By: Jonathan Fuhrman
No one wants to think about a potential catastrophe destroying their home, but the fact is anything can happen at any time. That is why we all have homeowners (or renters) insurance. However, you should be aware that your typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover your depression glass collection!
Let me start off by saying I’m not an insurance agent of any sort. The following information is just what I’ve learned over the past few years of research.
Your typical homeowners policy has two coverage options for the contents of your house – they will either replace things at a depreciated value, or a replacement value. For example, your everyday dishes that you bought from Target will either have a depreciated value of maybe 50 cents each, or a replacement value of $8 each. You pay a bit more for the replacement value policy, but that way you have enough money to actually buy replacement items should something happen to them.
What your policy does not typically cover is your collection of depression glass. You’ll need a separate rider to cover this, typically an antiques and collectibles one.
My experience has been not all homeowners insurance companies offer these riders. You can either find a company that offers them so you can lump it in with your general policy, or you can purchase one from a stand-alone company.
Either way, you need to pay attention to the requirements of the policy. Some insurance companies require a complete up-to-date inventory with photographs. Others may require a professional appraisal of the collection. Some of these requirements can be problematic for someone like me whose inventory is constantly changing since I’m adding to my depression glass collection practically every week. One company told me I needed to send them a new inventory every time I added something to my collection. They would be getting e-mails several times a week during the summer months!
No matter what the policy requirements are, it is always a good idea to have an inventory of your depression glass collection along with some pictures of it. This documentation will help in the event you need to make a claim. It should be stored securely in two places, and one must be off-site from your home. My depression glass inventory is on my laptop, and then backed up to a cloud subscription service I have.
My hope is that none of us ever have to face the loss of our homes, or our depression glass collections. But just in case, we should all be prepared with the appropriate insurance. Most policies are under $200 a year – well worth the peace of mind rather than risking the loss of a $15,000 collection.