• November 21, 2019

Knowing what your treasured collection is really worth could prove invaluable

While many of us collect for love, not money, supply and demand, popularity and the vagaries of fashion can all affect the value of our collections. So, it’s important – from an insurance point of view – to be able to put a price on the priceless.

Image With Text Icons

Make an inventory of your collection

Whether you're a serious collector or you own some rare and valuable pieces, you need to keep track of your collectables' current replacement value by having them routinely appraised by an expert. If you don't, then you run the risk of insuring your collection for less than it's worth. 

If you haven't already done so, make a list of everything you have in your collection. Take pictures and note down the dates of when pieces were purchased, the amount you paid for them and any other pertinent details and keep this document up to date. If you add any new pieces to your collection you must inform your insurer as soon as possible.

You should store the inventory securely in both digital and hardcopy formats, backing up the digital copy to the Cloud. If you have any reference books that show the provenance and value of the pieces you collect, store them safely, too. For added security, you should keep copies of the inventory in a location other than your home.


Get an expert valuation

You should have your collectables regularly assessed by accredited experts (we suggest every three to five years) to make certain that they are covered for the correct replacement value. If you don't, and you have to make a claim, then your insurer may use a loss adjuster or claims management company to evaluate your collection after it’s been lost or stolen. This situation should be avoided as you may find that your insurer settles the claim for less than you expected, leaving you unable to recover the full value of your collection.

Prestige Valuations provide a nationwide valuation service for jewellery, fine art, objets d’Art, antiques, furniture and silverware. For more information, click here.


Do you have the right cover for your collection?

Your household policy may not provide enough cover for your collection, especially if it includes rare and valuable pieces. Most insurers apply what’s called a ‘single item limit’ on contents policies, which means you might not be able to claim for the full value of expensive items, such as works of art, antiques or jewellery. In this instance, you may need a high value home insurance policy, or a specialist stand-alone policy to provide adequate cover for your collection.

You may also need a specialist stand-alone policy if you collect: 

  • Vintage wines, old and rare whiskies and other spirits 
  • Rare books, stamps and coins
  • Haute couture clothing, footwear and accessories
  • Memorabilia, scale models, vinyl records and comics
  • Musical instruments
  • Jade, porcelain, ceramics and glass  
  • Clocks, watches and horological instruments
  • Militaria and medals
  • Dolls, bears and toys


Special security arrangements

Depending on the nature of your collection, your insurer may require you to adopt special security arrangements, such as putting a safe in your home, fitting mortice locks and installing an alarm system. If you’re unsure about what may be required, your Clear broker can check the policy wording for any clauses relating to security arrangements. 

Another factor you must consider is whether you keep your collection at home or in a property other than your main residence.  If the latter is the case, then occupancy of that property may be an important factor in how your insurer assesses the risk of insuring your collection.


How Clear can help

If you’d like to find out more about insuring your collection, call Joan Sell on 020 8329 4919 or email Joan Sell.

For information on valuations, visit Prestige Valuations.

Share this post