Insurance (2 Viewers)

Here's a poser for you: Do any of you guys have insurance for valuable BUk books? Do you go to a specialist or put it on house insurance? How does the valuation get assessed? Some insurance number cruncher sits down and surfs abebooks?

Fess up - who's got expensive uninsured editions and could lose a mint if the sewage backed up...?
 
I have my HO insurance. There is a special rider that you can get and it is not a bad idea. There is also collectible insurance, which can be bought outside of HO insurance. This is good if you rent. I just don't know how they pay in the case of a loss. Everyone with a fire had a Picasso in the basement, so I'm not sure if they require receipts, etc....

bill
 
I think the special "colletible" insurance might be a good buy for anyone with a lot of valuable books, troll dolls or lunch boxes.

If you buy $100,000 worth of regular homeowners or renters insurance and claim a $100,000 loss after a loss, I think they would hang you up on that, wanting some documentation of value.

You self-declare the value of your stuff when you buy the insurance, so they will gladly sell you a million dollars worth of insurance on the contents if you can afford to pay for it. But something tells me they don't just automatically write a million dollar check in the event of a total loss.

But then maybe I just don't trust the insurance industry.
 
But then maybe I just don't trust the insurance industry.

You are probably right. Insurance companies have a bad habit of taking the money, but then denying claims when they are due. I would think that with a big loss like you describe, you would have to sue them to get paid as they would deny the claim as a matter of practice.

I need to keep better records.

Bill
 
... But then maybe I just don't trust the insurance industry.

"The insurance business is completely screwy now. You know they've reintroduced the death penalty for insurance company directors?"
- "Really?" said Arthur. "No I didn't. For what offence?"
Trillian frowned.
"What do you mean, offence?"
- "I see."


(Douglas Adams)
 
Fess up - who's got expensive uninsured editions and could lose a mint if the sewage backed up...?

Me.


My understanding is that, in Australia, you self-value the specific articles in your house that are of special value (i.e. Buk books) and submit it to the insurer.
They then came back to you with a yes or no or different valuation.
You settle on an agreed value (usually what you first specified) and you're covered.

They have improved over the years.

Many of my clients have made claims on expensive electronics that have been stolen. In most cases the insurer writes them a cheque.

(Then I get the cheque) :)
 
I collect William Burroughs but I have been lurking in this forum for quite a while. The posts on collecting here are great.

I used to have insurance tied to my renter and later home owners insurance. A bookseller friend of mine told me that actually collecting on such claims is very difficult as large insurance companies dont understand the value of rare books. They understand cars and tvs. The dealer suggested insurance with a company that specializes in collectibles. They actually pay on claims and rather quickly in his experience. I switched immediately. The premimum is minimal around $200-300 a year on $50,000-$60,000.

I was not asked for invoices or receipts, but I did have an appraisal. The appraisal was another $350 or so. I did most of the leg work on the appraisal since my collection is catalogued on a database. Does anybody else out there have software of this type? I find it to be fun to input information and immensely helpful.

Has anybody out there actually had to file a claim on a rare book? If so what happened?
 
I did most of the leg work on the appraisal since my collection is catalogued on a database. Does anybody else out there have software of this type?
I'm working on an art and book database right now, funny you should mention it. We really have no idea of the total value of all this stuff, so it will be interesting to see.

What is the name of your specialty insurance company?
 
I collect William Burroughs but I have been lurking in this forum for quite a while. The posts on collecting here are great.

... [snip] ... I did most of the leg work on the appraisal since my collection is catalogued on a database. Does anybody else out there have software of this type? I find it to be fun to input information and immensely helpful. ...

Welcome. That line about data entry being fun made me laugh. I work with databases and would rather do anything before I actually typed data into the things. Pardon me, but that is slave work. But only if you're being paid for it. If it's for your own use, maybe it is fun. Go crazy.
 
I have to agree with you there. Which is why I dump large numbers of entries into databases using (really) long SQL insert statements. ;) Form-based interfaces are nice for the average user adding an item or two, but slow as hell.

Everyone bored with this yet?
 
Burroughs,
What insurance company do you use and what inventory control data base program do you use. What would be a good data program for a collection of about 5,000 books? I'm interested in pulling it all together for the purpose of getting a meaningful appraisal prior to selling the collection in whole or in part either through an auction house, to institutions/unversities or directly to individuals. Or a combination of the three markets. I know it's going to take a great deal of work and am looking for the most productive programs/tools for the job.
 
Hi,
I do not see why an excel spreadsheet and digital pictures would not work well enough. Just needing columns for Author, title, limitation, signed?, ISBN, condition, value.

Of course, you could add more info. Doing the data entry would take the most time either way. If you are looking to hire someone to help inventory, I may be in need of a job soon....

Bill
 
Good point. Excel would probably be fine.

I'm building a database from scratch so we can inventory art too though. And the good thing about sticking something in a database is you can then (relatively) easily adapt it to a web site for viewing, so, there's all that.

So yeah, ours is probably overkill. If I was just doing a book inventory, a spreadsheet would probably be more efficient.

Either way I do not look forward to plowing through those bookcases and entering all this stuff. But once it's done it will be worth it.
 
Bill,

It will be a labor of love for me to inventory it all. I feel certain you would not work on it for a psychic salary. I am still discovering items I had forgotten about completely and am thoroughly enjoying myself in the discovery. Just came across an inscribed and signed in 1969 first edition of The French Lieutenants Woman by John Fowles along with its accompanying bound galley from my days at Little, Brown & Co. The treasures just keep on coming. I had/have no idea of the all the books I put away in years past or their value today. Since they have been largely untouched over the years, most are in very fine to fine condition. All I knew at the time was that I was selective about what I liked and saved.

I am going to have a friend help me with Excel, as you and Michael suggested, and teach me how to do the book inventory. I am a creature of commerce and marketing and totally lacking any technology DNA.

I hope I suffer from no flood, tornado or fire until my inventory is done as the insurance companies seem to universally require an inventory and I cannot begin to even guess at the totality of what I have collected/accumulated. The online Valuation Aides from the Burroughs suggested website are not very helpful to me. Books are not jewelry or glass bottles!

It's almost as if I now have started a new career, at least for the time being.
 

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