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Insuring Your Records

You have spent the last twenty years acquiring this absolutely perfect collection of vinyl. And then, one night when you are away, you are paid a visit by some unwelcomed guests. You return to a empty house. Your prized possessions gone.
But the fact that you had your collection insured separately is going to take some of the hurt out of replacing them.

Rider Policies
Insuring your record collection against fire, theft, or even flood, makes a lot of sense. We are not talking about a collection of just a few LP's. We are referring to those collectors, who has spent half of their lives assembling these collections which can total from the hundreds, to the tens of thousands of records.
There are probably quite a few individuals out there, who are in possesion a large number of records. That may receive virtually nothing from their Insurance company because they did not attach a "rider" to their home insurance policy.
A rider policy is a attachment to your regular insurance policy, that covers specific high dollar items, such as large collections of antiques, jewery, baseball cards, or in this case, records.
Without this special insurance policy, you may not receive fair compensation in the event of loss. Check with your insurance company on the amount of coverage you have, and if you need a rider policy for your record collection.

Document Your Collection
By documenting your collection, you are offering proof that you were in possession of specific items prior to their loss. After a break-in for instance, it may assist in the retrieval of the discs, in the event the crooks are caught, and proof of ownership is required.

Video taping your collection is an excellent method for documenting the existance of your vinyl.
You can start this process by grouping your collection into alphabetical order. Next, set up your camera equipment with the proper lighting, focus, and framing. And with the assistance of a friend, go through each individual album scanning the album cover and vinyl. As you scan the cover, be sure to catch a close-up on any identifying features such as the album cover spine, including the manufacturers catalog number and title.
You can also be describing these details verbally as you go along. This would include the catalog number, a physical description of the disc(colored vinyl, picture disc, promotional copy, or grading), or any special history.
After you completed taping, have copies of your tape made. Then provide a separate or safe location for the second copy such as a relatives home or a safety deposit box. After all, it wouldn't make sense to tape your vinyl collection, then keep all the copies in one location.

For those who you who do not own a video camera, a hard copy list will achieve the same effect. Either hand written or typed, having a list with all the same information as a video tape(i.e. catalog number, physical description, and special notes) will be more than adequate.

Perhaps as important as obtaining insurance in the first place, is insuring that you have adequate coverage on your prized possessions.
If you have a collection that has an estimated value of say, fifteen thousand dollars($15,000.00), having five thousand dollars($5,000.00) worth of coverage would not make much sense.
On the other hand, if you were to boost coverage from twenty thousand to twenty five thousand dollars($20,000.00-$25,000.00), you not only have an adequate amount of coverage for today, but you also allow for future appreciation.

Establish The Value Of Your Collection
Using the information found on the page entitled "Appraise your records", determine how much your collection is worth. This is indeed important. For when your insurance agent asks you how much additional coverage you require for your collection, you will be able to supply him/her with the proper figure.
If you would prefer to have someone else establish your record collection's worth, then find someone with knowledge on vinyl recordings. Perhaps contact the owner of a local record store, and find out if he/she would be willing to give you a fair estimate for a fee.
Or contact your insurance company and find out who they recommend for the job.
They probably deal with profession appraisers on a daily basis.

Whatever you decide, decide it today. It is not as critical as other forms of insurance, but it is still something that you should not put off for very long.

This information was compiled and presented by the Record Collectors Guild.
This page may be freely distributed or posted if without modification.
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