Understanding Collectibles Insurance

What is collectibles insurance?

Collectibles insurance is a type of insurance that specifically covers rare or valuable items, such as stamps, coins, artwork, or antiques. If you're an avid collector of these types of items, you may be wondering what collectibles insurance is, what items it covers, and whether it's worth purchasing.

What items does collectibles insurance cover?

Collectibles insurance can cover a wide range of items, including fine art, sports memorabilia, wine, fur, silverware, rare books and manuscripts, rugs and tapestries, musical instruments, stamps, coins, firearms, and many others. Essentially, if it can be collected, it can likely be covered by collectibles insurance.

Do I need to insure my collectibles?

Whether you need collectibles insurance depends on the value and rarity of your collection. If you have a collection of items that are rare, valuable, or sentimental to you, it may be worth considering collectibles insurance. This insurance can provide peace of mind knowing that your investments are protected against unexpected events.

What types of losses are covered?

Each provider is different. Oyster offers an all-risk policy that provides comprehensive coverage for collectible items that are vulnerable to loss. This policy covers losses caused by a variety of events, including, but not limited to, accidental breakage, burglary, fires, lightning, loss in transit, and water damage. Specific coverages are also included for certain types of collectibles.

Do I need collectibles insurance if I have homeowners or renters insurance?

While homeowners and renters insurance does provide some coverage for personal belongings, it may not be enough to fully protect your collectibles. 

Homeowners insurance usually limits property coverage to a percentage of the total value of your home. This may not be enough to replace your collection if it were ever destroyed, damaged, or stolen. Additionally, even if the policy provides enough coverage in terms of dollar value, it may only offer limited coverage for certain types of collectibles, such as fine art or sports memorabilia. As a result, your homeowners insurance policy may not fully cover the loss of your collection.

Collectibles insurance policies may also provide coverage for your collection outside of your home as well. For example, you can customize a policy to cover your items while they are in transit through the mail, while you are traveling with them, while they are stored in a facility, or while they are on display at an exhibit. This can provide additional protection for your valuable items, ensuring that they are covered in a variety of different situations.

Collectibles insurance provides benefits that are not typically available through standard home insurance policies or scheduled property endorsements. This can make it an attractive option for collectors of rare or valuable items who want to ensure that their investments are fully protected.

How much does collectibles insurance cost?

The cost of collectibles insurance will vary depending on the value of your collection and the level of coverage you need.

When looking for collectibles insurance, it's important to look for policies that provide full market value coverage, rather than cash value. These types of policies may cost between 0.5% and 2% of the insured value of your collection. For example, a $100,000 wine collection may cost approximately $1,000 per year in premium payments to insure. Multiple collections can also be covered under the same policy.

There are several factors that can impact the cost of collectibles insurance, including certain aspects of your home, your financial history, and how you store your collection. These questions will be asked during the application process to determine the correct price.

How do I value my collection?

You are responsible for establishing the value of their collection when applying for collectibles insurance. An appraisal is typically not required at the time of application but will be required in the event of a claim.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is an amount that will be subtracted from any future claims payout (i.e. it is your contribution to the payout of the claim). In general, a lower deductible means a higher monthly premium and vice versa. 

‍What is a premium?

The premium is the cost of your insurance policy. You pay this figure regardless of whether you file a claim or not.

What information do I need for a claim?

We only need a few pieces of information to get the claim started. These include some basic contact information (if we don't already have it) and your policy number. We will also need some information about the incident, such as the date you became aware of the issue, the item involved, and a brief description of the circumstances.

This is all we need to get the ball rolling. We may need additional information during the process, but the claims team will let you know if anything else is needed. Additional information could include photos of the item (e.g. if damaged), appraisals, purchase receipts, or a police report in a theft case.

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