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Unique objects require special coverage

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on February 18th, 2024

Do you have precious family heirlooms, collect antiques, fine arts or sports memorabilia?

If the answer is yes it’s important to know that standard home, condo and tenants’ insurance all have specific limits to the amount of money they will pay out in the event of a loss. That means the policy won’t provide adequate coverage for your most treasured and valuable possessions.

In fact, a homeowner’s policy provides limited coverage for such items – typically a few thousand dollars – and that’s after your deductible. Unique and valuable collections require a special kind of safety net. Scheduling items in your insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect you and your investments against losses due to accident, theft, fire, shipping and loaning, natural disasters and more.

For example, let's say you have $100,000 worth of contents coverage on your home insurance policy and there is a total loss. Your insurance policy will have specific limits for every category of items, including for jewelry. Prior to the loss you had recently bought a $12,000 diamond engagement ring for your fiancé and an $8,000 watch. Both items were destroyed. Although there’s $100,000 for contents coverage the $10,000 coverage limit for jewelry on your home insurance policy means the insurer will only pay out $10,000 for that part of the claim even though the items cost you $20,000. This is why having specific riders on your insurance is important.

Many collectors don’t secure proper coverage. Too often, they over insure against minor risks and underinsure against major ones.

HUB International suggests working with a broker who understands how to best insure valued collections, fine art and more. They can advise you about a supplementary policy – or valued items rider – that covers your belongings worldwide, including during transit and shipping. Then, when an object is lost stolen or damage, its monetary value will be covered.

In addition, HUB suggests considering coverage for:

  • Floods: A basic plan usually excludes water backups, so make sure you have an all-risk policy that includes unlimited backup of sewers, drains and sump pumps, in the event of floods.
  • Mold: If there’s flooding in your home, mold won’t be far behind and it could seriously damage objects in your collection. All standard homeowner’s policies have limitations for mold, but extra coverage can be purchased.
  • Liability:Liability insurance protects your assets if you become the target of a lawsuit. People who attempt to self-insure for liability can wind up losing everything. If you want to go beyond the payouts on your home and auto policies, you should consider a personal umbrella policy with a personal excess liability limit equal to your net worth.

It’s also vitally important to keep your policies and any appraisals updated. Only deal with reputable, professional appraisers and keep their reports. If you add items to your collection, make sure you update your coverage.

What is Collectible Insurance?

Collectible insurance is a specialized type of coverage designed to protect valuable and expensive collectibles such as antiques, coins, firearms, and sports memorabilia. This type of insurance covers items against theft, damage, loss, or other unfortunate circumstances. It typically offers more comprehensive coverage than regular homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. Some policies may also cover the costs of repairs and authentication fees in the event that an item needs to be appraised.

Benefits of Insuring Your Collectibles

Insuring your collectibles means you are properly protected in the event of theft and provides peace of mind knowing that your treasured items are adequately covered in the event of a loss. Collectible insurance can also provide financial relief by covering repair costs and authentication fees. Furthermore, some policies may even cover the cost of finding a buyer if you need to sell or transfer ownership of an item.

When deciding on the best collectible insurance policy for your needs consider:

  • How much coverage is needed for each item and the total value of all your collectibles combined.
  • Look into the coverage offered by different policies, such as if repair and authentication costs are covered or if replacement cost options exist.
  • Review any exclusions or restrictions in the fine print of a policy.
  • Compare rates for the same coverage from different insurance providers.

Know that taking the time to do your research can make all the difference in getting the best possible coverage. Here are 8 things you may want to name on your home insurance:

  1. Jewelry
  2. High-value art
  3. Antiques
  4. Musical instruments
  5. High-end bicycles, ebikes
  6. Sporting equipment
  7. Coins or banknotes
  8. Collections

If you want to make a change to your insurance coverage or schedule an item in your policy, reach out to your insurance broker today.

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