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"Collection Protection"

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Wednesday, September 2, 2011

PHOENIX (H&U) –

When was the last time you visited the following:

1) your "Personal Articles Floater" (inland marine form; Worldwide coverage on an "all-risk" basis for scheduled, valuable personal property) or

2) the "Scheduled Personal Property" endorsement of your Homeowners policy (covering the same things as a "Personal Articles Floater")?

You really should revisit your schedule on a regular basis, especially when what you own changes frequently.

Changes

  • You may have obtained or disposed of insurable property the loss of which could set you way back financially and emotionally.

  • Your collectibles may also have gone up in value.

  • Areas that were once thought not to be in flood zones are now understood to be much more susceptible to flooding. {Note: Most people don't know that basic property insurance doesn't cover damage from surface-water accumulations, mud-slides, or flooding (including due to hurricanes).} There is also flooding due to earthquakes and not just tsunamis. Earthquakes can break dams and water mains. They can also block natural and artificial water drainage so the back-up can flood homes, businesses, and everything else on the water's level and in its path. Of course, earthquakes can cause a great deal of other damage beyond impact on oceans, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and other water sources.

  • A building coming down on your property and valuable and personally prized collection can certainly destroy or severely damage and devalue that collection. Even moderate tremors can send possessions crashing to the floor or down flights of stairs or what have you. The possibilities for damage and loss are innumerable. The history of losses is gigantic. Just look at all the catastrophes that are flood and earthquake related that have been in the news. It certainly would be unusual for there to be no news about a catastrophe or near catastrophe somewhere in the world at any given moment, and the frequency is trending up and not simply due to the fact there are more people to suffer damage and/or report on it. Incidence are trending up regardless. That's not to say that human activity is irrelevant. There would be no huge artificial dams to burst were it not for us. On the other hand, many artificial runoff-systems have greatly reduced flooding in areas that used to experience routine flooding.

Regardless, loss events occur; and it behooves all collectors to keep coverage up-to-date and adequate.

Things to Cover

Here are just a few of the types of things that should be carefully considered for coverage or "value" coverage-increases (Amounts of Insurance):

  1. Antiques (including furniture)

  2. Baseball/Trading Cards

  3. *Cameras

  4. Classic Cars (http://www.nadaguides.com/classic-cars)

  5. Classic Motorcycles

  6. *Coins (usually the whole collection but can be for individually scheduled coins and stamps and where the mounting page also disappears; also covers paper money; schedule mountings and display cases if coverage is desired)

  7. Comic Books

  8. Curios

  9. Dolls

  10. *Fine Art

  11. *Furs (including garments trimmed with fur)

  12. Guns/Firearms

  13. *Jewelry

  14. Limited-Edition Prints (are classed as art)

  15. Maps

  16. Memorabilia

  17. Model Trains

  18. Music

  19. *Musical Instruments (usually not used professionally)

  20. Oriental Rugs

  21. Photography Equipment (including film)

  22. Plates (are classed as art)

  23. Rare/Vintage Books

  24. *Silverware (including goldware and pewterware with a few exclusions)

  25. Souvenirs

  26. Sporting Equipment (for example *golfing equipment including clothing in lockers when playing golf and balls for loss by fire or burglary where there are visible marks of forcible entry)

  27. *Stamps (schedule mountings if coverage is desired)

  28. Statuary (is classed as art)

  29. Tools

  30. Wines

* HO 04 60 and IPA 06 02 covered class

At What Value?

Most avid collectors have a fairly good idea of the replacement or actual cash value of their collectibles. Keep in mind that replacement/actual cash values remain subjective. If an item is rare enough, owners of like items may not be willing to sell even for twice the amount that had been used as the cash value or "going price," as it were. Therefore, you will likely want what is termed "agreed-value coverage." That form of coverage is attainable via the HO 04 60 form {"Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement (With Agreed Value Loss Settlement)"} or IPA 06 02 "Personal Articles Floater Agreed Value Loss Settlement."

Appraisal

If you own a collection that you perhaps inherited and don't know its value, you might want to have it professionally appraised, especially if there has ever been a credible suggestion that it might be rather valuable. There are also many do-it-yourself approaches you might take. A thorough Internet search would likely yield many indicators as to possible values.

Loss Limits

Another major consideration concerns loss limits. Be sure you know whether or not your Homeowners policy (if your collectibles are only covered there via the "Scheduled Personal Property") contains an inside limit or sub-limit concerning collectibles which limit is much lower than the main policy limit. The home is covered with x amount as the limit the carrier will pay. The limit the carrier will pay for lost or damaged collectibles may be only $2,500 where the total value of the collectibles could be in the hundreds of thousands.

Lost, Stolen, Broken

"Lost or Stolen Articles" are usually covered in addition to breakage caused by fire or lightning; explosion, aircraft or collision; windstorm, earthquake or flood; malicious damage or theft; or derailment or overturn of a conveyance.

Exhibitions and Transportation

We recommend that when exhibiting or transporting-by-carrier, you obtain separate coverage and/or be sure to be added as an additional insured on the exhibitor's/carrier's policy and that, that policy adequately covers your property. Request proper Certificates of Insurance and be sure to follow up in a timely manner if those are not forthcoming.

Newly Acquired

As for newly acquired items, they are covered if like classes are already schedule but they are covered at only a percentage of their value until you formally schedule them. Typically, the time limit is 30 days. Therefore, we suggest that whenever you acquire anything of value that you immediately move to schedule it. You may also phone us about a binder too. May we also recommend, especially if you are a regular trader, that you add a calendar prompt to remind you each month or better yet, 2 weeks, to take immediate steps to schedule newly acquire collectibles.

Your Personal Audit

So, set aside the required time. Overview your "Scheduled Personal Property" versus what you actually own.

Please note: All coverage is on a carrier-by-carrier basis and is subject to variation from the representations in this general article. The ENDORSEMENT CHANGES THE POLICY. We highly recommend that you READ IT CAREFULLY to understand exactly what is covered and under what circumstances.

Of course, contact Hill & Usher right away to get any uncovered items covered. We're sure you'll enjoy your collection more if you have more peace of mind knowing it's all properly covered.

As always, we hope you enjoy our articles. Let us know if we may be of any additional assistance.

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