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Should You Insure Your Antiques?
Quick answer: Yes.
An antique collection is one of the most valuable possessions you have. Aside from the joy and gratification from finding rare pieces, antiques also add diversity in your portfolio. Because antique pieces are worth so much, both monetarily and emotionally, you need to take the necessary steps to protect them from unforeseen events. An insurance policy can help you with that.
Insurance for Your Collection
Insurance and collecting antiques may seem like two completely different turfs, but it’s important to know that they go hand in hand.
Insurance can be a complex concept, but the first thing you need to grasp about it is quite simple and practical. Basically, an insurance policy is a financial tool designed to manage your risks and protect you from losses due to unexpected events that may happen to your valuable assets.
When people hear about insurance, they usually associate it to policies covering health, life, home, and automobiles. However, the insurance market goes way beyond those needs. Today, there are different plans covering different types of situations and assets, including antique pieces.
Insurance for your antiques is essential to have because they act as an umbrella in case your collection gets damaged, broken or lost. However, some antique owners only realize the value of an insurance policy too late or when the worst already happened.
Regardless of whether you have a budding or vast collection, insuring your antique pieces is imperative. Here’s a guide to help you get started.
Ways to Insure Your Antique Collection
There are two ways to get coverage for your antique collection and these are through a homeowners’ insurance rider or collectible insurance. To determine the better choice for you, take a look at how these policies work and what makes them different from each other.
Homeowners’ Insurance Rider
Generally, homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover antiques, but they may provide additional benefits for your valuable collection through a rider—an added feature that broadens the coverage of your policy in order to protect your other prized belongings such as antiques.
Taking the homeowners’ insurance rider route is advisable for individuals who have small collections, because in most cases, the insurance company will require you to list each item that you want to be covered. This can be a tedious process if you have a huge collection or if you often add pieces to your trove. More so, coverage from a homeowners’ rider can be limited and may not be able to cover other possible causes of loss or damage.
Collectible insurance is an insurance policy that is specifically designed to protect antiques and other collectible items that are typically not covered under homeowners’ insurance. It has more flexible features and covers a wider range of situations and needs as opposed to a homeowners’ rider. For instance, collectible insurance typically covers damages due to breakage, but homeowners’ insurance riders don’t usually see such as a benefit trigger or a reason valid enough to make a claim.
Collectible insurance is suitable for people who have numerous antiques or for those who add pieces to their collection on a regular basis.
The Importance of Knowing the Worth of your Collection
Surprisingly, many antique owners are not sure about the true value of their collection. How can you find the right protection for an asset if you don’t know how much you need to guard in the first place?
Before you set out and find an insurance policy for your antique collection, the most important and crucial step you need to take is to determine the worth of your items. Only then will you know the ideal amount of insurance coverage to purchase.
You can begin the process with sorting out your collection. Do you want to protect every piece or are there any items that you think don’t need coverage? Take an inventory of your collection and figure out how much of your trove you want to insure.
The next step is being updated on the recent antique trends and the price movements of your items in the current market. Thanks to the World Wide Web, sources and tools that can help you stay abreast in the antique world are all within your fingertips. For starters, you can subscribe to blogs, join online forums, and participate in online communities.
Appraisal is also an important step in determining the value of your antiques. During this process, a professional will look at your items to determine their value based on their rarity, overall quality, provenance, and other papers you may have on the item. After the appraisal process, you will receive a documentation indicating the result of the evaluation. Make sure to keep this piece of paper in a safe place because you will need it by claim time.
Purchasing insurance for your antiques entail a process. Here are some tips to help you go through the steps properly and make informed decisions along the way.
- Get in touch with your insurance agent or company. Once you realized the need to cover your antiques with a rider or separate policy, you need to inform your agent or insurer right away. Get the ball rolling immediately and lay down your needs to them. With their help, you can evaluate your options and choose the best coverage for your collection.
- Assess your risk tolerance. The amount of coverage you will buy for your antiques will all be up to you. Aside from knowing the worth of your collection, determine the amount of risk you can take. If you’re risk-averse, purchasing coverage amounting to the actual value of your collection may make more sense. But since such policy is more comprehensive, it will definitely cost more than a plan that only covers a portion of your collection’s total worth.
- Know what affects the premium or cost of coverage. There are factors that influence the cost of a policy, such as deductibles and additional riders like inflation protection. Meanwhile, insurers also look into how antiques are stored. If a collection is stored in a secure and safe place, the cost of insuring it would most likely be lower as opposed to items that are stacked in areas prone to flooding, fires, and breakage.
- Take time to shop around. Insurance companies have different pricing systems and application criteria, so it’s best to shop around and get quotations from different insurers. More than good rates and application rules, you also need to look at the reputation and performance of an insurance company. Only do business with insurers that have a good rating from independent organizations such as A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
- Organize all the important papers relating to your collection. Having the right documentation help speed up the claim process, so keep all records and receipts relating to your collection in a secure place that you can easily access if needed.
Just like your home and car, your antique collection is also a valuable asset. Depending on the market, it can increase in value as time passes. As a result it can be your leverage during difficult financial times. But more than its monetary worth, it is precious because of the fulfillment it brings to you as a collector. So don’t let all of that go to waste all because of an unforeseen event. Consider protecting your antiques with insurance coverage and have the peace of mind you deserve.