A friend of ours visited the United State Postal Service Museum in Washington, D.C. recently and reported to us a fascinating visit. The museum is all about stamp collecting with some of the rarest stamps in the world displayed.
Our friend was a stamp collector as a kid and the trip brought back fond memories of buying and mounting American and foreign stamps. The thing that was so gratifying about stamps is that if they were unused, they had a value. It’s like collecting coins, they’re always worth something.
And that’s a double bonus for kids. Stamps celebrate famous people, places, and events. So they expose collectors to the world and they’re worth money. Doesn’t get much better than that.
So while at the Museum, they watched a video on the history of the famous Inverted Jenny stamp. It’s our country’s first airmail stamp issued in 1918. It’s famous and incredibly valuable because it’s a mistake. The airplane was printed upside down. One recently sold for over a million dollars!
One of the experts in the video was Donald Sundman, President of Mystic Stamp Company. We bet that not too many Central New Yorkers realize that Mystic is one of the largest stamp companies in the world…and it’s right here in Camden, New York!
Our friend thought of the visit to the Postal Museum because he and his wife inherited a substantial collection from her father. There are individual stamps, plate blocks, and first day covers. Some are very old. So as it’s turned out, he’s a stamp collector again.
That brings up the question, “Am I covered on my homeowners insurance for my stamp collection?” Most policies limit the amount of coverage on special items, including stamps. The amount can vary, but $1,000 is the typical amount of coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy.
So, if your collection is valued near that amount, you may not want to bother insuring it separately. But if you are an avid collector or, like our friend above, have inherited or been given a substantial collection, call us. We represent some specialty insurers who may cover your collection on a blanket basis or based on an appraisal.
The special limits also apply to coin/currency collections ($200) and gun collections ($2,000 for theft). Also remember that the coverages available for your collections are the same as for your personal property. So if a valuable coin is lost, there’s no coverage.
We suggest that if you have substantial collections of any item: baseball cards, rare books, or even comics, call us to review your homeowners policy to be sure of existing coverages. Then, we may decide to have you get the collection appraised. Also, take photos or video of it so you remember the individual items if they are lost in a fire.
After you get the appraisal, we can look into insuring your collection separately on an all-risk coverage policy. That policy may be in your current insurance company or one that specializes in your kind of collections.
However we deal with the insurance, we do recommend introducing kids to the joys of stamp collecting. It’s always fun to collect, but stamps build value and they teach kids about history and famous people.
And it gets them away from video games for a while!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.