High Value Insurance: Vital for Collectables

In the captivating world of collectables, from the nostalgic pages of first-edition children’s books to the gleam of rare coins or fascination of old stamps, as well as their monetary value, the emotional and historical resonance they carry makes them invaluable.

As with any treasure, collectables are vulnerable to the perils of time, accidents, and malintent. It’s here that the importance of insuring such high value items comes into play, offering both financial security and peace of mind.

This article looks at various types of collectables and the significance of insuring and safeguarding them.

Key Points

  1. High-value collectables, from first-edition books to vintage toys and rare coins, can appreciate remarkably over time.
  2. These items are not only monetarily valuable but also carry significant emotional and historical weight.
  3. Buying high value insurance for items offers financial protection against unforeseen losses, such as theft or accidental damage.
  4. The appreciating value of collectables necessitates regular appraisals to avoid being underinsured.
  5. Beyond just financial protection, insurance provides peace of mind, ensuring that treasured possessions are safeguarded.

Children’s Classics: A Testament to Time and Value

old antique book closed

While many confess their struggle to declutter due to sentimental attachments, there’s a silver lining. Within the vast collections of memorabilia there might be first-edition books worth significant amounts of money. Especially, classic children’s novels that have seen their value skyrocket over the decades.

Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is leading the literary jackpot race. This classic tale, which once sold for 18 shillings (about £52 today), has seen its first edition’s value rise by a whopping 267,892 percent, currently listed at £139,356.

Book TitleOriginal Price (£)Current Value (£)Percentage Increase
Pride and Prejudice52139,356267,892%
Robinson Crusoe36.89Nearly 100,000106,219%
The Hobbit17.8127,174142,329%
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland16.5420,381123,126%
A Christmas Carol19.0818,73598,093.9%

Noteworthy Classics and Their Stories

Robinson Crusoe’s Historical Significance

Close on Austen’s heels is Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’. Recognised for its realism, this pioneering English novel paved the way for greats like Charles Dickens. Published in 1719, its value has risen by over 106,219 percent since its original pricing.

Fantastical Tales and Their Worth

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, and Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ are other significant titles that command high prices. With their intrinsic literary merit and the charm of nostalgia, these books have seen their values skyrocket, making them top picks for high value insurance.

High Value Insurance for Your Collectables

David Joyson, Chief Customer Officer at Homeprotect, underscores the importance of recognising the value of these collectables. In his words, “First edition books are a highly collectable and often overlooked item of value. Before parting with old children’s books, ensure you aren’t throwing away a fortune.”

He emphasises the need for a professional valuation, especially if you think you have high value items. Additionally, taking out high value insurance for these rare or antique books, or at least ensuring you have the right value limit amounts within your home contents insurance is paramount.

Diversifying Your High-Value Collectable Items

various postage stamps from a stamp collection

While classic first-edition books undoubtedly are cherished collectables, they’re not the only items that can appreciate remarkably over time and which may need high value insurance.

From vintage toys to rare coins, the realm of collectables is vast, exciting, and full of potential treasures:

Vintage Toys and Action Figures

  • Star Wars Memorabilia: Original action figures, especially if they’re in mint condition and in their original packaging, can be worth a small fortune.
  • Barbie Dolls: Certain limited edition Barbie dolls, especially those from the 1950s, have auctioned for tens of thousands of pounds. Their unique outfits, rare features, or limited production runs add to their value.

Rare Coins and Banknotes

  • British Coins: Some discontinued or misprinted coins, such as the 1933 penny or the 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coin, can fetch staggering sums. Collectors and historians alike cherish these for their rarity and the stories behind them.
  • Foreign Currency: Vintage banknotes or coins from nations that have undergone significant political changes can also be of high value. For instance, pre-revolutionary banknotes from countries like Russia or China are highly sought after.

Vintage Vinyl Records

  • Rare pressings, especially those with misprints or limited runs, can be incredibly valuable. For instance, an original pressing of The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ with a low serial number can command an impressive price.

Sports Memorabilia

  • Vintage Football Programmes: Some programmes, especially those from significant matches or featuring legendary players, are high on collectors’ lists.
  • Signed Merchandise: Jerseys, cricket bats, or boxing gloves signed by legendary sports personalities can fetch impressive sums, especially if they’re connected to a significant event or achievement.

Antique Furniture and Decor

  • Items from renowned designers or furniture houses, or those with historical significance, can appreciate exponentially over time. For example, a piece from the Art Deco or Victorian era, if well-preserved, can be a focal point of any high-end auction.


  • Often termed ‘the hobby of kings’, philately or stamp collecting has its gems. Stamps with printing errors, limited-edition releases, or those from historically significant periods can be worth many times their face value.
  • Stamp collections often need to be considered for high value insurance.

Why Insure Your High Value Items?

old dinky ambulance car

Collecting and owning high value items is not just about monetary investment; it’s also about the emotional and historical significance that these pieces often hold. Yet, as with all tangible items, they’re susceptible to loss, damage, or theft.

David Joyson, Chief Customer Officer at Homeprotect, for example underscores the importance of recognising the value of book collectables. In his words, “First edition books are a highly collectable and often overlooked item of value. Before parting with old children’s books, ensure you aren’t throwing away a fortune.”

He emphasises the need for a professional valuation, especially if you think you have high value items, within collections.

Taking out high value insurance for these rare or antique books or other collectables, or indeed individual high value items such as an expensive watch or perhaps artwork, is paramount. Or if not buying specialist high value insurance then at least ensuring you have the right value limit amounts within your home contents insurance is paramount.

Here’s a closer look at why getting high value insurance for your precious collectables is crucial.

1. Financial Protection Against Unforeseen Losses

  • Theft: High-value items, due to their worth, often become targets for theft. Proper insurance ensures that you’re compensated adequately, enabling you to replace or recover some of the monetary value.
  • Accidental Damage: Even the most careful owners can have accidents. A prized painting can get damaged during a move, or a rare coin could be misplaced. Insurance helps mitigate the financial repercussions of such mishaps.
Valuable vases

2. Appreciating Value

  • Collectables like art, wine, or vintage items can appreciate over time. Regular appraisals and updating your insurance coverage ensure that you’re not left underinsured, given the item’s current market value.

3. Peace of Mind

  • Knowing that your treasured possessions are insured provides emotional relief. It assures that even in the face of unexpected events, you have a safety net.

4. Ensuring Legacy Continuation

  • For many, collectables are family heirlooms, holding generational significance. Insurance, high value insurance or via standard home insurance, ensures these items can be passed down, maintaining family legacies and histories.

5. Facilitates Loans and Resales

  • Should you ever decide to use a high value item as collateral for a loan or choose to resell, having insurance documentation can validate its worth and provide potential lenders or buyers with confidence.

6. Coverage for Specialised Restoration

  • Certain insurances offer cover for restorative procedures. For instance, if an antique vase breaks, the right policy might cover expert restoration, preserving the item’s value and integrity.

7. Temporary Relocation Coverage

  • If you’re loaning an artefact to a museum or sending it to an exhibition, specialist insurance can cover the item during transit and its time away from home.

What’s the difference between high value insurance and standard home insurance?

vinyl records collection

At first glance, high-value insurance and standard home insurance might seem to serve the same purpose – protecting your home and its contents. However, there’s a distinction between the two that’s crucial for those with prized, high value items.

Standard home insurance typically covers the usual household items and personal belongings against common risks like theft, fire, and water damage. Its coverage is often based on general market values and might not account for items that exceed a certain value threshold.

On the other hand, high value insurance is tailored specifically for homeowners who possess items of significant value, be it art collections, antique furniture, or rare collectables. This specialised insurance not only offers higher coverage limits but also caters to the unique needs of the insured, such as art restoration or worldwide coverage for transported items.

So whilst both types of insurance provide foundational protection, high value insurance offers more bespoke and comprehensive cover for those extraordinary treasures that go beyond a typical valuation.

When buying high value insurance you may find it beneficial to use an insurance broker.

Why Use an Insurance Broker to Buy a High Value Insurance Policy?

Insurance can often feel like a massive set of complex terms, conditions, and choices. An insurance broker is an expert in the insurance field and can be highly helpful.

They don’t just sell policies; they provide tailored advice based on an individual’s specific needs.

An insurance broker offers you a personalised touch, interpreting the complexities of insurance jargon into clear, actionable advice. With their comprehensive understanding of the insurance market they can compare a wide range of products and providers, ensuring you receive the best possible cover at a competitive price.

In the event of you needing to make a claim, having a broker can make the process smoother and more straightforward, as they act as an advocate on the your behalf, negotiating with the insurance company to ensure fair treatment.

In essence, using an insurance broker for your high value items, and potentially wider insurance needs, provides you with peace of mind in both the purchase of your insurance policy and when dealing with any subsequent claims.

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