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What Do You Do About Insuring Your Collection?

 
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Posted 07/19/2019   12:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add rogdcam to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am looking for good advice as well as experience based opinions related to insuring stamp collections. How is coverage handled as the value grows. Documentation required of contents. Claims experience. You get the picture.
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Australia
1143 Posts
Posted 07/19/2019   01:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd engage with a highly regarded broker first and foremost.

I can't imagine any insurer not wanting a formal valuation on the letterhead of a reputable dealer who is a member of the recognised trade bodies.

Once you go down this path, always keep in mind that someone else knows what you have, how it's stored, it's replacement value etc. etc.

I would love to know the percentage of stolen stamp collections that are insured.
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Posted 07/19/2019   02:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sorsh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i've got an alarm and a big dog, my mother lives in the house next to me, so there's always someone home.

i doubt many insurance companies would take the job.
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United States
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Posted 07/19/2019   02:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I recommend Hugh Wood International with coverage through the APS. The company has specialized in collectibles and understands them and has been involved with stamps for years and years.

You need to document what you have and continually update and increase insurance as needed; you'd have to contact any insurer as to exactly what they require. The rate you pay is dependent on valuation which I would assume to be replacement value, what it would cost for you to re-buy what you lost.

Hugh Wood has been always very prompt in paying claims. That's always assuming the claim was made in a timely and proper manner; proof of theft requires a police report, for example.

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United Kingdom
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Posted 07/19/2019   03:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've never insured, but I imagine the APS has a list of insurers.
I imagine they would all require a valuation made by a reputable dealer, so you would need to have your collection organized to make that valuation proceed smoothly.
As I understand it, the dealer would charge both according to the value of the collection and in terms of the time necessary to make the valuation.
Lack of organization would substantially boost the latter component.
My own collection is in total chaos, so that precludes me from following this route.
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United Kingdom
258 Posts
Posted 07/19/2019   04:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rog--
In terms of updating, if you are mostly adding the sort of material you've shown on the recent philatelic purchases thread, I think any dealer who valued your collection would be able to easily value this kind of stuff and add it to the total. I guess you'd want to update whenever a significant jump in overall value was made.
Obviously you don't want to have to re-value the whole collection each time, as it will quickly prove very expensive for that kind of classic material.
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Posted 07/19/2019   06:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Hugh Wood.
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Al
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Posted 07/19/2019   06:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Calstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have been with Hugh Wood for many years. Direct buy.

Coverage increases incrementally annually.

Coverage includes in-home, transit, and show.

No first-hand experience with claims. Although responsiveness is highly reputed.
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Posted 07/19/2019   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks to all that shared their thoughts and experience. Good stuff. Hugh Wood seems like the company to contact.

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Posted 07/19/2019   08:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A few facts that need to be pointed out .----First 99% of thieves are under 35 years old . Second ,none of them have been exposed to stamps as far as they understand they are books ,which means NO VALUE .

Most Pawn Shops will not touch a stamp collection ,they have no way to fiqure value .Everybody in the fencing business wants to move stuff fast ,the're not going to wait 3 to 6 month for a stamp auction to pay them.

Most buyers are over 60 years old and these people know a collector from a straw seller . A few questions will clear any story about ownership . Most Coin and Stamp shops don't want to get caught in a sting operation from Law Enforcement .

Every collector and even me put out a few gold stamped binders of worthless FDC if someone broken in they will grab the fancy stuff first.

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Posted 07/19/2019   09:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My concerns have more to do with fire and flood then they do with theft but theft is still a concern. It would be imprudent to not be covered. If a collection is worth $100,000 in real retail value or more and it was not insured that would be irresponsible. I do not yet know what the premium would be but if it is fractions of one percent of value annually not having the coverage would be the very definition of "penny wise and pound foolish".
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Posted 07/19/2019   10:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hugh Wood. You definitely want someone who understands stamps.
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United States
1100 Posts
Posted 07/19/2019   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Collectibles Insurance is who I use. Every bit as knowledgeable and user friendly as Hugh Wood.
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Canada
273 Posts
Posted 07/19/2019   11:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EasyOne to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Royal Philatelic Society Of Canada provides insurance to clubs that are chapters of the society. Hugh Wood Canada is their broker and I would suggest this company would be the first I would approach. As Treasurer of one of the chapters, I have had to contact Hugh Wood recently to obtain documentation. They are very knowledgeable, friendly and efficient.
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Posted 07/19/2019   12:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Hugh Wood. There is no documentation required for coverage, just your own assertion of the value. Every year at renewal time I reassess this based on spreadsheets that I maintain. The documentation I maintain consists of digital images, taken with a smartphone and auto synced to the cloud in Dropbox, of every binder spine and every album page, plus a spreadsheet inventory.

I keep a hard copy of this in my "go book". Our "go book" is a bright red 2" ring binder that contains basic information on insurance, financial accounts and other emergency data. Having had friends who lost everything in California wildfires and the Montecito mudslides, we've learned that we need to be able to vacate the home in under 15 minutes, with everything needed to live elsewhere for 72 hours minimum and the ability to grab the "go book" is a key part.
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Posted 07/19/2019   3:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks for the advice Chris. It is a sound plan and I will implement it myself. I am contacting Hugh Wood next week.
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