The Iowan

Care & Repair Tips

FAQs for American Collectors Insurance

Doesn’t my homeowners policy cover my collection?
Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your dwelling and its contents (furniture, carpeting, appliances, etc.), and may not contain any language specific to collectibles. In the event of a claim with your homeowners insurance, your collectibles could get lumped in with personal property (unless a “rider” is attached, specifically addressing collectibles coverage). Most homeowners policies are not as broad in coverage as the collectibles policy available through American Collectors Insurance. Additionally, most homeowner's deductibles are $500 or higher, further reducing the amount expected in a claim.

Do I need an appraisal to apply?
In most cases an appraisal is NOT required to apply. General appraisals are accepted from an authorized appraiser, receipt of purchase, and various collector price guides.

My spouse and I have two collections (collector figurines and model trains). Can both collections be written on the same policy?
Yes, a collectibles policy provides blanket coverage, and can accommodate many different types of qualifying collectibles on the same policy.

What types of collectibles will qualify for coverage?
American Collectors Insurance has a market for many different types of collectibles, including books & maps, coins & bullion, collectible dinnerware/stemware, collector quilts, comic books, guns, stamps, trading cards, wine, figurines, dolls, teddy bears, vintage toys, model cars, collector plates, ornaments, animation art, sports memorabilia, militaria, model railroads, carousel animals, and other lesser-known collectibles.  

Are there any collections that American Collectors Insurance will not insure?
Coverage is not currently available for jewelry, furniture or fine art. Additional qualifications and underwriting may be applicable depending on the collection value, type and location.  Coverage is not available outside the United States and collections may not be used for commercial or remunerative purposes.

Is flood damage covered under a collectibles policy?
Yes, the American Collectors Insurance collectibles policy covers perils typically not covered by homeowners insurance, such as flood, earthquake, and accidental breakage. Additionally, coverage is provided for mysterious disappearance for items that are worth $2,000+ and scheduled on the policy.

How to Properly Display Collectibles

  1. To prevent pieces from being knocked over by cats, dogs, children and visitors, keep them in closed cabinets or high off the ground. Make sure the display case is well secured. This will usually involve angle irons and toggle bolts on shelving. 
  2. Display shelves should have lips on the front so pieces will not easily slide off. 
  3. Use metal strapping to hold large heavy display shelves in place. This sort of installation is best left to a professional carpenter or earthquake safety specialist. 
  4. Watch out for display areas located near water sources such as water pipes, fish tanks, and sinks. Pipes in particular can break with age or from freezing. 
  5. Keep collectibles away from heat, e.g.fireplaces, radiators, floor heaters, stoves and high-watt light bulbs.Heat tends to cause woods, plastics, papers, and certain other types of materials to shrink and crack. It can also cause finishes on ceramics to change color. 
  6. Do not display collectibles near sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun destroys color pigments and organic materials such as fabrics, wood, and canvas.

How to Pack and Ship Collectibles

  1. Always double box pieces and be sure that there is packing around the inner box. 
  2. Shop your shipper carefully if you have a lot to ship. They can vary 500% and more for the exact same service.

Broken and Damaged Collectibles

  1. Relax; it almost certainly can be repaired. 
  2. Pick up all the pieces. Protect your hands with gloves. 
  3. Wrap the larger pieces in bubble wrap or other protectant. 
  4. Wrap smaller pieces in paper towels and put them in Ziploc™ bags. 
  5. Put the really small pieces in Ziploc bags without wrapping them. 
  6. Never use silicone rubber to glue pieces back together again. If the piece eventually ends up with a restorer, its removal will skyrocket repair costs. 
  7. If you decide to bring your piece to a restorer, be sure they are members of the American Institute of Conservators. Members subscribe to specific professional protocols regarding reversibility and minimum destruction which are vital to protecting the value of your pieces. 
  8. Always get a written repair estimate and time for completion. 
  9. Be sure your restorer is insured for liability.  
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