Home Insurance: Is Your Collection Junk or Worth a Fortune?

Your collection of modern antiques, rare or signed books, early edition games consoles, such as the Atari, or your Daleks from Doctor Who could be worth hundreds of pounds.

Are they though? And if they are what about your home insurance, does it cover them? We take a look.

Key Points

  1. Modern Antiques and Rare Items: Your collections, from vintage books to early edition games consoles, can be surprisingly valuable.
  2. Book Collections: Iconic books like “The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage” by Enid Blyton are now scarce and can fetch prices up to £2,500; it’s essential to check your home insurance policy to ensure you’re adequately covered.
  3. Vintage Games Consoles: Early home computers like the Sinclair ZX80 and the original Atari console can be worth hundreds today.
  4. Nostalgic Toys: Classic toys, from Dr Who Daleks to vintage Thunderbirds, could be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
  5. Check Your Home Insurance: If you have valuable collectables, don’t assume standard home insurance will suffice; a specialist or high net worth home insurance policy may be required to ensure you’re fully protected.

Rare, First Edition or Signed Books?

Have you got a collection of vintage ladybird books for example? Perhaps books passed to you by your parents or grandparents?

From Jack in the Beanstalk to the Ladbybird book of London, did you know that some of these can fetch £10+ each, even on eBay?

How About Enid Blyton Books?

You may not be aware but Enid Mary Blyton, who died in 1968, was probably the twentieth century’s most successful writer of children’s books.

She wrote around 800 books during her literary career.

The Famous Five are among Enid Blyton’s best-loved creations.

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage, first published in 1943, is the first of the ‘Five Find-Outers and Dog’. Five children watch a cottage being burnt down and make up their minds to find out who started the fire. They find their ‘clues’ and make out their list of ‘suspects’. Then they set to work, helped by Buster, the Scottie Dog, and hindered by ‘Clear-Orf’, the village policeman.

Today a first edition, signed copy of The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage is a very scarce book and should you wish to buy it is highly costly. For example, at the time of writing, it was available on stellabooks.com for £2,500. How fantastic if you have one – do make sure your home insurance though is adequate if you do!

Have You a First Edition of Riders by Jilly Cooper?

A hardback, first edition of this book, in very good condition, is currently selling on Amazon for around £55. Who knows what it will be worth in a few years time but it could be a lot more.

Check to see if you have any rare, first editions or signed books. Check their value.

If you want to keep them, make sure your home contents insurance provides adequate cover.

If you want to sell them, contact a reputable book seller who will be able to help you.

Early Edition Personal Computers and Vintage Games Consoles

Old games consoles such as Atari
Old games consoles such as Atari

What About The Old Sinclair ZX80?

The Sinclair ZX80, released in 1980, was the first home computer available to buy for less than £100.

This tiny machine, based around the Zilog Z80 processor, brought home computing to the world.

Sinclair sold 50,000 ZX80s before they came out with the improved ZX-81 just a year later.

Currently on ebay the ZX80s are being sold at anything up to £500, depending on condition.

There Are Vintage Atari Consoles Too.

The original Atari console launched in September 1977 and it had two simple joysticks, a single pair of paddles, and the two-player Combat game.

New games were added, including Space Invaders in 1980 and the Asteroids game in 1981.

Vintage Atari consoles are currently selling on ebay with a price a tag of up to £100.

If all this Atari nostalgia has spurred on your interest, but you don’t happen to have a vintage Atari console sitting in your loft, you can actually buy a new Atari 2600 Plus on Amazon.co.uk which is designed to look and feel like the 4-switch Atari 2600. This modern version also plays Atari 7800 games, has a wide screen mode, easily connects to a modern TV.

Vintage Toys

Vintage toy collection
Vintage toy collection

From Star Wars, Thunderbirds and Stingray to Dr Who, James Bond and Action Man, to Corgi and Dinky, there’s a huge market for good quality, vintage toys.

All those long lost toys from your childhood days, or perhaps from those of your children or grandchildren, that are gathering dust in the loft or tucked away in a cupboard, could be worth hundred’s of pounds.

For Example Have You Any Dr Who Paraphernalia?

A Marx 5″ friction Dalek is being sold on Midas Touch Toys, Games and Collectables for £99.95 and on ebay vintage Thunderbirds items are fetching from tens of pounds, to well into the hundreds of pounds for more collectable items. If you’ve any of these, don’t forget your home insurance cover, make sure you’re not underinsured.

Or Lego Collections?

Lego collections
Lego collections

According to an article in the Telegraph, ‘Investors were able to secure a better return buying Lego sets over the past 15 years than from the stock market, gold or bank accounts’ and ‘Lego sets kept in pristine condition have increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium.’

Whilst this maybe quite an old article it certainly sounds potentially exciting!

After all how many of us really do have stacks of Lego stored around the house? Quite a large number I would suggest.

However, how much of the Lego heaped together in big boxes, rather than neatly stored in a mint condition box, looking like it has never been played with?

Even in ‘used’ condition, there appears to be a market for your Lego.

You may want to make a few pounds selling it?

Or perhaps it would be better to save it and then pass it on to the next generation of your family or friends? If that’s the case, as I keep mentioning, do make sure you have suitable home insurance.

So, is Your Collection Junk or Worth a Fortune?

Growing interest in vinyl records
Growing interest in vinyl records

These days, collecting, whether it toys, books or gadgets, seems to be growing in popularity. Nostalgia is creeping in to with a lot of focus on retro products.

Is that why vinyl records are back in vogue I wonder? Perhaps it is simply that people feel vinyl records provide a better sound experience than CDs or MP3 downloands.

Whether you are an accidental collector or the avid collector of all things from modern antiques, ‘kitchenalia’, to some mass produced items if kept long enough in good condition, your collections could be worth a small fortune.

Investigate the value of your collection.

Decide whether you want to keep it or sell it.

If you are going to keep it, look after it and check that you have enough home insurance in place.

Check Your Home Insurance Covers Your Collection

If you do have a valuable collection it is vital that you check that you have suitable home contents insurance.

Don’t just assume that standard cover will be sufficient.

Think about it, if your collection isn’t just standard a standard collection it is highly likely that the home insurance cover you need for it won’t be just standard either.

It could be well worth your while looking at a specialist or high net worth home insurance policy.

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