How much time have you spent in acquiring your collection? How much money have you invested in securing all your cards, autographs and memorabilia? If you took a moment to ponder these questions, you may be persuaded to insure your collection. Why? Because the task is not as daunting as you might think and, more importantly, if a true catastrophe does occur, you’ll be covered.
MAKING THE DECISION
First and foremost, you need to decide if you’re going to take the necessary steps. Once you realize, however, that the Ted Williams signed baseball you got from the “Splendid Splinter” in 1993 and your complete, PSA-graded set of 1981 Topps Football cards – including its PSA Mint 9 #216 Joe Montana rookie card – are pretty much irreplaceable, it’s go time.
The fact is accidents do occur. Natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, wild fires and even earthquakes can strike at any time, but in-home water damage from leaky pipes, a house fire or even the unforeseen break-in from a brazen thief can also leave you high and dry when it comes to replacing your precious collectibles.
Existing homeowner’s or renter’s policies, in many cases, simply aren’t enough. Unless you have a special add-on collectibles agreement, it likely won’t come close to properly compensating for your collection’s current market value. So, whether you’re a vintage collector with several game-used items from yesteryear or just somebody who enjoys ripping into new foil packs, there are affordable options to take in order to protect your investment.
IMPORTANT STEPS TO TAKE
Check with your current insurer regarding collectibles insurance but don’t be afraid to explore other options as well. One possibility that’s now available to PSA Set Registry members comes from global insurance broker Hugh Wood Inc. (HWI). Simply click here and fill out the basic information requested on the landing page. Shortly thereafter, a representative from HWI will be in touch with you to discuss options. Depending on the depth of your collection, the yearly premium could vary a great deal.
Interestingly enough, according to Hugh Wood Inc. International Vice-chairman Simon Codrington, most collectors are either underinsured or not insured at all.
“Most collectors have a significant portion of their net assets tied up in their collectibles,” he said. “However, unlike their home or car, they don’t buy insurance or wrongly assume their homeowner’s policy covers it. Given the portability and fragility of many collectibles, countless collectors are exposing themselves to unintended risks.”
The following steps are good ones to take when it comes to both chronicling and insuring your sports memorabilia:
APPROXIMATE VALUE – Attach prices to your collectibles based on current market information and not how loyal you are to your favorite player or team. Set values, but remember the higher price you claim, the more coverage you’ll need and the higher your premium will be. There are many industry resources to pull current market numbers from and PSA’s Sports Market Report Price Guide is one of the best. Also, check out PSA’s Auction Prices Realized section to see what recent public auctions have fetched for your item(s). Determine a value in terms of replacement cost to guarantee the highest claim will be paid in the event of loss or damage.
TAKE PHOTOS & VIDEO – Photos allow your insurance agent to see the condition of your memorabilia, as well as the magnitude of your collection. It also shows how the items are stored (i.e., inside card holders, ball cubes, frames or even displayed in a China cabinet). Image uploads of your various cards can also be securely saved online by using the PSA Set Registry. Videos, meanwhile, help to document the area inside your home in which your collectibles are displayed or stored. Remember, keep valuable memorabilia away from cigarette smoke and direct sunlight because fumes can damage the surface of cards and pictures, and sunlight can severely fade photos and autographs.
UPDATE INVENTORY – Every item you have should be recorded and listed, and the PSA Set Registry tracks inventory quickly and easily. You may want to insure just a portion of your collectibles. But remember, if you’re a frequent card show visitor, your collection could grow weekly. And if you attend the National Sports Collectors Convention every year, there could be an influx of items to archive every August. Keep track of everything including your letters and certificates of authenticity, and be sure to keep multiple copies on hand, perhaps even inside a safe deposit box. Think of it like this: If a fire decimated your collection, and your computer and inventory list went up in flames as well, how would the insurance company know how much coverage you’re owed?
Insuring your memorabilia will give you peace of mind in case of an accident. Best of all, your collectibles policy can be modified to give you the best coverage possible depending on your situation. It’s important to invest in the hobby and bolster your collection. Just make sure you’re covered while you’re doing it.