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  • Insuring Your LEGO Collection


    There comes a time, in some LEGO collector's lives, that their hobby of collecting LEGO sets and bricks becomes something a little more than a hobby. The AFOL(Adult Fan of LEGOs), with the so-called 'hobby' of collecting little plastic bricks, has ended up spending years and thousands of dollars on these 'toys.' The last thing anybody wants to happen is to lose the entire collection to fire, flood or theft.

    LEGO sets and bricks, like coins, stamps, and rare art can be worth a pretty penny and should anything horrible happen to the collection, a person needs to make sure that, although these things may be seem irreplaceable, the LEGO collector needn’t lose everything that they invested in them. With the proper insurance, a person can enjoy their collection and sleep soundly at night.

    If the LEGO collector already has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, they may feel pretty safe, but most policies cover household goods, such as televisions, stereo equipment and jewelry, but may take a different view towards the collection of plastic bricks, set boxes and instructions. Even with insurance, a person would be wise to check with their insurance provider and discuss a “collectibles floater” which is a separate document allowing you to declare that the things listed on the floater are greater than the value they originally sold for.

    In some cases, such as your collection being worth more than $2,000, your insurance provider may require you to start an additional policy that covers collectibles. Check with your provider to make sure they offer this service. However, keep in mind that this coverage will still probably be limited to the usual coverage enjoyed by your LCD TV, but what happens if a flood in your basement destroys that $2000 MISB(Mint in sealed box) 1st edition Star Wars Millennium Falcon (set# 10179) or a fire wipes out an entire LEGO collection that took years to obtain? For that, you may need a policy with a bit more kick.

    There are insurance agencies that focus only on collectible insurance, such as Collectibles Insurance Services(http://www.collectinsure.com). Their website offers collectors the ability to get a quote, fill out a policy application and answer any questions you may have. According to their website, the LEGO collection will be covered in the event of:

    • Mail loss
    • Theft
    • Fire
    • Flooding
    • Natural disasters
    • Breakage

    The benefit of using the services of a collectible insurer is that the policies are very affordable. They usually cover beyond the usual fire and theft and they will have a better understanding of the fact that the LEGO collector's Market Street (set #10190) is selling for $1000+ on auction sites, something that may take some convincing over at the big box agencies.

    Don’t surprised if the insurance agencies don’t take your word that the LEGO collection is worth thousands of dollars. Although you may find a better understanding from a specialist agency, most insurance companies are not knowledgeable about the climate of the LEGO collectible market. Another problem is that LEGO bricks are a relatively recent addition to the collectible world and therefore it may not be common knowledge that a MISB Statue of Liberty (set #3450) could command the same collectible price of some of the rarest coins or stamps in the world.

    An appraisal from a certified 'antiques appraiser' will go a long way when attempting to insure the LEGO collection for the full amount it’s worth. In fact, many insurance agencies will require an appraisal for specialized coverage such as a “collectible floater.” Check your local directory for nearby antique stores that may offer appraisals, and be wary of online appraisal companies because a rare collectible, with its widely varying degrees of condition, really needs to be seen in person to determine the most accurate value. Also, once you’ve found an appraiser, make sure that they are certified by the ISA(International Society of Appraisers) to insure that they are qualified, properly trained and have the in-depth knowledge the collection requires.
    Although an appraisal from an antiques appraiser might be necessary for some insurance companies, others are a little more lenient in their requirements. Collecting LEGO sets for investment purposes is an idea that has flew under the radar of the public for years, but the popularity of these little plastic bricks has exploded over the last several years. It is this popularity that is making LEGO bricks a viable investment vehicle, thus requiring insurance on the investor's collections. More and more insurance companies are insuring LEGO, Barbie Doll, and Matchbox Car collections and realize that antique appraisers might have zero idea how to value LEGO sets.

    Basically, the more lenient insurance companies are adding an addendum or rider to homeowner or renter's policies for an amount based on the total amount of the collection. They are requiring receipts, photos and a documented list with current market values of all LEGO sets. Receipts and photos are relatively simple to supply, but what to use for current market values? Here is where BrickPicker.com comes in handy. Brickpicker.com offers a tool called My Brickfolio. With the Brickfolio tool, the collector can input their entire LEGO collection and get up to date values for individual sets and the entire collection. Brickpicker.com utilizes market data from the world's largest online auction site, eBAY, which on any given day, might have over 100,000 listings for LEGO products. With this information in hand, the collection can now be insured.

    Once the LEGO collection is appraised and insured, it’s more important than ever to keep the LEGO sets stored properly and maintained. Keep the LEGO sets out of direct sunlight and in a dry location. Use proper shelves and limit stacking of boxes, because it causes shelf wear and collapses the boxes. Maintaining the LEGO collection will insure that the LEGO sets will keep their condition rating and collectible value.

    This seems like a lot of work for a bunch of plastic bricks and cardboard boxes, but insuring a large LEGO collection is a way to give a LEGO investor piece of mind that their years of hard work and their thousands of investment dollars don't go up in smoke or down the drain...
     



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    My homeowners insurance covers this generally (theft and fire at least), though I did check with my insurance company and they indicated that I could certainly get a rider to cover my collection, LEGO or anything else of my choosing.

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    Best way to protect your collection is to use the Brickfolio and export the data to the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, so you can present that to your insurance agent. Take some pictures also. Then at least you have some proof to show the insurance company in case there is a disaster.

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    Great information! I'm glad us Lego collectors can come across new ideas like this blog that can be useful. I know mine is covered some what but this makes me want to make sure that the true value is covered.

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    Il est important que les LEGO soit assurer , parce que si on un une grosse collection c'est quand meme important

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    Thank you for the advice! It is such a tragedy when insurance cannot cover your collectibles, I will make sure that mine will!

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    I just insured my LEGO collection with the company in the story right before I wrote it. Very reasonable and easy. If you export the data from the Brickfolio to an Excel file, it is adequate for the insurance company. Just keep some photos of the collection.

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    It is also good to note that certain homeowners and rental policies may cover an storage building rental where you store your Legos. That is my current method of insuring my Legos, but I may look into the Collector specific companies shortly as well.

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    I haven't asked about lego specifically but I did once ask my insurer about a rider for my 15,000 comic books. I was told that such coverage would cost $150 a month!!! That's as much as I spend on comics most months and about 12 times what I pay for general insurance. For most of us, $150 is going to wipe out any profit from selling lego. 

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    I know this is an old thread, but wanted to thank Ed for originally posted it. Farmers wouldn't cover my collection so they went through a third party (Abrahms). Turns out that Abrahms no longer wants to insure the collection for replacement cost, only what I actually paid. After hunting for awhile, I thought I would check this website to see what was out there. Ended up going through the company is original post, they are fantastic. So easy to work with and about 20% less than what I was paying before. Thanks again BP for providing yet another valuable resource in the world of LEGO collecting!

    I know this is an old thread, but wanted to thank Ed for originally posted it. Farmers wouldn't cover my collection so they went through a third party (Abrahms). Turns out that Abrahms no longer wants to insure the collection for replacement cost, only what I actually paid. After hunting for awhile, I thought I would check this website to see what was out there. Ended up going through the company is original post, they are fantastic. So easy to work with and about 20% less than what I was paying before. Thanks again BP for providing yet another valuable resource in the world of LEGO collecting!

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