Insuring Luxury Items and Collectibles

by Administrator 4. November 2012 12:42

There is no question that renter’s insurance is a smart investment for anyone who doesn’t own his own place, be it an apartment, townhouse, or single-family home. However, renter’s insurance is geared toward typical household contents, such as clothing, furniture, personal goods, and appliances.

Three categories of property may or may not be covered, depending on the policy: antiques, collectibles, and fine art. After a loss is not the time to find out the scope of your Texas Renters insurance.

Antiques and Vintage Furniture and Decor:

Typically, antiques are furniture or decorative objects over a century old. Vintage is more subjective, but typically includes items between 40 and 100 years old. If you have vintage or antique furniture in your rental, you should look into expanded coverage. Your agent will likely require photos and an appraisal. Again, after a fire or flood is not the time to find out the bedroom set you got from your grandmother’s garage was Depression-era Heywood-Wakefield and worth several thousand dollars.


Collectibles can range from first-edition books and stamps, to comic books and plastic action figures. Before you talk to your insurance agent, take a thorough inventory, with photos, and have estimated replacement costs. Your vintage red-handled egg beater collection may be priceless to you, but you need to have an idea of fair market value.

Professional grade price guides are a good place to start. Otherwise, the 30-year-old $2.99 price sticker on the package may be the extent of your potential recovery. Depending on the size of the collection and the claimed value, a professional appraisal may be required to ensure full coverage.

Fine Art:

In general, fine art encompasses paintings, prints, sculpture, and other decorative objects that are either one-of-a-kind or produced in limited editions. A thorough inventory accompanied by good photographs is essential. Gallery receipts, appraisal letters, and comparable sales by professionals are some good ways to determine the replacement value of your fine art pieces.

Once you have determined the scope and replacement value of your luxury items, it is time to sit down with your insurance agent and decide what is the best coverage for you. Typically, there are two choices: specialized policies and riders to existing policies.

The Internet is rife with companies claiming they will insure your collection for low rates. Depending on what you collect, a separate specialty policy may be a good choice. However,  luxury items can usually be handled with specialized clauses called riders to regular renter’s policies.  A licensed insurance agent can help you make the best choice. Contact an agent at Shawn Camp Insurance Agency for more information about renter’s insurance and how to protect your antiques and collectibles. 

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