[78-L] Insuring a record collection

78-L Mail List 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
Sat May 10 15:08:53 PDT 2014

have any members here insured their record collections, perhaps through a home owner's or renter's insurance policy? i am considering insuring my own collection for the first time, though i haven't yet discussed this situation with my insurance agent. 

are there any reputable appraisers to provide a written estimate of value? if so, how can that be done if the appraiser lives far enough away to make a visit impractical? in such a case, would a comprehensive catalogue of the collection's contents be required. compiling such a list would be a massive task for me. if a list is involved rather than an inspection, it would then be my own opinion as to condition & my own word for the actual contents. 

my record collection is a specialty subject; it consists only of recordings featuring the xylophone & marimba, because i play marimba. i am aware of other specialty 78-cylinder record collections, such as only banjo recordings, or only blues recordings, or certain opera singers, or only cornet records, or early jazz records, etc. 

my own collection of xylophone & marimba 78-cylinder recordings numbers in the thousands, and took me 35 years of research and acquisitions to assemble. does the nature of a specialty collection increase its' insurable value beyond the individual market values of each its' pieces? for instance, if the value of a specialty record collection is $10,000 and it is destroyed in an earthquake, one can't actually replace that collection with $10,000 because of the nature of a specialized subject that is not readily obtainable. 

i am reminded of home owner's insurance, whereby one of the factors involved in appraisal of a house is not only its' market value but also the replacement cost of the house in the event that it is destroyed. for instance, two houses side-by-side may have the same market value if they were to be sold. however, let's say that one of those structures is new and the other is an old Victorian. the Victorian may feature ornate woodwork, materials, and joinery that can not easily be replicated today, whereas the newer house is replaceable by the same construction methods whereby it was originally constructed. therefore, while the market value of these two houses may be identical, their replacement costs can vary significantly. it is my understanding that in the matter of property insurance, both the market value and the replacement cost are taken into consideration by the insurance company in determining a policy. 

has anyone dealt with these issues regarding their record collection through their insurance policies? any leads on an appraiser? 

thanks for any input; i appreciate that. 

david harvey 

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