What Makes Something a “Collectible” (and in Need of Special Insurance)?

Most people have had at least one type of collection in their lifetime. Whether it’s some old toys they couldn’t bear to part with or a set of antique dishes in excellent condition, the big question on any collector’s mind is, “Is this collection worth money?” To determine this, it’s first important to understand what makes something a “collectible.”

The term collectible is often used interchangeably with “antique” or “vintage,” but they are not quite the same thing. An antique is categorized as something that is approximately 100 years old or older, while vintage typically refers to something that is at least 20 years old. While most antique or vintage items are considered collectibles, a collectible doesn’t necessarily have to fall within any certain age range.

A collectible is made valuable based on its rarity, condition, and the demand for that particular item. Nostalgia often fuels demand for collectibles, driving up the market values. When a collection becomes worth a significant amount of money, it may require its own separate insurance coverage to protect the owner from the risk of financial loss if something were to happen to their items.

Why Would a Collection Need Special Insurance?

Once a collection becomes valuable, it needs to be insured properly to protect the owner’s investment. While some valuable belongings can be covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy, there are often limits or exclusions for artwork and other collectibles. The first step in obtaining special insurance for a collection is to check the homeowners policy. Some policies do allow coverage for collectible items, usually to a maximum claim amount, which can range from $500 to $2,000. For higher-value collections, a specialty insurance policy is recommended.

If you a collection is worth more than a couple thousand dollars, or if it is so rare that assigning a monetary value is difficult, a formal appraisal will be required in order to obtain special insurance coverage. The appraiser should be able to offer detailed descriptions and approximate values for each item in a collection, as well as the collection as a whole.

When looking for an insurance policy for a collection, it’s beneficial to find one that covers a wide range of losses. Some policies may only cover losses that occur within the policyholder’s home, so if they attend collectible shows or do any other type of traveling with their collection they will need to obtain additional coverage for losses that occur during transit. The best option is a broad policy, designed specifically for high-value collections, that follows the items wherever they go.

About AmSuisse

Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (800) 485-0229 to speak with one of our representatives.