We've all heard about people who collect stamps or coins. But how about Daleks, chilli sauces and Barbies? And does your home insurance class these items as 'valuables'?
Is your collection valuable?
Most collections take years to accrue and are constantly changing.
It's easy to lose track of just how valuable these collections are and assume your home insurance will always cover the full cost of replacing them if they get damaged or stolen.
Many home insurers, LV= included, class certain collections, like stamp, coin and medals as valuables. This means they're listed separately on your policy and you can choose the level of cover you need to replace the collection if it gets stolen, lost or damaged.
But a collection of Barbies may not be classed as 'valuable' by your home insurer, so it's a good idea to make sure your general contents insurance is enough to cover any damage or loss.
Get an expert valuation
It sounds obvious, but you need to know how much your collection is worth to be able to include it in your overall home contents valuation.
While this may be fairly straightforward for coins, clocks and stamps, as there are many valuers out there, it can be less straightforward if you collect Star Wars figures or antique tins.
Prices fluctuate all the time, so review your collection regularly. And if you buy or sell any expensive pieces you may need to alter your contents insurance cover.
Most insurance companies offer new for old cover for the contents of your home. This means you should value your collection based on what you would pay now to replace the items. While buying 'new' replacements may not always be possible, you should take their replacement value into account.
Questions to ask about your home insurance cover
What's my total cover limit?
This is the total payout you receive for all the items in your home, including your collection, if everything was damaged in a fire, for example.
With LV=, you can choose your total cover limit depending on your needs. Home contents cover can vary from £25,000 to £100,000 on our Home Insurance policy, or up to £150,000 on Home Plus. So if you house an expensive collection, you can choose a higher level of cover. Remember, this total cover should be enough to replace all your home contents including your full collection. Our contents calculator can help you work out how much cover you need.
If you think you may be underinsured, you can ask to increase the total amount of cover and most insurance companies will do this for you, depending on the value of your collection. If your usual insurer can't help, there are specialist insurers who can.
What's the single valuable item limit?
Most insurance companies have a limit they'll pay out for any single valuable item.
At LV= that limit is £2,000 on your Home Insurance (or £5,000 if you have a Home Plus policy). So if you have a clock in your collection that's worth more than those limits, you will need to let us know. We can insure individual items that are worth more, but only if they're listed separately on the policy schedule.
The single item limit varies between insurance companies, so check your policy document to make sure your most valuable items are covered individually.
What's the single valuable item limit?
Although you may get some accidental damage cover under your policy, there's usually an option to take out extended accidental damage cover. Depending on what your collection is, and whether it’s covered under your contents insurance, it may be worth adding this to your policy if you want to insure any of your collection against knocks and breakages.
Can I take it out of the house?
Home insurance covers your collection whilst it's in the home, but not usually when it leaves the home. In some circumstances, like when you take an item for repair, or when you move house, you will be covered, but not otherwise.
So, say you want to exhibit your coin collection at a convention, you'll need to take out additional cover for that.
It's possible that personal possessions insurance may cover you for taking an item out of the home, but check with your insurer. There will be limitations on what your insurer considers to be a personal possession and how much you can claim if you lost or damaged an item.
Making a claim
If you ever need to make a claim for a lost or damaged item in your collection, you'll need to provide proof of its value and your ownership. We recommend that you:
- Keep an inventory of the entire collection
- Photograph each item and time stamp the photo
- Keep receipts and valuations
- Get your collection re-valued regularly
- Store a copy of proof of ownership away from your home
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