How to insure your phantom collection

By Peter Steven

This is a summary of the definition of the word ‘Collections’ in Home Insurance policies and is restricted to Australian insurers only.  It does not include every policy available on the market but has most of the main ones.

 

If you have insurance with a company not detailed here, simply Google the name of the company you are insured with followed by ‘home insurance pds’.  Once you have the PDS in front of you, using the Google search, type in ‘collection’ which will show you every time the word is mentioned in the policy. You will then be able to work out if there is a restriction.

 

Regardless of whether the company you are insured with has a restriction on collections or not, there are some things that you should do to protect your collection.

 

All insurers have the right to ask you to justify firstly that you had what you say you had, and secondly, that it is worth what you say it is worth.  Simply saying that you’ve had all this stuff for years, this is what you think you had and that it’s worth what you say it is worth is not enough.  Insurers have auditing requirements and your say so is just not enough.

 

Some of you may say “But I’ve had my collection specified on my policy for years so they have to pay what I put it on for”.  No they don’t, read the wording about what you have to do in the event of a claim and the information you have to provide.  Most insurers are not that hard to get on with and this fallacy of short arms and long pockets, of doing anything to get out of a claim and that sort of thing is just nonsense.  BUT, they have a right if they wish to ask you to provide some evidence that you own what you say you own.  You may be able to provide receipts or photographs, maybe a letter from Frew to say you have subscribed from them for X years.  You might be able to show them your Paypal account and the like.  Actually having a valuation doesn’t even prove that you owned what is in the valuation, it just means that you had it in your possession when the valuation was done.

 

So my best advice is, the more you help the insurer, the more they will be able to help you!

 

In my case, I have a full catalogue which I update regularly.  Every time I update it, it saves a copy automatically off site.  I have also photographed every single item and it is saved automatically off site.  Big job?  Absolutely, took me two full weekends to do it, but it’s done and now I just photograph and catalogue any new items.  Overkill?  Too hard?  Couldn’t be bothered?  Well if you couldn’t be bothered protecting yourself before a claim, why should the insurer help you protect yourself after a claim.

 

The more work you do before a claim occurs, the quicker you will get your claim sorted out after a claim occurs.  So it is very much in your interests to get this information and have it available if something happens.

 

Look at it another way.  Would you buy a large collection without having the chance to look at it, without knowing what was in it, without having the chance to do your ‘due diligence’?  Of course not.  So why should an insurer?

 

In summary, get your collection into some form of order or pay the price if you ever have to claim.  And I’ll leave you with this.  Insurance claims don’t wait for you to get your house in order, they can happen at any time.  If you don’t do the work, you put your collection at risk!

AAMI

Collections Definition

A set of objects, specimens, writings and the like, gathered together and which collectively means have a special above that of the items individually if separated

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Allianz

Collections Definition

A group of individual items, pairs or sets which are of a similar type and which, when assembled and/or displayed together as a group, take on a value greater than the sum of the individual items’, pairs’ or sets’ values

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Ansvar Home Insurance

Collections Definition

A group of individual items, pairs or sets which are of a similar type and which, when assembled and/or displayed together as a group, take on a value greater than the sum of the individual items’, pairs’ or sets’ values.  Collections or sets, like stamps, memorabilia, documents, medals or coins are restricted to $2,500 per collection and a total of $7,500 in this category of collections or sets

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is limited to $2,500 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $2,500 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

ANZ Home Insurance

Collections Definition

There is no specific definition of ‘Collections’ but it does say that all collections are restricted to $3,000 in total

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is limited to $3,000 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $3,000 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Australian Pensioners Insurance (APIA)

Collections Definition

Collection’ means a set of objects, specimens, writings, and the like, gathered together and which collectively have a special value above that of the items individually if separated

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Bendigo Bank – Gold, silver and Bronze wordings

Collections Definition

There is no specific definition of the word ‘collection’ or ‘collections’ but the policy says ‘any content item, pair, set, collection or system of contents items’ and is restricted to $20,000 per item, pair, set, collection or system

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is limited to $20,000 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $20,000 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

Best Buy

Collections Definition

A group of items that has a higher value collectively than as separate items with a limit of up to $2,000 any one item or collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $2,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Budget Direct

Collections Definition

A group of items that has a higher value collectively than as separate items with a limit of up to $2,000 any one item or collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $2,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Budget

Collections Definition

A group of items that has a higher value collectively than as separate items with a limit of up to $2,000 any one item or collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $2,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

CGU – Basic, Quality or Premium wordings

Collections Definition

There is no specific definition of the word ‘collection’ or ‘collections’ but the policy says ‘any content item, pair, set, collection or system of contents items’ and is restricted to $20,000 per item, pair, set, collection or system

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is limited to $20,000 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $20,000 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Chubb – Masterpiece

Collections Definition

Collectibles are describes as ‘Private collection of rare, unique or novel articles of personal interest (for example dolls, guns, model trains) including memorabilia’ but there is no specified limit

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is unlimited

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Coles – Home and Home Plus wordings

Collections Definition

Collections and Collectibles limited to $2,000 for any one item and up to $5,000 in total

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, you will restricted to $2,000 an item and $5,000 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Commonwealth - Comminsure

Collections Definition

No specific definition of collections and no specific limit noted

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, there is no policy restriction

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Dodo

Collections Definition

A group of items that has a higher value collectively than as separate items with a limit of up to $2,000 any one item or collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $2,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

GIO – Classic, Classic Extras and Platinum wordings

Collections Definition

‘Collection’ is a set of objects, specimens, writings and the like, gathered together and which collectively have a special value above that of the items individually if separated

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

IAL – Listed Event Base, Listed Events and Accidental Damage wordings

Collections Definition

Collection’ is a set of objects, specimens, writings and the like, gathered together and which collectively have a special value above that of the items individually if separated

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

ING

Collections Definition

The wording doesn’t have a specific definition for the work ‘Collection’ but does say ‘The most We will pay for all articles, sets or collections is $50,000 or 20% of the Contents Sum Insured, whichever is the greater up to a maximum of $100,000’

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $100,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $100,000 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Mansions

Collections Definition

No specific definition, but all collections are restricted to $50,000 or 20% of the Contents sum insured, up to a maximum of $100,000

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your total collection is limited to $50,000

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

National Australia Bank Home Insurance and Home Insurance Essentials

Collections Definition

Collection’ means a group of individual items, pairs or sets which are of a similar type and which, when assembled and displayed together as a group, take on a value greater than the sum of the individual items’, pairs’ or sets’ values’ and that they are limited to $5,000 per collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is restricted to $5,000 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it is worth more than $5,000 and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

NRMA

Collections Definition

There is no specific definition in the wording of the word 'Collection’ however it does say, ‘Collections includes cards, stamps, uncirculated mint issue or proof coins or notes, ancient or rare coins or notes, sovereigns and bullion’ and that they are limited to $2,500 per collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is restricted to $2,500 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

QBE

Collections Definition

Objects of real or intrinsic value collected as an investment, hobby or general interest purpose and not used as a household good or personal item.  Collections are limited to $5,000 per collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, you have a collection in terms of the policy

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

RAC WA

Collections Definition

No specific mention of collections of this type

 

What does that mean

In Phantom collection terms, there is no limit

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

RACQ

Collections Definition

A number of items that are brought together or collected as part of an interest or hobby. It includes collections of coins, stamps, models, toys, badges, spoons or wine and that they are limited to $2,000 per collection

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, your collection is restricted to $2,500 in total

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

RACV

Collections Definition

No specific mention of collections of this type

 

What does that mean

In Phantom collection terms, there is no limit

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Real Insurance – Essentials and Top Cover Plus wordings

Collections Definition

Collection means a group of objects (of common type, appearance or nature) that belong together or are displayed together and Collections are limited to $1,000 for any one item and up to $2,500 in total on the standard cover and $5,000 on the comprehensive cover

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, you will restricted as above

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Resilium – Classic, 55UP and Platinum wordings

Collections Definition

A number of items that, by being gathered together according to some underlying principle, has a greater value than the total value of all the individual items

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Suncorp – Classic, Classic Extras and Classic Advantages

Collections Definition

Collection’ is a set of objects, specimens, writings and the like, gathered together and which collectively have a special value above that of the items individually if separated.  The limits on collections that fit within this definition are;

  • Classic, total of $2,000

  • Classic Extras, total of $5,000

  • Classic Advantages, item total of $50,000

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

 

Westpac – Essential Care, Quality Care and Premier Care wordings

Collections Definition

A ‘collection’ is two or more items that form a valuable group and would be less valuable if one was lost or damaged. Accumulated recorded media (CDs, DVDs, etc) is not a collection.  The policy has the following restrictions;

  • Essential Care, $500 per item total of $3,000

  • Quality Care, $1,000 per item total of $5,000

  • Premier Care $5,000 per item total of $20,000

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, you will restricted as above

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection if it exceeds the above limits and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Woolworths – Home and Home Plus wordings

Collections Definition

A Collection is a group of objects (of common type, appearance or nature) that belong together or are displayed together  and Collectibles limited to $1,000 for any one item and up to $2,500 in total on the standard cover and $5,000 on the comprehensive cover

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, you will restricted as above

 

What you should so

Contact them immediately about your collection and have it noted on your policy for its full value, if they won’t add it for its full value, change companies

 

Youi

Collections Definition

A group of objects which together has a greater market value than the total value of each object when valued separately

 

What does that mean

In Phantom terms, as your total collection will be worth less than if you sold each item individually, so in policy terms, your Phantom collection is NOT a collection

 

What you should so

You do not need to do anything, however refer to the preamble

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