Understanding Sports Memorabilia Insurance

What is sports memorabilia insurance?

Sports memorabilia insurance is a type of insurance that protects collectors from financial loss due to the damage, destruction, or theft of their sports memorabilia collection. It can provide peace of mind and protection for collectors, who often have a significant financial investment in their collection. In the event that a covered loss occurs, insurance can help to reimburse the collector for the value of the lost or damaged items.

What items does sports memorabilia insurance cover?

Sports collectors have a wide range of items that they value and cherish, including rare and hard-to-find items such as autographed jerseys, game-used equipment, and signed photographs. Other popular categories of sports memorabilia include items related to specific players, teams, or sporting events, such as a LeBron James signed basketball or a Tom Brady Super Bowl jersey. Collectors may also seek out vintage posters, programs, and other historical items related to sports. No matter what type of sports memorabilia you collect, it's important to consider protecting your investment with insurance.

Do I need to insure my sports memorabilia?

Are you proud of the care and attention you have given to your sports memorabilia collection? If something were to happen to it, such as being destroyed in a storm or stolen in a burglary, would you be distressed and potentially lose a significant financial investment? If so, obtaining insurance for your sports memorabilia may be a wise decision. It can provide protection and peace of mind in the face of unexpected events.

What types of losses are covered?

Each provider is different. Oyster offers an all-risk policy that provides comprehensive coverage for sports memorabilia. 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. See our collectibles page for more information.

Do I need sports memorabilia insurance if I have homeowners or renters insurance?

If you're a sports memorabilia collector, you may be wondering whether you need to purchase a separate insurance policy to protect your collection, or if your existing homeowner or renters insurance policy will suffice. Here are a few reasons for considering a separate sports memorabilia insurance policy:


Homeowner insurance policies tend to have relatively low limits for sports memorabilia and collectibles coverage, typically ranging from $500 to $2,000 per item, even with the addition of a floater or rider. In contrast, sports memorabilia insurance policies may offer coverage up to $1 million or more.


Homeowner insurance policies generally provide coverage for the actual cash value of an item, which is the item's value at the time of the loss. This means that if you file a claim for a damaged or destroyed item in your collection, you may only receive a payout based on the original purchase price or the value of the item at the time it was damaged or destroyed, rather than its current market value.

Collectibles insurance policies, on the other hand, generally insure the full collectible value of your items, taking into account any appreciation in value over time.


Homeowner insurance policies typically only cover named perils, which means that they only provide protection against specific types of damage or loss. This means that if your collection is damaged or destroyed by a peril that is not listed in your policy, you may not be able to file a claim. Homeowner policies also often exclude coverage for items in transit, which could be a problem if you need to transport your collection to a different location.

Collectibles insurance policies, on the other hand, generally offer “all-risk” coverage, which means that they provide protection against a wide range of risks and perils, including damage or loss during transit, storage, and accidental breakage.


Filing a claim against your homeowner policy could potentially result in premium increases or policy non-renewal. With a separate collectibles policy, claims do not affect your homeowner premiums or loss history.

In addition, collectibles insurance policies often provide access to adjusters with specialized knowledge in specific collectibles categories, including sports memorabilia. These adjusters are better able to determine the value of unique or rare items, which can expedite the claims process and lead

How much does sports memorabilia insurance cost?

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

When looking for sports memorabilia 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 1% and 2% of the insured value of your collection. For example, a $10,000 piece may cost approximately $100-200 per year in premium payments to insure. Multiple collections can also be covered under the same policy.

It takes less than 2 minutes to get a quote for a policy with Oyster, so that's the best way to find out exactly how much insurance will cost you.

How do I value my collection?

When applying for insurance, it is your responsibility to determine the value of your sports collection. An insurance appraisal may not be required at the time of application, but it will be necessary for the event of a claim. The appraisal should be recent, generally within the past 3-5 years, and should be conducted in person, not through an online appraisal system. 

At a minimum, an appraisal should include your address, the date of the appraisal, the value of the sports collection, and a detailed description of it. It should also include the name and in-person signature of the appraiser and their contact information. 

There are several ways to determine the value of your sports memorabilia collection:

Research comparable items: Look for similar items that have been sold recently, either at auction or through online marketplaces, and use those prices as a guide for determining the value of your collection. Some useful resources for finding sold prices for sports memorabilia include:

  • eBay: You can search for completed listings on eBay to see what similar items have sold for.
  • Heritage Auctions: This website lists past auction results for a wide range of sports memorabilia, including cards, autographs, and other collectibles.
  • Memory Lane: This company specializes in vintage sports cards and memorabilia, and their website includes a database of past auction results.
  • Beckett: Beckett is a well-known publisher of sports card price guides, and their website includes a database of past auction results

Consult with an expert: Consider consulting with a professional sports memorabilia dealer or appraiser who can provide an expert opinion on the value of your collection. Some resources for finding sports memorabilia experts include:

  • Sports Collectors Digest: This magazine has a directory of sports memorabilia dealers, appraisers, and other professionals in the industry.
  • Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA): PSA is a third-party grading and authentication service for sports cards and memorabilia. They also have a directory of certified appraisers who can provide expert opinions on the value of your collection.

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