Now that the rest of the world realizes what you knew all along – that music on vinyl albums and records just plain sound richer than digital music – you’re not surprised that your collection is considered valuable. But that presents problems – the value is such that you have to make sure it’s covered by insurance against theft or damage from such things as fire or hurricane damage.
Back when you started collecting, it didn’t seem to matter so much. Your homeowners insurance was adequate for your needs. The personal property and contents coverage typically included in a standard policy could take care of any problems that arose. That coverage offers protection for the belongings in your house against covered disasters, including theft, that tops out at between 50% and 70% of the amount it would take to rebuild your home.
But when you scored that rare Yesterday and Today album by the Beatles (worth at least $8,000 according to TheBeatlesRarity.com), your collection entered another stratosphere, and a standard homeowners policy is no longer the answer. That’s because coverage for high-value items such as furs and jewelry is limited. So is coverage for collections of any type – it typically tops out at $200.
However, you can still get coverage for your collection, including that Beatles album, by choosing one of two common options. Typically, the cheaper of the two is scheduling an endorsement to your homeowners policy. That will give you added coverage for your collection, and it also comes with the advantage of keeping your protection with your existing carrier. That could prove helpful if you have to file a claim.
The other way to protect your vinyl collection is to purchase a personal articles floater. That’s a separate policy, usually purchased from a company that specializes in the type of protection you’re seeking. That expertise, even if it comes at a higher price, could be handy in making sure that you’ve got all the coverage you need for your records.
Which option is best for you? Talk it over with your home insurance provider, and seek quotes from specialty companies as well. It will really come down to the value of your collection and the extent of the coverage you require.
Regardless of which option you pick, you should have an appraisal conducted for your collection. Use the appraisal, along with photos of your vinyl and receipts, to create an inventory of what you have and keep it updated.
If something happens to your collection, no doubt it will sound a sour note with you, insurance coverage or not. But you’ll surely be playing a happier tune if you can file a claim for what you’ve lost and start putting together a new collection.