A simples guide

Home insurance policies for collectors

Some people are passionate collectors and for them, the accumulation of items is much more than a passing hobby. For others it may be a steady gathering of items over the years. Whatever type of collector you are, you need to consider insuring your things.

Collections can be valuable

Just as the type of person who collects varies widely, so to do the types of things collected. Whether it be antiques, furniture, toys, medals, stamps, coins, wine or classic vinyl, over time, considerable value can start to build up.

With some collections of course, it is more obvious than others. If you’ve acquired an antique Chippendale cabinet or two, you know your collection is already worth tens of thousands of pounds, but even more modest collections may start to add up to more than you realise.

collectors items home contents insurance

How much is your collection worth?

With any collection, it’s important to know what it’s worth. Your insurance provider will need to know the value of your collection in order to work out the premium you’ll be charged.

If your items are freely traded or more common in the market place, it might be possible to work out the value simply by doing your own research. With other items which are perhaps rarer or less frequently traded, this can be more difficult.

Sometimes it might be easiest to look at online auctions to see how much similar items to yours have sold for or approach an expert for valuation assistance. Some items such as coins will have their own specialists, for others you could approach your local auction house.

It’s worth spending some time considering how best to get your items valued. Obviously you want an accurate value – too high and you may pay too much for your insurance, too low and you could find yourself short if the worst was to happen.

Bearing that in mind, it might be worth getting at least two valuations to see how they compare.

You’ll also need to consider making such valuations an annual event as obviously the value of your collection will move up and down over time.

What type of cover do you need?

Just like any other possessions, you need to cover your collection in the event that there was a fire, flood or theft.

It’s possible that you could insure your collection under your general home contents insurance policy. Many standard contents policies will cover jewellery, coins and antiques as well as other items.

Before you jump for this option however, it is vital to have a look at the terms and conditions to make sure you really are covered. As well as an overall value limit, there will also be limits that apply to individual items (usually about £1,500-£2,000 per item). More expensive items will usually need to be individually listed too.

If in doubt it’s best to talk to your insurance provider and check - better to be safe than sorry.

Another option is to consider a specialist provider for a specific collectibles insurance policy. This option would mean a tailored policy to suit the characteristics of your particular collection.

Specialist insurance providers will usually have experience of underwriting your type of collection and will be able to put in place a policy that more accurately suits your individual needs.

  • Shop around

Whether you go down the standard or specialist route, it’s worth shopping around for your insurance cover. The insurance market is a very competitive place so don’t jump at the first quote you see.

That said, also don’t just buy your insurance on price alone. Your collection is likely to be very precious to you so make sure you’re happy with all the terms and conditions before you commit to buy.

Use our home contents comparison service to find the first deal for your collection.