Guide to insuring collectibles and memorabilia

6 minute read Published on Aug 31, 2021 | Last updated Mar 8, 2022 by BrokerLink Communications

Guide to insuring collectibles and memorabilia

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Collecting has become an increasingly popular hobby, spanning all ages, across all walks of life. The range of collections is unlimited! It spans all the way from retail items such as dolls, coins, clocks, and cameras to natural items including seashells, rocks, and butterflies. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can collect. For example, the Guinness World Records highlights record breaking collections of everything from rubber ducks to Harry Potter memorabilia.

As your collectibles and memorabilia become more valuable, it’s important to have them properly protected or insured. Only some home insurance policies cover your collectibles and memorabilia, so you should check your home insurance policy and if it doesn’t cover your collection, you can purchase additional coverage by adding an endorsement to your home insurance policy.

You can purchase a standalone insurance policy, separate from your home insurance, which will protect your collectibles and memorabilia. Below are details on how to ensure you have the protection you need.

Check your current home insurance policy for collectibles and memorabilia coverage

Most home insurance policies have limits restricting home contents coverage. This means that collectibles and memorabilia are not always adequately covered under these policies. Some policies may exclude collectibles and memorabilia completely. In addition to collectibles and memorabilia, items such as jewellery, watches, comic books, bicycles, and sports cards may not be covered under your home insurance policy.

Since limits, coverage, exclusions, clauses, and basis of settlement vary between policies, it’s important to read your insurance policy carefully. In the event of damage or theft to your collection, your policy limits dictate how much you may be entitled to receive. Taking the time to read and understand the details of your policy could potentially save you a lot of time and money down the road. If you have any questions about your home insurance policy, contact your broker.

Your home insurance policy may already include coverage for collectibles, memorabilia, or other high value items. Your policy may also include endorsements, sometimes called “riders,” which might include the removal of restrictions, clauses, and/or increases in limits and coverage. Endorsements are adjustments you can add to your policy. Some endorsements add coverage or change your policy to include coverage of your collectibles, memorabilia, and other high value items. Since endorsements are adjustments to your policy they generally change the policy premium.

Make an inventory of your collection

Life is full of unexpected events - you can’t predict when a fire, flood or theft may occur. Any of these events could have a devastating impact on your collectibles, memorabilia, and more. However, you can be prepared in case something happens, for example, by having a list of your possessions, which is important if you have to make an insurance claim.

To be prepared, take an inventory of your collectibles now and keep it in a safe place. Here’s a home inventory checklist of commonly found items in your home, some of which may be included in your collections. Keeping a physical copy in a safety deposit box or a digital copy in secure online storage are both great ways to retain an inventory of your collection. Here are a few tips for creating your collection inventory:

  • Prepare a list of your collection ahead of time. This is always much easier than creating the list from memory later.
  • Include details such as the date of purchase, amount paid, and any other important details.
  • Be sure to save photos or videos of each item.
  • Keep receipts for new additions to your collection.
  • Keep any documentation of prior appraisals.

If you ever need to file a home insurance claim, you’ll have the information ready at your fingertips. And, in case it’s needed, we offer a step-by-step guide of the claims process on our claims page.

Get an appraisal for your collectibles and memorabilia

Sometimes appraisals for your high value goods, including collectibles and memorabilia, are required for special insurance coverage. Many insurance providers offer specialized coverage (with either no deductible in a loss or a greatly reduced one) to protect collectibles to a replacement value. To be eligible for these policies, collections need to be appraised by a certified expert. Getting an appraisal by a certified expert will help you decide how much insurance coverage you need. Appraisal details depend on the insurance company and your policy, so be sure to contact your insurance company for guidance on getting an appraisal.

What’s the difference between collectibles and memorabilia?

Collectibles and memorabilia are not the same thing although they are often confused. Here’s the difference:

Collectibles are things like vintage toys, baseball cards or record collections. They are purchased for fun and don’t have any other purpose. Many collectors seek to complete their collections. That means one item can have a lot of value if it’s the one thing someone is missing.

Memorabilia is something that was created with a purpose. For example, merchandise from old Olympics or sporting events or vintage advertisements are considered memorabilia. The value of memorabilia depends on its condition and how rare it is. Your tickets from last night’s Blue Jays game aren’t considered memorabilia – but if you have a program from a 1961 Montreal Expos game, you might want to get it appraised.

Insure your collectibles and memorabilia with BrokerLink

To keep your collection safe, you may want to increase the personal contents amount in your home insurance policy, add endorsements to increase special limits of coverage, or schedule the item to the policy to potentially remove exclusions, deductibles, increase limits, increase coverages, and amend clauses and exclusions.

Coverage options include standalone policies or endorsements applied to your current home insurance policy. Usually, collections can be covered by an endorsement to your home insurance policy, but there are benefits to using standalone collectible policies. For example, standalone policies allow different limits and special coverage terms, such as a reduced deductible. BrokerLink also offers several different settlement options in the event of a claim, which include replacement cost, actual cash value, single limit, special limit, agreed value, and guaranteed replacement cost.

We’re happy to discuss the coverage that will best protect your collectibles and memorabilia. Whether your passion is fine art, records, antiques, coins, jewellery, wine, vintage cars or other treasures, make sure your valuables are safeguarded with the right insurance coverage. Talk to your local BrokerLink broker today to get the best coverage to protect the things you love.

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FAQs about collectibles and memorabilia

How does personal articles insurance work?

Personal articles are special items with different insurance terms. Some personal articles may be covered in your home insurance policy, but it’s best to check with your insurance broker to discuss the exact terms.

I have a comic book collection. How can I insure it?

Your home insurance policy might not cover your collection! Contact your local BrokerLink broker to discuss your coverage and specialty collectible insurance.

Can my plant collection be insured with collectible insurance?

Some home insurance coverage considers plants, shrubs, and trees as part of your property. This means they would be covered. If you have extremely valuable plants or prize-winning petunias, talk to an insurance broker about making sure they’re covered.