The Cost of… Insurance
I love my parents. This is for a few reasons. There are people out there that sometimes forget what their parents are to them. I have not. I have a father and stepmother that are wonderful and both love me unconditionally. They want what’s best for me even when I don’t know what that is. They also worry about me when I think they shouldn’t have to. So what does loving my parents have to do with insuring my comic book collection?
I started writing November 16, 2009 for the registry (http://comics.www.collectors-society.com/registry/comics/Index.aspx) , soon after I started to read these to my father. I would do this before posting. He is my best sounding board because he’ll be the first one to tell me what I am reading to him sucks. I’m sure after a while he told my stepmother about my journals, since she would be the one to make him realize the stapled pieces of paper I’m collecting are worth something. Also, she is more sensible.
About a year ago my father began to talk with me about getting insurance for my apartment and my collectibles. I called Nationwide, my car insurance provider for both, made an appointment and sat with them in person. They were not able to give me a quote at that time. They said they would call me back, they never did. I used that as an excuse to save on a monthly bill.
My parents gave me another number a couple months later. This was State Farm. They called back, but sporadically. Finally, I took the initiative; I started with a small renter’s policy. I had hoped this would help move the process along a little bit smoother. I was wrong; I had to keep calling back for a rider policy on the comic books. They at least admitted they never insured anything like this before and it might take awhile.
Eventually I got frustrated and stopped calling. I even wrote about getting insurance and a reader recommended Collectibles Insurance Services.
If you get one or two graded comic books you might not notice this insurance company, but if you’re doing anything you can to complete a set you will realize that this insurance company is advertised quite extensively. However, I didn’t call them when I first became aware of them. I called after they were recommended. A voice recording picked up and I left a message. They never called back. Eventually I got complacent, my parents did not.
Only recently, about the beginning of March or maybe the end of February my parents gave me another phone number. This one was for American Collectors. I put this away so I wouldn’t lose it. Of course I lost it. They went on a little rant about how I had to find it. I knew I had too, I just couldn’t remember where I put the piece of paper. They reminded me (in their own little way) that the number could be recovered if I did the research myself, the comic books could not.
My parents gave me another number; I was shocked this time they also came up with Collectibles Insurance Services. I waited. During a cleaning spree of my kitchen table, which sometimes resembles a desk, I found the first number my parents gave me and yet I still waited. The catalyst between my parents nagging and my upstairs neighbor having his second flood made me start calling again, the procrastination had ended. I called American Collectors first. I told them I was looking for insurance on my comic book collection. I expected for them to say “we will call you back”.
They didn’t ask to call me back; they didn’t put me on hold, all they simply stated was they wanted to ask me some questions. The questions were simple; the thing they wanted to know the most though was what I thought my collection was worth. I told them. I didn’t have to wait. They gave me a quote directly over the phone. I didn’t ask any questions. I didn’t know what to ask, or even what to say. After they told me it would be a $388 fee for a $70,000 annual policy, I was slightly astounded that it had to be paid in one lump sum. I was hoping it would be like my other car and renter’s policy and be able to pay it each month. They did mention anything I had worth $2500 or more had to be listed. It’s a small list. Actually it is a list of one and even that could be questionable. I didn’t know what else to say, or even ask. I said Thank you and hung up. My head raced…. $388….up front.
I called the second number, Collectibles Insurance Services, which was for the same company that never called me back. I wasn’t expecting much, actually I was expecting the forced voice mail option again, but was answered right away. They also immediately asked me questions about my collection. I guess the
financial crisis was starting to hurt them as well. Collectibles Insurance Services, for the same amount of coverage wanted $377 for the year. Immediately they told me what it covered, unlike the previous company, not to mention how long they have been doing this.
They gave me a slew of information in comparison. I was covered under theft, fire, and flood; two of which are my biggest fears. I’m expecting my upstairs neighbor to have another disaster. OK, so the floods weren’t his fault. The other thing I liked was it would cover a book immediately after I bought it, since I’m not a dealer (and not getting insurance as a dealer) I was told it would not cover any books I tried selling at a convention. The other concern, and this is the same as the other company, they wish to be paid in advance. Either company is going to cause me to rearrange my budget.
I fear getting robbed, and overall just losing what I had, the first and foremost for these things to happen whether it is flood, fire, or burglary, my things will be gone. But, being insured at least allows me to purchase my books over again, so let’s see how much it costs for peace of mind. (As with my other the “cost of… article” please excuse all errors in math.)
My collection is about $70,000, $60,000 in comic books and $10,000 in artwork. If I use the cheaper more comprehensive coverage of $377 a year it breaks down to $31.42 a month or a dollar three a day, give or take 2/10 of a penny. That is only a dollar three a day for peace of mind. Let’s pretend I have 5000 comics exactly. I have more, but for the numbers I want to make it easier. So at 5000 comic books that means I’m only spending 7 1/2 cents to insure my comic books per book, whether that comic book is worth $.50 or $2500.
I remember when I was a kid watching Sally Struthers telling me for the price of a cup of coffee a day (and I do love my coffee) I can feed a starving kid. Now I can still see her pitching a commercial but this time telling me for the price of a cup of coffee a day I can insure my collection. If I wish to narrow it down even more that is $70,000 of coverage for only $377 equals two millionths of a cent per a comic per a day. I find that amount staggeringly small, maybe if I did the math like this before I wouldn’t have waited so long.
Am I lucky that nothing has happened? Yes I am. Will I ever need to use my insurance? I hope not. I love my collection. I would never want to lose them, especially since some of them are currently irreplaceable. Insurance is for two reasons… one for my own peace of mind, even though I never worried about it before, and the second well that’s just to keep my parents off my back.
Thanks for Reading