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VaultJun 11, 2024 7:00:00 AM5 min read

How Collections Insurance Preserved Priceless Historic Treasure

As affluent individuals gain valuable assets, insuring collectibles protects their value for generations to come. In this remarkable true story, a Vault Insurance customer discovered an invaluable collection within their recently purchased historic home. With the help of Vault Risk Services experts, they were able to appraise and secure collections insurance for the priceless items. 

Verified Market Reports estimates the global collectibles insurance market will reach $45.7 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%. Rising personal asset values, insurance awareness, and affluent income growth contribute to this trend. 

But these collections may be vulnerable to financial losses. Many collectors neglect to insure their items or update their policies once they're in force. Appraising value and updating your collection inventory and policy insure they remain protected. 


Uncovering a Historic Treasure 

A Vault customer purchased a historic home once owned by a relative of a famous inventor. The inventor had several patents and made great contributions to technology. He often sent memorabilia to the home for safekeeping. Even as ownership changed, this extraordinary collection remained at the house. 

Soon after moving in, the new homeowner discovered the collection, left in the basement as it passed between owners. Included among them were whiskey party favors from a royal wedding, a letter from a president, and prototypes of famous inventions. 

Recognizing how significant the items were, the homeowner contacted Vault Insurance for help. Vault Risk Services dispatched an expert to assess the collection. Our Risk Services Specialist documented and assessed values for each item. 

Among the items was a locked safe, which had remained unopened for many years. The owner had no idea what was inside, if anything. The owner had at first not been concerned about the safe or what may be inside, but our Specialist wanted to leave no stone unturned. 

Vault enlisted a professional locksmith to open it, revealing more items of historical value. Without having assessed the safe’s contents, the collections policy may have been inadequate. 

Historical, one-of-a-kind items are notorious for their difficulty in appraising. How can you set a value for something that cannot be replaced? 

Through intensive research and consulting with outside experts, our Specialist gathered the information needed to get coverage for the items. 

After the appraisal, Vault Insurance helped the homeowner get a specialized collections insurance policy. This provided comprehensive coverage tailored to protect the unique collection above the amount provided with a homeowners policy. 

Besides providing the owner with peace of mind, our Specialist also helped establish mitigation practices to keep the items safe from damage.


Understanding Collections Insurance and Protecting Your Valuables 

Collections insurance is a specialized policy designed to protect valuable assets and collectibles. Typically, these items aren't covered under standard homeowners or renters insurance because they exceed homeowner policy limits. A collections insurance policy protects against risks such as theft, damage, and loss.


Types of Items Covered 

Vault Insurance customizes its collections policies to cover various types of collectible items. Some of the most common categories include: 

  • Fine Art: Paintings, sculptures, and other artworks created by recognized artists. 
  • Jewelry: High-value pieces, including heirlooms and fine jewelry. 
  • Antiques: Historical items, furniture, and other artifacts of significant age and value. 
  • Historical Memorabilia: Items with historical significance, such as documents, letters, and rare artifacts. 
  • Other Collectibles: This includes items like rare books, stamps, coins, and vintage toys. 


Related: Protecting Fine Jewelry: 5 Ways to Keep Priceless Jewelry Safe 


Key Benefits of Collections Insurance 

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Customized protection against theft, accidental damage, natural disasters, and more. 
  • Agreed Value: Insurance payout based on a value agreed upon when the policy is purchased. This ensures collectors receive the full value of their items in the event of a claim. 
  • Worldwide Coverage: Many collections insurance policies provide worldwide coverage. They protect valuable items whether they are at home, in transit, or on display elsewhere. 
  • Specialized Claims Handling: Insurers understand the complexities of handling claims for valuable items. This expertise ensures a smooth and fair process. 


Why Standard Homeowners Insurance May Not Be Enough 

Homeowners insurance provides some coverage for personal property. Yet, it often falls short for high-value collections. Standard policies usually have coverage limits and exclusions. For example, homeowners insurance may cap the amount payable for jewelry or art. 

Collections insurance offers a solution. It provides the necessary coverage to protect high-value items to their full value. 


How a Collections Policy Benefited the Customer 

Vault's Risk Services Specialists take meticulous care and a comprehensive approach to protect our customers’ legacies. Integrating a specialized collections policy provided the customer with several significant benefits: 

  • Comprehensive Financial Protection: The policy ensured that each valuable item was insured for its full appraised value. The payout would be based on the agreed value, preventing major financial loss. 
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing their priceless collection was protected gave the customer peace of mind. The policy covered many risks, allowing them to enjoy their collection without constant worry. 
  • Tailored Risk Mitigation Strategies: Vault Insurance provided the customer with specific advice on protecting their collection. Implementing these strategies reduces the risk of damage and theft. 
  • Seamless Claims Process: In the event of a claim, Vault's specialized handling ensures a swift and fair process. The policy’s agreed-upon value basis simplifies the claims procedure. This provides clarity and prevents disputes. 


The Importance of Proper Appraisal 

Proper appraisal is essential for insuring high-value collectibles. Regular appraisals ensure the insurance amount matches each item's value. This prevents underinsurance issues.  

A current appraisal and detailed documentation simplify the claims process. Providing clear evidence of an item's value expedites claims and ensures fair compensation. 

Regular appraisals allow collectors to adjust their insurance coverage as market values change. This enables them to maintain comprehensive protection and avoid gaps in coverage. 

As part of your risk mitigation plan, an annual appraisal and updates to your inventory list are recommended by our experts. 


Securing the Future of Your Valuable Collections 

By working with Vault, our customer was able to appraise and insure their priceless items, ensuring protection against potential risks. 

Collections insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind beyond the limitations of standard homeowners insurance. It provides specialized coverage for high-value collections. 

At Vault, we know risk education and mitigation are key to reducing the severity of loss. Protecting your assets is more than insuring them, it’s looking at the bigger picture to reduce all possible risks. We provide all-encompassing risk management services to help proactively safeguard the life you’ve built – that’s the Vault difference.

Request a quote and experience the Vault difference.


Related Products: Collections Insurance


While Vault believes the information provided in this article to be accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information providedVault is not responsible for, and does not adopt, endorse or approve any third-party webpages, or their content, that may be hyperlinked from this page. Nothing on this page alters any terms or conditions of an insurance policy and is not intended to be taken as legal, medical, or other professional advice. 



Vault offers high-net-worth personal insurance and customized solutions for affluent individuals and families. Our passionate team of experts are dedicated to delivering a luxury insurance experience and protecting our customers' legacies by minimizing devastating losses with risk management and data-driven technology.