Even a novice philatelist knows that the time, effort and money that goes into accumulating a valuable stamp collection makes it extremely important to protect it in the event of a burglary, home fire or other unforeseen event.
Some homeowners insurance policies will provide limited coverage for a stamp collection, however, oftentimes the amount of limited coverage provided is not enough.
Here are some tips for properly insuring your stamp collection:
Estimate Value- The first step in protecting your collection is to obtain a professional appraisal on the value of your stamp collection. While you may have an estimated figure in mind, you will often need a documented appraisal by an expert in order to obtain the insurance coverage you need.
Assess your Needs- If you have a homeowners insurance policy you should call your homeowners insurance agent to find out how much coverage (if any) you have on your policy for your collection. This will tell you the difference that you need to cover. Some policies, for example, will provide up to $1,000 in contents coverage for stamps. Others may offer higher or lower limits.
Shop your Options- A stamp collector will typically have two options when it comes to insuring their collection:
- Scheduling an endorsement on their homeowners insurance policy
- Purchasing a separate personal articles floater
Talk to your homeowners insurance agent to find out what your homeowners insurance carrier can offer. However, you can also shop for a personal articles floater from a specialty insurer. Compare pricing, coverage and limits on each type of policy so that you are sure to get the coverage you need and are most comfortable with.
Inventory- Regardless of the type of policy you purchase, you will want to maintain a thorough inventory of every stamp in your collection so that you have proof of ownership in the event of a loss. Include photographs and receipts. For stamps and covers (envelopes) over $500 get a “cert” from the Philatelic Foundation, Professional Stamp Experts or the American Philatelic Society to help substantiate ownership and value. Store your inventory in a safe place outside of your home.
Revisit Your Coverage- An avid collector may find their collection’s value increasing frequently over time. Be sure that you always have enough coverage to protect your investment.
Protect- Like any valuable collection, a stamp collection needs to be protected. Keep your collection safe by keeping it in a fire and water proof safe. Protect it from theft by following these tips from the American Philatelic Society.
For additional information you should contact your insurance agent as they are always your best resource for determining the coverage you need.