Over half of Brits are the proud owners of a collection, with items including everything from coins and stamps to comic books and fridge magnets, a new survey has revealed. But does a home contents insurance policy offer protection for these prized possessions?
The Royal Mint research shows that the average collection is worth around £1,500, but many could be leaving their valuables at risk by not having the right home insurance policy in place.
Here, Which? looks at whether home insurance offers the right protection for rare coin collections and how to find the best policy if you’re a collector.
Does home insurance protect rare coins?
While most home contents insurance policies do offer some protection as standard for valuable items, such as rare coins, there are limits to how much you’ll be able to claim.
Most insurers consider high-value items to be any possessions that cost more than £1,000 to replace.
High-value items can include anything from jewellery, paintings and antiques to computers, televisions and high-end cameras.
Most home contents insurance policies will set a limit on how much they will pay out on a single item, which could be as low as £1,000.
To ensure that your collection is covered, you’ll need to either individually list the value of each item in your collection or sum up how much the collection is worth and tell your insurer the total value.
- Find out more: contents insurance explained
Should I get specialist insurance for my rare coins?
Collectors’ insurance is a specialist product that allows you to protect the value of your collection against theft, damage or loss.
It can be used to cover a wide range of collections, including coins, art, wine, stamps, comics and antiques.
These types of policy offer protection for specific risks that your collection might face. For example, some policies include temporary location cover, which protects your collection if you wanted to take it to an exhibition or convention, for example.
These types of policy also offer legal expenses cover in case you ever need to take legal action regarding the purchase or sale of your collectable items.
Collector’s insurance could be a great option for avid coin collectors who have high-value portfolios.
If you have a small collection which is worth less than £1,000, then a standard home contents insurance will offer sufficient cover for your coins.
- Find out more: best and worst home insurance
Rarest and most valuable 50p coins
The 2009 Kew Gardens 50p, which commemorated the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Garden, remains the rarest of all coins.
Only 210,000 of these coins were minted – the lowest number of coins released into circulation in history.
If one of these coins turns up in your change, it could sell for around £160 on eBay.
If you spot one of the following coins in your change, it’s worth keeping hold of them:
- Find out more: making a home insurance claim
What affects the value of a coin?
The value of a collectable coin is difficult to quantify, as it depends on how much a coin collector is willing to pay. The following factors, however, can give you an indication of what you might be able to sell your coin for.
The mintage of a coin indicates how many of a particular design were created and released into circulation. As we explained above, the lower the mintage figure, the less likely it is for that coin to pop up in your spare change, making it harder for collectors to find.
This means that collectors are more likely to pay a higher sum for that particular coin to complete their set.
Older coins can often be seen as more valuable, as they can be more difficult to collect. This is because they can become worn, damaged or lost over time.
Most collectors are looking to buy coins in ‘mint condition’, meaning no wear and tear, dings or scratches.
Some coins might be particularly in demand from collectors, or even kept by the public for sentimental reasons. This can drive up the scarcity of that design, even if the mintage is comparatively large.
Resources such as Change Checker’s Scarcity Index can help give an indication of what a coin’s value could be. Change Checker is an online platform that allows you to trade rare coins and notes with other collectors.
The Scarcity Index takes into account:
- How easy it is to find a coin – based on how many of each coin design are listed as ‘collected’ by collectors registered on the platform.
- How ‘in demand’ a coin is – based on how many times collectors request to swap for a certain design.
Coins are given a score out of 100, and the higher the score, the rarer and potentially more valuable a coin is.
- Find out more: how to find cheap home insurance
How to find the best home insurance cover
If you’re looking for your first home insurance policy or it’s time to renew, following these tips can help you find the best home insurance deal.
Using a valuation calculator before you start looking for deals can help you get a more accurate idea of how much cover you’ll need for your belongings. People often miscalculate the value of their possessions, which can result in them either taking out too much or too little cover.
If you have a valuable collection such as rare coins, for example, it’s important to keep track of their value and keep your insurer updated with any changes.
Coins especially are likely to appreciate over time, so if your policy doesn’t reflect the value of your collection, you could lose out in the event that anything happens to your collection.
Once you have an idea of how much cover you need, price comparison websites can help you compare hundreds of deals quickly and easily.
Don’t just go for the cheapest prices, though, as those providers may not offer you the right level of protection.
Finally, it’s vital that you read the terms and conditions of potential policies carefully and get clarification of anything you’re unsure about.
To help you find the best insurer, our experts have analysed the standard contents insurance and buildings insurance policies of more than 30 providers and combined this with feedback from thousands of customers to produce impartial home insurance provider reviews.