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Is Your Collectible Worth Insuring?

March 14, 2012

By Ray Schulte, SchulteAuctions.com

Even during these economically challenging times, the billion-dollar collectibles industry continues to attract new buyers. One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Do I need to insure my collection or rare item and is there a company who specializes in collectible insurance?"

Collectibles Insurances LLC is a Baltimore-based company which will be exhibiting at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention, Aug. 1-5 at the Baltimore Convention center (visit Dan at Booth no. 1325).


Recently, I sat down with Annemarie Fitzpatrick, director of Collectibles Insurance Services LLC, which covers collectibles dealers and individuals to find out what it offers and how it meets its clients' needs.

Ray Schulte: Collectibles Insurance Services has been servicing collectors since 1966. What was the inspiration for creating such a service?

Annemarie Fitzpatrick: The company founder, Horace Harrison, an avid stamp collector, recognized the need for specialized insurance for his fellow stamp collectors. In 1983, when Horace retired, the agency was purchased by fellow stamp collector Dan Walker. He realized there were many other collectibles that would benefit from the specialized insurance offered by the agency.

In 1996, Dan expanded the program to cover additional collectible categories and changed the company's name to Collectibles Insurance Agency. Today, Collectibles Insurance Services carries on the tradition set by Horace and Dan. We are committed to expanding our products and distribution to further meet the needs of collectors and dealers.

RS: Does homeowners insurance adequately cover my current collectibles?

AF: In most cases, your homeowners is designed to cover personal property and is not nearly enough to protect your collection. Homeowners insurance may:
• Limit contents coverage to a percent of the total value of your home (50-70 percent)
• Limit the amount payable for theft of valuables like silver, crystal, guns, stamps and paper documents
• Not cover losses due to flood, hurricane and earthquake
• Be based on actual cash value rather than the collectible value of the items
• Require you to schedule all items

RS: What types of damage or loss does the collectible policy cover?

AF: Unlike homeowners insurance, the policy provides for most causes of loss, unless specifically excluded. Covered causes of loss include, but are not limited to: mail loss, theft, fire, flooding, natural disasters or breakage.

RS: Does the policy cover mail or shipping collectibles?

AF: Mail and shipping coverage is provided for both collectors and dealers as long as you ship your item via one of the following services:
• U.S. Postal Service -- signature required registered, express, insured, certified and signature confirmation mail
• Delivery/courier service -- signature required shipping, such as FedEx and UPS
• No signature required first class, priority, global priority and air mail; parcel post, bound printed matter and media mail (book tate)

RS: Can you write collectible insurance policy outside of Baltimore?

AF: Yes, Collectibles Insurance Services can provide coverage in all scheduled locations in the U.S.

RS: How do you promote your company and services?

AF: Collectibles Insurance Services attends approximately 50 collectibles shows across the country and also advertises in a variety of collectible publications and Web sites. In 2011, we began making the program available through insurance agents.

RS: How can interested collectors and/or dealers contact you if they want more information?

AF: To learn more and get a quote, call 888-837-9537 (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) or visit collectinsure.com. You can now get a quote and apply online.

Follow Ray @ twitter.com/SchulteSports and e-mail him at Ray@SchulteSports.com.

Issue 171: March 2012