Author Topic: Insurance?  (Read 4800 times)

Offline JediJman

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« on: February 1, 2016, 09:38 AM »
So, this has been nagging at the back of my mind for a while.  Given the large investment many of us have in Star Wars, I'm curious to know if anyone has any added insurance on their stuff.  I started checking into a few years back, but never got around to it.  Then last Summer, a neighbor's basement flooded.  I have the same style home by the same builder and keep my Star Wars stuff in the same room that was hit, so not hard to imagine how awful that would be for me.  I also have a ton of comics, and while they are bagged I am sure there is potential for damage there as well.  Would you need to document everything you have or just insure for an estimated amount?  I don't think standard insurance would cover things beyond the basics, right?  Would love to know more about what options are out there.
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Offline Dave

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #1 on: February 1, 2016, 12:11 PM »
I'm no insurance expert, but this is my understanding after doing a bunch of research on it about 10 years ago.  It all depends on what insurance you have, the value of your collection, and how much of it has "collectible" value above and beyond normal retail.

I determined that I do not need extra insurance as your normal household insurance default assigns something like 40% of the home's value to your possessions.   You can always increase this if necessary.  Let's just round numbers.  Assuming your house replacement value is $400k, your possessions are insured for $160k.  I know my couches, chairs, beds, and SW stuff probably wouldn't exceed that value.  However I don't have anything particularly rare in my collection.  I'm fairly convinced I could replace most of my collection for less than what I originally bought it for.

The one challenge is that when you have "rare/collectible" items - like all your vintage stuff  - that was originally $2 in the store and is now worth $125, your insurance won't generally cover that "collectible" value.  I know you've got a ton of nice stuff that falls in to that category.

As I recall you would need to get your collection documented/appraised and generally get a rider on your insurance that would cover these collectible items.  Depending on the coverage, it may or may not be all that much. 

Give your insurance agent a call.  They'll walk you through the whole thing.  As I recall it can vary from company to company and it may be worth your while to change insurance providers based on what collectibles coverage you need.

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Offline Jeff

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #2 on: February 1, 2016, 01:00 PM »
The one challenge is that when you have "rare/collectible" items - like all your vintage stuff  - that was originally $2 in the store and is now worth $125, your insurance won't generally cover that "collectible" value.  I know you've got a ton of nice stuff that falls in to that category.

As I recall you would need to get your collection documented/appraised and generally get a rider on your insurance that would cover these collectible items.  Depending on the coverage, it may or may not be all that much. 

This is what I found for my insurance as well.  They'd give you the $ you paid for a Star Wars figure originally, not whatever it is "worth".  Like Dave said, for 90% of Modern era stuff, you'd be fine since you can replace a lot of things for less than what you paid.  For the actual, real "valuable" vintage type stuff it's in your best interest to have a talk with your insurance agent.

I have an insurance policy rider on my home owner's policy for the "valuable" parts of my collection.  It's not a big rider since I don't have a ton of "valuable" type items, so it's pretty inexpensive (I think it's $47 a year extra).  It's basically enough that I could replace those truly valuable items I own at the full value it would cost to replace them.

I don't recall what all I had to do (I think it was just some pics proving I owned "collectibles"), I just remember it wasn't much.  And the rider is for "Star Wars and Comic Collectibles" so the actual contents of the collection can vary a bit over time.  I would need proof though if I ever had to use it, so I try to keep my collection spreadsheet current and I take pics of the "valuable" things I own in case I need them if something happens.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #3 on: March 5, 2016, 12:35 PM »
What Dave said is basically it.  My brother in law is an insurance adjuster and basically explained to me that if your expensive collectibles were damaged or stolen they're just going to see "Star Wars Action Figure" and pay you what a Star Wars Action figure costs.  Doesn't matter if it was vintage Yak Face or 1995 Leia.  I got the impression that this would mean whatever the current retail price is, so I don't know if they'd see your vintage figures as being based on 1980 prices or 2016 prices.  I sort of remember concluding that if a figure costs $8 to $13 right now, I'd be happy enough with that kind of payout if things went to hell and didn't worry about it as much.

There are other companies that I have heard are reputable that specialize in insuring collectibles only. 

I THINK this is the one they were discussing at Rebelscum the last time this came up that I noticed:

But I'd have to go through and double check somehow.  I started trying to come up with a number for my collection to get it insured separately but it's fallen to the back burner lately.  Between Hasbro, Lego and Gentle Giant, I'm terrified of what the number actually is, and worried that I'm really under insured on that stuff.  This might be the reminder I need to get back into that research.
« Last Edit: March 5, 2016, 12:37 PM by Rob »

Offline bigj22

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 05:01 PM »
my insurance agent recommended that I take lots and lots of pictures. especially the expensive items. i also have a spread sheet on all items and printed out and kept in a safe place. i have over 75000.00 in collectables. you can get fair market value on most collectibles. you have to prove ( pictures) and show the value of the item. obviously not everything will be covered to the fullest but the pictures will definately benefit your case.  i  printed the photos out and are in my glove compartment box in my car and in my fire box.

hope that helps.

Offline EdSolo

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #5 on: June 6, 2017, 03:02 PM »
An old topic, but I'll weigh in from experience.  Like others have stated, it is based on your insurance company.  I had a minor flood in my basement due to a leaky pipe.  My insurance covers replacement value of items.  One item that was damaged was the Ep. 1 Royal Starship that was unopened.  Since this wasn't an item that was currently available, I showed the insurance company my purchase price and what the going rate was on ebay.  They gave me the ebay price.

A couple years ago, I had a house fire.  Most of my collection had been moved out by then, but I did have a few items in house.  Since the damage was mostly from smoke, most of my stuff was restored (I believe they put stuff in a chamber with ozone).  It worked surprisingly well, considering what I had in the house was mostly books, boxed legos and some carded figures.  You would never know they were exposed to smoke.  Since this was a large loss in terms of items (which included all my other possessions), I received a bulk check for everything.  My insurance provides replacement in kind cost.  For example, I had a 60" TV that was damaged and could not be repaired.  Even though it was close to ten years old (an HD projection TV), I was able to replace it with a modern TV.  What the insurance does is have you find a new 60" TV and give them the value for it.  They then depreciate the value based on the age of the old TV to come up with value.  You get the depreciated value, but then you get the depreciation back once you buy the item and replace the old item.  One thing they don't tell is that you can use depreciation of one item and other items.  For example, say you come up with a value of $50K for all your items (and yes, you have to do all the leg work and price everything with references to where you got the value) and everything gets depreciated at 50%, you get a check for $25K and can recover the other $25K when you make purchases.  So if you have a TV that is valued at $4K and they give you $500, you can either buy a $4K TV to get the additional $3.5K, or you could buy a $5K TV and get $4.5K in depreciation back and that just comes out of the total $25K depreciation pot.

As for collectables, yes it is a good idea to take pictures and work out values, but most likely your possessions coverage is high enough to cover everything.  Some companies do require an extra rider to cover stuff.  It just depends on what your company covers.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Insurance?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2022, 04:12 AM »
Bumping this old topic up to the top... (I'm on a roll with this tonight...)

Has anyone found any decent companies that will actually insure collections out there? A few years ago when we were getting our home insurance set up, I had asked my home insurance company (USAA) about my collection and it sounded like it was NOT covered. My wife is an Art Conservationist/Restorer and works with a lot homeowners and different insurance companies (including high-end insurance companies) after home disasters. It is SHOCKING how rare it is for any kind of collectibles to be covered under a home insurance policy, and even if they are covered, it is usually only at a fraction of their worth.

I am really hoping to find a decent company that fairly covers collections, even if it is a separate policy from my home insurance.
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