Think that box of action figures or those Christmas villages are just a passing fancy? Think again. The collectibles industry is a booming business. Sales of collectibles in the U.S. have gone up 63 percent between 2010 and 2011. In the U.S. alone, collectors make up 27 percent of all collectors worldwide.
Savvy insurance agents are taking advantage of the sales potential that the collectibles market presents. It’s a virtually untapped market that’s growing rapidly. Typical homeowners’ policies fall far short of providing enough coverage for collections. Agents can increase sales by suggesting specialized coverage.
What’s covered? Nearly anything that can be collected. Here are some interesting collections that are covered by collectibles insurance policies.
Click “next” to see some of the more unusual things that people are collecting.
Militaria. Tanks included.
Yes, even tanks are sought after. One collector, Paul B., keeps a fleet of military tanks and troop transports in his Rhode Island barn. The veteran started with a military truck, and from there the collection grew. The tanks are rolled out for Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades and events.
Quilts: the collectible that spans generations.
Many quilt collectors opt for quilts with historical value or those of heirloom importance. However, some collectors enjoy the more artistic quilts, or ones that tell stories. Quilter Sallye G. created a one-of-a-kind quilt that depicts the state of Mississippi and the products, traditions and institutions in the state. The quilt not only won the State Fair competition, but it has also hung in the Mississippi governor’s mansion, and now several museums and colleges want it for their collections.
X-Men: The Original Series. Really original.
Comic books have long been a popular collectible. Yet one collector has what he considers the Holy Grail of Marvel’s comic book lineup: William Z. has the entire X-Men series dating back to 1963. With the first 20 books in the series worth $30,000 by themselves, he knew he had a valuable collection, and one he had to protect. The collector, seeing the potential for loss, insured the collection, each worth approximately $1,000 per issue.
Back to the Future. Again.
Who doesn’t know this car? In a few cases, movie cars have become more than just props—they’ve become stars alongside their human counterparts. This “time machine” Delorean replica of the movie classic "Back to the Future" is turning heads. The owner, James C., who recently had his Delorean converted, says he’s used to people stopping him and talking about his unusual car.
“It takes me a half an hour to get a cup of coffee because so many people stop to ask about the car,” he says.
That coffee would be for James, not the flux capacitor.
Fossils. Not just for museums.
Some collections aren’t just old—they’re, well, prehistoric. John D.’s cache of fossils contains some of the oldest collectibles we insure. John’s interest in fossils started at age five. Today, this hard-working lawyer has amassed a fossil collection worth $250,000, all by traveling to gem shows and fossil club meetings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Bergan is vice president of marketing of American Collectors Insurance, Inc., a national provider of specialty insurance for collectibles and collector vehicles. She can be reached at 856-382-3207 or Laura.B@AmericanCollectors.com.