Protect Your Collectibles!

Many Americans have a passion for collecting expensive antiques. It’s become an age-old tradition of keeping family heirlooms within the confines of relatives and siblings.

But are your collectibles adquately covered?

Because the price and value of antiques can sometimes go overlooked, many are often not sufficiently protected under a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. And being underinsured could mean a significant financial and emotional hardship if something were to happen.

As far as antiques go, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy may very likely include restrictive coverage and limits and have a valuation on actual cash value.

But before you assume that adding a personal property replacement cost endorsement to your homeowner’s policy will provide you with coverage, you should realize that the endorsement lists several ineligible properties, which includ antiques, paintings, art and memorabilia.

There are also several coverage restrictions, such as excluding coverage if the antique is accidentally scratched or broken.

Here are six tips that may help you better protect your valuable antiques and collectibles:

1. Make an inventory of all your antiques and collectibles. Take pictures and videos of each item, making sure to capture the item from all angles.

2. Ensure that your antiques and collectibles are appropriately stored and firmly secured.

3. For items of a lesser value, a general value assessment can be obtained for free online if you have a good photo and description for the antique or fine art dealer. For extensive or high-value collections, you need to consider contacting an experienced antique appraiser.

Most appraisers will need to inspect high-value pieces in person. The appraisal should include the replacement value, auction value, a description and any comments the appraiser has about the item, which might involve a fee. Before you go forward, make sure the appraisal is certified with the American Appraisers Association and the American Society of Appraisers.

4. Common and less valuable objects can usually be measured online with the use of internet auction sites like eBay.com. This can give you a good market value for an item. But make sure you highlight both the asking AND closing price of the item.

5. Schedule an appointment with a Gunn-Mowery agent to determine if your existing coverage adequately covers and protects your antiques and collectibles. Be sure to bring your inventory, photos and videos and appraisals to the appointment.

6. Ask your a Gunn-Mowery agent about a personal inland marine policy or endorsement, which can be added to your existing homeowner’s insurance policy to schedule your items on an agreed value based on the item’s appraisal. Although the above may also contain an exclusion for breakage, the exclusion can usually be eliminated for an extra cost.

When it comes to risk evaluating your collectibles, remember to prepare for every angle of coverage. Don’t be caught out of luck if an unfortunate incident takes place. That’s why Gunn-Mowery is here to help. For more insight on restoration, valuation processes and insurance policies or endorsements, contact your Gunn-Mowery representative at (800) 840-1243 or info@gunnmowery.com. Become our Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/gunnmowery.

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