insurance are available?

Specialist collectors’ policies can cover all types of collectibles including:

  • Fine wines and whiskies
  • Art
  • Antiques
  • Dolls
  • Designer handbags
  • Toys
  • Guitars
  • Militaria
  • Pop, sport and film memorabilia

Collectors’ insurance and high-value home insurance will usually include all-risks cover and may include accidental damage cover, too. They’re also likely to automatically provide cover for any item below a high-value threshold without having to specify it on the policy. You would need to check the terms and conditions for what this is, though.

Bespoke high-value collector’s policies can also include extras like:

Depreciation in value cover

If an item in your collection gets damaged and can’t be repaired, or it’s possible to repair but it will result in a loss of value, the insurer will pay out

Pairs and matching set insurance

This takes into account the fact that some items lose value if one of a pair or set is damaged and will payout to reflect this loss

New acquisition cover

Gives you a percentage increase on your sum insured when you buy a new collectible to add to your collection. You simply need to inform your insurer of the new acquisition within a set period (often 30 days)

Items at exhibitions or on display

Provides cover for your collectibles when in transit to or from, or while on display at an exhibition

How much does it cost to insure a coin collection?

Some coin collections could be covered by your home insurance. But if you’re a serious collector, with a particularly large and valuable collection, then you may be better off with specialist cover.

How much this sort of cover will cost you depends on how much your coin collection is worth.

Saying that, coin collections can be difficult to value. That’s because their real value depends on how much another collector is willing to pay for a particular coin.

However, there are certain factors that can make a coin particularly valuable:

Rarity

The mintage of a coin indicates how many of them were produced. The lower the mintage, the rarer the coin, making it more desirable. You can check for the value of rare currency and historic coins with The Royal Mint.

In some cases, even if the mintage of a coin was high, it can still be difficult to get hold of because people who aren’t collectors keep hold of particular coins as mementoes or keepsakes. This keeps them out of circulation and makes it difficult for collectors to get hold of them.

The age of the coin

Older coins can be rarer and more valuable.

Specialist insurers work with valuers who can help assess your coin collection properly, so they can make sure it’s adequately covered.

Can you insure a record collection?

Yes, vinyl records are popular to collect and it’s possible to get your collection insured against damage or theft on your regular home policy.

If your collection is particularly large, valuable or includes rare items, a specialist policy might suit you better.

How do collectors insure their cars?

Collections of vintage, luxury and high-performance vehicles might include cars from Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and Lamborghini, which can be worth millions of pounds.

They’ll need to be insured under a high-value, bespoke specialist policy, which can be tailored to insure cars whether they’re driven or not.

Is my collection covered for theft if it’s stored in my garage?

It depends on your policy. In some cases, if the garage is part of your home and is secured with approved locks, then your collectibles could be covered up to an agreed limit. Check with your insurer to be sure.

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