If you have home insurance, you may assume that it covers everything inside of your home. Or, you may know that you have a total limit for property coverage and think that's all you need. The truth is that collectibles often fall under exceptions that mean you don't have full coverage with just your standard home insurance policy.
What Coverage Does Standard Home Insurance Get You?
Your standard home insurance property coverage provides limited coverage for your collectibles. Any claims are subject to both your overall policy limits as well as potential per-item limits. In addition, certain collectibles may fall under an exclusion that means they have no coverage at all.
What Collectibles Have Special Rules?
The following types of collectibles may have special limits or fall under an exclusion.
- Cash (current or past issues)
- Trading cards
- Jewelry and gems
- Other items that have a much higher value than normal household items
How Do You Get Full Coverage For Your Collectibles?
There are two main ways to get full coverage for your collectibles. The first is to add a rider to your main home insurance policy that adds additional coverage for your collectibles. The second is to purchase a separate insurance policy for your collectibles.
How Does the Insurance Company Determine What Your Collectibles Are Worth?
That's a more complicated question than you may think. Some collectibles have easily identifiable book values such as a Babe Ruth rookie card in mint condition. On the other hand, a unique piece of fine art may require an appraisal to determine its value. If you need an appraisal, you'd need to have it done before you buy insurance or at least before something happens to your collectibles.
Even with clearly defined pricing guides, there are still variations. You may get the price you'd pay in a retail store, the wholesale price a store would pay, the average auction price or some other measure. This is defined in your home insurance policy.
How Do You Prove Your Claim?
To file a claim, you'll need to have careful documentation of your collection. This includes photos or videos showing the condition as well as an inventory list with any valuation information you have.