Collector’s shops specialize in retailing used merchandise like antiques, memorabilia, glassware, figurines, signed sports memorabilia, vintage comics, TV and movie memorabilia, and more. Collector’s shops are unique compared to typical thrift or consignment stores, because the items are often highly sought-after by all kinds of collectors. Your customers may be able to find everything from inexpensive, kitschy décor to rare and highly valuable antiques or artifacts.
No matter what kind of items you sell in your collector’s shop, you need well-planned and comprehensive business insurance coverage to protect everything that matters, including your building, your inventory, and everyone who walks through your doors.
Collector’s shop insurance is a complex and comprehensive set of business insurance policies tailored to the needs of your shop and the types of items you sell in your shop. With the help of an independent insurance agent, you can find insurance companies that specialize in collector’s shop insurance, so you can be sure your inventory and your livelihood remain in tact.
Why Do You Need Collector’s Shop Insurance?
There are all kinds of unique and eclectic collector’s shops all over the US, displaying, selling, and even buying items like books, memorabilia, coins or stamps, rarities, jewelry, baseball cards, comics, and many other items that people like to collect.
You may occasionally take some of your collector’s items to sell at festivals, mall booths, or special shows for collector’s shop owners. What’s more, you may store and sell items that are on consignment from private owners. The risks to your inventory are immense, and with varying ownership arrangements and items sometimes on the move, your insurance coverage must be comprehensive.
At any time, your building and inventory can be damaged by fire, theft, or vandalism. And your collector’s items can encounter any number of problems while in transit. Your collections must be protected on your premises, while in transit, and while they are being displayed or stored off-site.
What’s more, you need to protect your building and all of its other contents, your customers, and your employees from mishaps, injuries, and property damage that can occur during the normal course of operating your collector’s shop.
What Does Collector’s Shop Insurance Cover?
Collector’s shops need insurance to protect their inventory, other physical assets (fixtures, furniture, computers, etc.), and customers in a variety of situations. Here are just a few of the scenarios that you should consider when thinking about insurance for your collector’s shop. Do you need coverage for any or all of the following?
- Items on display in your shop
- Items held in off-site storage or at your home
- Items traveling to off-site shows, while at the shows, and while in transit
- Items that are being mailed or shipped to customers
- Items owned by others being shown on your sales floor or at a show, or being sold on consignment
- Your physical shop structure (if you own it) and its contents
- Employees, vendors, customers, and any members of the general public visiting your shop
First, you need tailored coverage for your inventory, whether the items are in your store or are being shown at an outside event. An independent insurance agent can help you find a carrier that specializes in the types of collector’s items that you have, and the types of scenarios that you work in.
Talk to your insurance agent about “all risk” coverage that protects your unique inventory from a variety of perils (not just certain “named perils”). This means you’d be covered for any damage that occurs, regardless of cause, unless specifically excluded from your policy.
It is also essential to consider “wall-to-wall” coverage that protects your collections (including items on loan from others) while they are in transit or being displayed or stored off-site. Your items need coverage while they are in the possession of freight forwarders, auction houses, storage facilities, or anywhere else they may be moved to or stored. Items in transit must be protected whether they are on a truck, plane, boat or any other form of transportation traveling to anywhere in the world.
Your collectibles shop insurance should include coverage for any non-owned or partially-owned items that are in your care, custody and control, but are on loan from another shop or private collection, or that you have agreed to insure.
You will also need a variety of more traditional business insurance policies to complete your collector’s shop coverage.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance offers financial protection if a person is injured on your premises or if someone (vendor, delivery person, customer) sustains some type of property damage as a result of your operations. If a heavy shelf filled with glassware falls on a customer and causes an injury, this policy will cover the medical bills or other expenses related to the accident.
- Commercial property insurance helps you rebuild or make repairs when an unexpected event—like a fire, a flood, hail, lightning, or a tornado—destroys your merchandise and your physical space (structure). It helps you replace, rebuild, or repair computers, cash registers, inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more after a covered event.
- Business interruption insurance reimburses you if you sustain a substantial loss of revenue or you must close your doors temporarily after some type of covered loss. If a windstorm blows down part of your roof and you must close for repairs, this coverage pays for lost income, salaries, and other expenses during that time. It may also help to pay for relocation expenses if you must set up a temporary space.
In addition to business property and liability insurance for your collector’s shop, you are likely to need a variety of additional stand-alone policies or policy endorsements. Talk with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need:
- Valuable papers coverage: Pays to reproduce valuable papers, such as financial documents, ownership records, and authenticity documentation for your collector’s inventory.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of several other policies you might have, including commercial general liability or employer’s liability.
- Employment practices liability insurance: covers you if a current of former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices
- Worker's compensation insurance: Pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees that are injured on the job.
- Employee crime and dishonesty coverage: Protects your business from the costs of theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees
How Much Does Collector’s Shop Insurance Cost?
The cost of collector’s shop insurance will vary widely depending on the size and location of your shop, and most importantly, the type of collections you have and their values. What’s more, your insurance costs will be impacted if you sell your collector’s items only in your shop, or if you move items to sell at special shows or exhibits.
Business insurance costs also vary depending on the number of employees that you have, the weather and crime risks in your city, and the amount of coverage that you need to fully cover your risks.
Talk to an experienced independent insurance agent who can uncover all of your risks and find the policy options that specifically address them.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need to protect your collectibles shop from a variety of costly problems. Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Independent insurance agents simplify the search process for finding the right collector’s shop insurance. They’ll walk you through some handpicked policy options and explain the details and options.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get—but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can leave out important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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