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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Insuring Stamp Collection

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lisagrant87
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16 Jul 2012
06:59:59pm
I just bought Stampcat to keep track of the many stamps I'm collecting (they will be a large collection in about 40 years)
It got me thinking about those of you who already have large and pricey collections. Do any of you insure your collection under your home owners policy? At what dollar amount would you suggest insuring a collection?
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16 Jul 2012
08:00:17pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I once asked someone about this. There are companies that insure stamp collections. His advice to me was that it is covered under homeowners insurance just have it noted in the insurance along with other valuables. His suggestion was to identify any high value stamps as best as possible & include photos/scans etc but don't bother about the small stuff.

With Stampcat, I can scan the stamp in so that my exact copy is in there plus any extra details. I can print everything out or export it to pdf on cd/dvd to include in my insurance file. That way should something happen, everything would be well documented, just like a jewelery appraisal.

For the general collection, my experience (and my friend who is also a dealer) is that insurance companies just ask for an approximate replacement value.

I'm sure others here might have some other advice for you.

Kelly

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michael78651
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16 Jul 2012
11:13:06pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Read your home owner's policy. In most policies, loss of a stamp collection, or similar collection is limited to $300. To get a special rider on your home owner's policy will require that the collection be completely inventoried with each stamps identified and condition noted, appraised (and the appraisal may be required annually and those are not cheap to get), the premium will be astronomical, and coverage will be limited in scope.

There are two insurance companies in the US: Hugh Wood and Collectable Insurance Agency. Check out their web sites and you will find that their premiums are quite reasonable and will cover so much more than what a home owner's policy will. Also there is no need for appraisals for any stamp with a value less than $5000. If you are a member of the APS (hey, we missed this on the other post about reasons to join the APS) the contract insurance agency gives members a discount off the regular rates.

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cocollectibles
27 Jun 2013
07:34:10am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I just found this through Search, looking for information on insuring collections. Michael, you said they only insure stamps valued over $5,000; what if you have several hundred stamps valued at, say, $100 so the total value is more than $5,000 but no individual stamp is over that amount? Also, do these companies use Scott, SG, etc. as their basis for value?

Thanks.
Peter

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BobbyBarnhart
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27 Jun 2013
07:40:30am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Peter,

I think that what Michael was saying is that while your entire collection is insured for the value agreed to (whatever that is), appraisals are only required for individual stamps with a value exceeding $5,000.

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cocollectibles
27 Jun 2013
07:57:19am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Thanks Bobby!

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tedlawrence
27 Jun 2013
08:50:15am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Yes, APS Insurance, is the way to go.

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
27 Jun 2013
01:28:01pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I asked my brother-in-law, who's spent his entire adult life selling all forms of insurance and resolving claims, about
insuring my stamp collection. He advised me to speak to my insurance agent.

He also told me what most of us already know: if it's not in writing in your policy, you are relying on the insurance company's good will.

My household policy covers my stamp collection for a flat $500.00, no unreasonable questions asked. Although I have no experience selling stamps, my guess is that it would cost me at least twice that in time and effort to sell my stamps for five hundred bucks.

I admire "stampaholic's" attitude after his home burned down and he lost most of his stamps: the sun was up the next day and so was he.

John Derry

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tedlawrence
27 Jun 2013
03:32:12pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I don't think it would be worth insuring a $500 collection. But a $5,000 or a $50,000 one , yes. What is nice about the APS Insurance is that they have both the experience with underwriting & settling Philatelic claims. I do believe that any item worth $500 or more has to be scheduled. They are the experts in philatelic Insurance. Ted.

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27 Jun 2013
03:56:53pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I have additional insurance on my home insurance to cover my collection, appraised. My insurance broker told me the best thing would be to scan my entire collection and give them a copy. Has anyone done this? My mnh are pretty self explanatory as there are no faults in any other them. With the higher value used, I can see a positive in having them scanned. Is it possible to do a satisfactory copy with a camera? To scan all of my collection - oy!

I'm also curious to hear from anyone who has actually had to use their insurance claim for their stamp collection. Has anyone had problems with that?

Kelly

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larsdog
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27 Jun 2013
04:59:15pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Scanning your collection isn't a bad idea. I did it and set up a web site showing my entire collection (see signature block). I even scanned the certs of the more expensive items. It took a while, but I just did 20 or 30 pages at a time over a period of a month or so. You can set it up as a sub-directory of a generic web page without providing a link to anyone else and essentially create a "secret" web site of your collection. I use it quite a bit, actually. If I'm looking for the Scott number of a Christmas stamp that I remember from many years ago, I can find it faster in my web site than I can in the actual albums or a Scott Specialized catalog. Then if I need to locate it in my albums, I know exactly what page number to turn to.

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Rhinelander
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27 Jun 2013
06:05:05pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

If someone maintains insurance through APS, I would be interested to learn some details. What is the level of documentation needed? Cost? etc.

Thanks!

Arno

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
27 Jun 2013
09:06:24pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

While I have been paying for stamp insurance, through Hugh Wood's APS company at $69 per year, which covers $25,000 of coverage, I have not, thankfully, had to file a claim. There is no need for inventory or scans, or any other information needed to buy a policy. Since my house sits at 8.75 feet above high tide, and we are surrounded by water, on the SW corner of Florida, I would be crazy not to have insurance on the stamps, or art work we have.

Mike

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
28 Jun 2013
08:29:48pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Mike,
That sounds like a very good deal. I think I'll look into it. I'm not a hugely experienced collector, but even with low value stamps, if you have a few thousand of them, as many of us will have when you take into consideration those shoe boxes that you have put away until you have more time to sort through them, the value of the collection (hoard) mounts up quickly.

Regards ... Tim


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michael78651
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29 Jun 2013
03:02:34pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Mike's idea is sound. Unless you have high-grade investment material, if something happened to your collection, you're not going to get catalog value for it anyway. Market value is much less than catalog value. With the insurance, the premiums are not a killer or full of restrictions and requirements like having it added to a homeowner's policy. Also, at least you can recover a portion of your loss to help soften the blow.

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philb
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15 Jul 2013
08:59:08am

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

i have no insurance on the stamproom...if they all go i will start from scratch..hoping to avoid many mistakes i have made over the years !!!

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
15 Jul 2013
12:59:25pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Same here. I can barely afford the house insurance each year, which while it does have personal items coverage, it is hardly enough to refit a house with furnishings and our clothing, never mind things like books, tools and hobby items.
And if I were not a veteran with access to the VA system I'd not have the really good medical care that has kept the ticker ticking along for so long.

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londonbus1
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15 Jul 2013
03:46:59pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

When I phoned our Insurance guy and told him I wanted to insure my Cinderellas, he laughed and hung up.

Confused

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philb
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15 Jul 2013
04:00:16pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Charlie, i hear people complain about poor treatment from the VA,can not prove it by me,the VA hospital in Albany New York is every bit as good as the regular hospitals there...i kept my company insurance so my wife could be insured..but i never use it...just go to the VA !

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
17 Jul 2013
12:22:17am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

When I was young, Phil, just after WW II, the VA hospitals had a reputation as a warehouse where the sick, the lame and the lazy were kept til they died.
My uncles and my father seemed to have the opinion that they would just as soon step in front of a NY subway train as be hospitalized at a VA facility.
As a teen I belonged to a church group that visited the Kings Park, VA center on Long Island once a month and even to me it was a sad, dreary place.
Some twenty years ago when I needed cardiac surgery I drove to Gainesville to see if they could handle it rather than be subject to the enormous co-pay that the insurance company levied, but while I was impressed with the courtesy and cleanliness of the hospital I needed the surgery within a week and the VA could only promise a "Consult" in a month or two.
A few years later I discovered a VA Clinic had been opened close to where I was working and thought I'd try it again, only to find that all the paperwork that I had filed out years ago had been approved and I was registered, so I received immediate treatment for a sore throat that day.
Since then, over ten years ago, I have been a frequent flier, if you count lying on a gurney in the VA ER, or one of the rooms available and the treatment I received has been excellent.
I doubt I'd be sitting here annoying everyone every day were it not for the care I received.
But there is one problem, possibly with two aspects. The VA tries to, perhaps has to, do so much for so many, that often there is a delay in getting prompt care except for Emergencies. Appointments are often set months in advance and when some problem arises, like transport to the hospital, 87 miles away, the re-scheduling may be put back almost equally as far into the future.
The second aspect of that problem is that many of the veteran's do not understand the system or follow through with the procedure thus giving them the reason to complain that they were ignored or refused care.
Once the veteran is in the system and has been seen by whatever specialist is appropriate the care is almost unrelenting and definitely thorough.
The hospital is spotless. The doctors and nurses are, with a rare exception, polite and to my eyes very competent.
Even the housekeeping staff, are polite and helpful. I recall several times when I was struggling to get somewhere and some giant fellow cleaning the door windows noticed and insisted on pushing the wheelchair to my destination when he could have just as easily said "Ain't my job, man !".
I remember once someone coming up behind me and saying softly "Going my way ?" and pushing the chair to where my appointment was. When I said thank you at the destination, I saw that it wasn't a candy striper but a doctor who certainly had something else to do than speed me along the often cavernous passageways.
My friend, Rick, lives just the other side of some arbitrary line that divides responsibility and travels instead to the VA facility in North Tampa for frequent treatments and in discussions about just this subject his responses are very similar to mine.
One other observation, veterans are not usually the kind of people to stifle themselves when dissatisfied and if unhappy with their treatment I would expect them to be grumbling as they sit around in the different check-in rooms, but that is not the case. The chatter is seldom a complaint, other than related to their affliction, it seems to be a group of reasonably satisfied patients just waiting their turn.
Over the last twenty five years I have been treated at every one of the nearby hospitals especially when I carried some insurance plan and The VA hospital in Gainesville meets or exceeds the private hospitals that I've been in.


.

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philb
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17 Jul 2013
01:46:04pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I was having a lot of joint pains and i had to ask my wife to open the lid on a pickle jar, a couple of Doctors at the VA gave me a good looking over and prescribed 5 mg of prednazone for a few months...that fixed me right up..flexible again and no pain..first they try to give you painkillers and anti inflamatory drugs..but thats not a fix !!

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philb
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17 Jul 2013
01:49:36pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Oh, i was going to comment on stamp insurance....my wife has replacement value insurance on the house..so we get a repair free replacement if it burns..she has annuities and insurance policies on me..to protect her...i just want to be left alone with my stamps !!!

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HungaryForStamps
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17 Jul 2013
04:36:14pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I am planning to get insurance through Hugh Wood. I plan to value the total collection at about roughly 15-20% of Scott catalog value (plus or minus some special items), which for the most part, would be about twice what its cost me (in catalog value) over the years to accumulate. This is what I would expect to receive if I were to sell it off.

But more simply, it probably makes sense to insure the collection for what it would cost to replace, more or less immediately (not with years of picking and choosing the bargain deals), which might be a bit more than that.

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philb
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17 Jul 2013
04:45:43pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

If you are going to insure a stamp collection...going through the APS is the way to go. There are many advanced collectors in my club that spend significant money on stamps every month...but do you think the would spend $45 a year to be APS members ? Noooo.

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Rhinelander
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17 Jul 2013
05:11:28pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is a measure used in science that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. A positive ratio indicates more signal than noise.

This online discussion provides a "beautiful" illustration of how an important topic of general interest to any collector is first derailed and then about drowned out by "noisy," irrelevant banter. It would be nice -- from my standpoint -- if moderators could help increase the SNR of philatelic discussions by moving nuisance postings into more fitting new discussion topics.

Thanks HungaryForStamps for attempting to refocus the topic. Please let us know about your experiences with Hugh Wood (APS). Mike (Capestampman) and Ted (tedlawrence) also recommended this company. Can either of you please provide some more information on how the process goes? For instance, doesn't the insurance company provide any guidance on how to determine the insurance value of the collection (as different from either the market or the catalog value)? Also, if Hugh Wood (APS) does not require photos of the collection (or are they?) -- how do you actually file a claim that a specific stamp was destroyed/stolen?

I also like to broaden the scope of this discussion a little bit: Does anybody have experience with insurance for mailing stamps? I am looking for a third party provider of "shipping insurance." If I recall Richaard had once mentioned a company, but cannot locate that discussion.

Arno

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
17 Jul 2013
10:10:32pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

But that would take the fun out of the free wheeling discussions. And someone would have to monitor postings closely for any deviation from whatever arbitrary norm.
To the poster who added something that they found interesting to a discussion and the poster who decided to respond it would seem to be overbearing and oppressive.
You can find that kind of neighborhood watchmen on Stampboards right now.

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philb
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17 Jul 2013
11:30:26pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

i really like it here...lot of wisdom..plus i always hung out with people crazier than i was !

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Poodle_Mum
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17 Jul 2013
11:50:47pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Phil - then this is the place for you. I think most of us could pass as certifiable Happy That's part of what had kept us so strong for so long. I like the fact that even though we've grown so much over the years, we still keep that "family" spirit that we had when Jerry was leading our small flock of fumbling internet users Happy

Just like any family we have fun, we do bicker from time to time but in the end we're still friends.

Having said that - I want to welcome everyone who has joined our family over the last few months. It is wonderful to see you all here. I look forward to learning more from everyone in your posts. I keep a rather limited collection but I enjoy reading posts in other areas as well. That's the only way to learn Happy

Kelly

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
18 Jul 2013
12:29:09am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Arno:

Anecdotal information on "shipping insurance" which is of no use to you
except for checking the accuracy of your SNR meter.

Up (relatively speaking) here, Canada Post insures mail to whatever value
the sender wishes to declare, although I believe there is an absolute limit
- something, I suspect, like the Warsaw Convention which values lost travel
luggage as worthless. Private courier companies offer shipping insurance as well.
Individuals can also be hired to hand-deliver commodities as the Mafia can testify.

Factoid: I recall reading several years about a contractor who sued Canada Post
because it failed to deliver a high-value, multi-million dollar, bridge-construction
tender submitted by registered mail. Under federal legislation, when push comes
to shove, Canada Post is not liable for failing to deliver the mail!

A final word, cribbed from my brother-in-law who is big in insurance: "Insurance
companies always leave themselves an out. Read the fine print."

John Derry

P.S. Grit your teeth and permit me to stray further off topic. My province,
British Columbia, sells vehicle insurance and, of course it's a monopoly.
Hear this, the Insurance Corporation of BC admits it does not pay out
on 15% of stolen-vehicle claims. Now, Arno, how would you like to sell
insurance and skim 15% vigorish even before the insurance policy is filed?

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philb
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18 Jul 2013
10:21:57am

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I am as guilty as the next person on getting off topic...but then again..if someone pirates my thread..hey, what i put out on the net is public information..i can not stop someone from commenting...i called Hugh Wood this morning trying to find out about stamp insurance for some of the folks here...bottom line is..he only offers stamp insurance to APS members! Kelly i am in a lot better shape than i deserve to be...it might be because i have a sense of humor.Happy

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philb
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18 Jul 2013
10:25:06am

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Kelly, if i had to bicker..i would prefer to do it face to face rather than with a phantom keyboard !!

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irishjack
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18 Jul 2013
06:35:52pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Dryer Canada post will not insure any postage stamps mint or cancelled also the same with coins and bank notes. Its on the website.
When I send items by registard mail I will place the stamps in a mount and that's what I insureBig Grin

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michael78651
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18 Jul 2013
10:53:22pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Arno, and those interested, here are the links to the two primary companies that insure stamps and collectibles at reasonable rates.

Hugh Wood:

http://www.hughwood.com/sub_menu.php?submenuId=179

Collectibles Insurance Services (they used to have the insurance contract with the APS):

http://www.collectinsure.com/

Both companies offer similar coverages and rates.

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Rhinelander
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19 Jul 2013
04:29:14pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

@ Michael

Thanks a lot! I will check out both companies. I will report back about my experiences, paperwork etc. if I should decide to go for insurance.

@ Dryer

I assume that a much higher percentage than 15% of stolen vehicle claims are fraudulent. Thus, a 15% rejection rate appears to spell pretty good odds for fraudsters (and quite costly for the honest buyers of insurance).

@ philb

I agree. Nobody can make anybody do anything. Apart from action by moderators, the only thing that can help reduce noise in our discussions is self-constraint.

The participation guidelines for our discussion board (DB) actually very clearly state "The Board is for the purpose of discussion of philately and issues related to Stamporama. Off topic postings are allowed in the "Off Topic and Relaxation" topic." Furthermore, "Our moderators may ... move discussion topics to better fitting categories." Accordingly, I suggested that moderators move off-topic discussions into new threads if they overtake an important philatelic discussion.

However, if the membership in unison rejects these rules, as a member driven organization, the rules cannot be sustained. You may not be aware that the DB has seen a complete face-lift and reorganization not too long ago. Because the DB in its current form is quite new, I would probably argue for more enforcement currently, so that everybody is made aware of the forum etiquette. Over time less and less enforcement should be necessary as everybody knows the do's and don'ts. Our discussion board rules are really quite reasonable. I guess the key in enforcing any rule is in explaining that there is a certain purpose and objective, no arbitrariness, and our moderators really do a a great job in communicating just that.

I think that the benefits of our DB reorganization do not fully materialize yet, for lack of voluntary compliance as well as perhaps for some lack of enforcement. As for the underlying goals, objectives, and ideas of the DB reorganization, Phil, please see below. I hope you will understand better where I am coming from. It is not just my complete lack of a sense of humor. Big Grin


@ cdj1122

I am all for free-wheeling discussions where one philatelic question leads to another and then yet another, such as "I really can't help with your question, but the stamp has a very interesting cancel etc."

Let me quote Kim, khj, in January 2013, when we had a very intensive discussion about the future direction of Stamporama:

Quote:

"By my own definition, I'm a "drive-by" member. I.e., I am not part of the core active membership, but drop by every once in a while. I am active at other stamp forums, also drive-by and "lurker" at a few others. At the risk of over-staying my visit, a few observations (these are NOT suggestions or intended to be criticisms -- they are OBSERVATIONS):

-- The number of posts/threads directly related to stamps seems relatively small (I didn't do statistical analysis). This is one reason why I am still in "drive-by" status. I discontinued email alerts because my visit would come up "empty". It's like going to KFC and finding out they are out of chicken, but they do have corn and mashed potatoes. Nothing wrong with the sides, but the main reason I came was for the chicken. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying reduce the banter. Banter is a healthy side, but can it be the main dish?

-- Threads going off-topic are not unusual. Many times, the topic forks off into another stamp-related topic. I noticed here, going off-topic often heads into non-stamp related areas, rather than bringing up a new stamp-related discussion.

-- The 3 initial ideas proposed by Alyn are VERY good ideas. Several subsequent ideas are variations of those 3 basic ideas (or you could say it the other way around). If I could "rephrase" those ideas, as they are actually implementations of certain goals.
1. encourage members to initiate more threads
2. encourage members to share the results of their research and organization
3. encourage members to simply share their recent stamp acquisitions/interests
If properly implemented, I think your ideas would be beneficial to both seasoned/beginning collectors and core/new members. ...

-- Obviously there is a consensus that more member participation is good. The only question is should anything be done; if so, what; how/who is going to do it; and of course, actually doing it. If the active core membership doesn't do it, it's unlikely drive-by or non-posting members will do it.

-- If you are happy with status quo, you will be status quo, and be that for a long time.

-- No Forum has ever made everybody happy, that includes active members. Peace-making abilities and a thick skin are essential among the active core members.

-- ...

-- The majority of members will be on the "sidelines" reading. Even if you required them to make an initial post, many won't. You have to give them a good reason for them to WANT to post. I post because I enjoy answering questions (that's how I learn), and I don't mind be corrected if I give the wrong answer (that's how I learn it correctly). I also enjoy looking at other people's stamps. If there are few stamp-related questions or few pictures, I'm stuck in "drive-by" or "sideline" mode.

-- To keep a nice balance of stamp-related threads/posts, requires actively looking for stamp-related topics. ...

OK, too long of a post. Remember, just observations, not recommendations. Hope it wasn't a waste of time for you all to read.
"



Well, not a waste of time to read at the time, and likely not now ...

I am in almost perfect agreement with Kim's assessment of the status quo of Stamporama at the time. I thus opted for a (shortened) cut-and-paste instead of essentially retyping the key points. Kim's perspective was quite influential for me when I joined the subsequently formed DB reorganization volunteer team. I paid particular attention to Kim, because he offered the perspective of one NOT active member. While there are about 100 active users of our DB, who like it the way it is with all the free-wheelin', there are also 1,900 members who are not using the DB, as expressed by Kim, because we are not providing what they want. As a consequence of a painful discussion, a volunteer group redesigned the entire discussion board to create a framework to address exactly those shortcomings, enumerated by Kim: limited number of stamp-related postings, stamp-related postings quickly going off topic etc. etc.

While many members felt threatened by any proposed changes, ultimately the group that did not want to continue the status quo, but wanted to put the "Stamp" back in Stamporama prevailed. In Kim's words, those wanting more chicken got a hold of the menu. These were quite painful discussions and I don't want to go through them again. I certainly was not always at my best.

In the new design of the DB great emphasis was put to encourage member-to-member interaction and camaraderie. We added a classified ads section. We added a steam-room. With participation of all moderators, we drafted new DB rules. John (Dryer) weeded through thousand of messages in the discussion board archives, renaming and classifying discussions into new topic areas, to increase the value of the discussion board as a depository of philatelic knowledge etc. etc. etc.

Well, Charlie, this was a long posting. You may tell from it that this topic is dear to my heart. I don't think anybody wants to censor anything. I certainly did not call for censorship. However, it is true that not all members enjoy "free-wheeling" discussions, in which our discussion board is used as a chat room. From my understanding of our discussions at the time, THIS direction for Stamporama was rejected. Instead, a careful compromise of moderate modernization and encouragement of more philately was achieved.

So, yes, I express my preference that off-topic discussions -- as much as I enjoy your ramblings -- please not drown out philatelic discussions, and if possible be had in the off-topic section. It is my conviction that a little discipline in this respect will not diminish the fun aspect of our DB, but to the contrary will make our discussion board more attractive.

Arno
P. S. Is there an award for the longest posting?

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27 Aug 2014
11:13:42pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I'm creating my inventory for insurance now that I'm more organised. The fella that is going to do the appraisal for replacement value suggested I use only Scott.

This presents a great difficulty for me when it comes to my German collection as I have many varieties that Scott does not list so I use Michel for that collection.

While I'm upgrading from 2009 cvs to 2014 Michel, I've noticed there has been a drop in certain areas but the discrepancy between Michel values and Scott values is mind blowing and I can't reconcile why Scott would place such low values on issues. For example DDR #242 has dropped from €15 to €13 but Scott lists it at usd $8.75. At today's exchange rate that is half of Michel value.

Most people I know who specialise in Germany use Michel and replacement values are based on Michel cv.

No doubt I'm going to discover the same discrepancy throughout my entire German collection.

Why such a discrepancy in value between Michel and Scott?

Kelly

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Bobstamp
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28 Aug 2014
01:49:11am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Could it be that the difference is because Scott is American, and Michel German? And (I may be wrong), isn't Michel considered to be more of a specialist's catalogue, and Scott more for the generalist? According to Wikipedia, "The Michel catalog … is the largest and best-known stamp catalog in the German-speaking world. First published in 1910, it has become an important reference work for philately, with information not available in the English-language Scott catalog."

Bob

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Jansimon
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28 Aug 2014
07:38:41am

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

The difference is mainly due to the laws of supply and demand.
There are more collectors of German stamps in Germany than in North America, therefore the demand for German stamps is bigger in Germany, which is reflected in catalogue values.
This is besides the general assessment that Michel tends to overprice its listings, whereas Scott underprices many stamps ("if it ain't American, it is not worth anything")

A final note about replacement value: it would certainly make a difference if you were to replace stamps one by one. In that case it would make a huge difference. But most of the time it is easier and much cheaper to buy a collection. In that case you pay for the rarest stamps and the rest is thrown in for "free". If one calculated the total c.v. for such a collection, one would see that the price is often 10 to 20% of the c.v. max.


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philb
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28 Aug 2014
09:30:15am

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I suppose if i had a $100,000 stamp collection i would insure it...since i do not i would just have to absorb the loss...life is all about chance..not insurance companies !

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michael78651
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30 Aug 2014
07:58:41pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

In addition to what Jan said, there are greater supplies of stamps in the US than in other countries. Countries sold their stamps by the tons to US dealers to get money, especially the few decades following WWII.


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31 Aug 2014
04:05:10am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Rhinelander, wouldn't your discussion of the Philatelic SNR not also be "noise" ?
It seems that it caused the discussion to drift off from Insurance quite a bit.

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Stampgeek
24 Dec 2014
06:43:28pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I use the Hugh Woods folks. Never needed them but as an APS member they're cheap for good coverage. Plus they insure your stamps when you send them off to get certs.

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philb
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24 Dec 2014
07:43:41pm

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re: Insuring Stamp Collection

i will take me chances..if the collection goes the house goes up as well !!!!

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cocollectibles
11 Feb 2015
06:40:52am
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Rhinelander said on July 19, 2013:

Quote:

"Thanks a lot! I will check out both companies. I will report back about my experiences, paperwork etc. if I should decide to go for insurance. "



Arno, any follow up on this? What insurance did you end up getting and how was the process of applying?

Peter
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AirmailEd
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11 Feb 2015
03:02:13pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I just insured my collection for $60,000 through APS and Hugh Wood. The one-year premium was $174. No great rarities, but I do have a few stamps that retail over $1,000. There are many in the hundreds. I didn't have to provide any appraisals, scans, etc.

Applying was simple and easy. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere about homeowner's policies, I'd go with APS and ol' Hugh.

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cocollectibles
11 Feb 2015
03:08:39pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I'm not a member of APS; didn't see the value of it, other than the insurance, from my previous membership years ago. I was curious if Arno investigated the other site Michael listed, Collectibles Insurance.

Peter

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Anglophile
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11 Feb 2015
03:31:23pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Quote:

"I just insured my collection for $60,000 through APS and Hugh Wood. The one-year premium was $174. No great rarities, but I do have a few stamps that retail over $1,000. There are many in the hundreds. I didn't have to provide any appraisals, scans, etc. ... Applying was simple and easy."



I did the same. $20,000 limit for $58/year. I moved quickly, because my collection increased in value quite a bit in 2014 and I wanted to have something in place. While it was easy to apply and pay, I am a little concerned that there is no online information about the scope of the policy, exceptions, claim forms, or the claims process. If this turns out to be easy to apply and pay, but offers a narrow policy riddled with exceptions and no simple claims process, I won't be too happy. Ultimately what matters in insurance is a clear, useful scope of coverage and good customer service for bona fide claims. So, I'm looking forward to reading the policy. (Perhaps only a lawyer could say that.)
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michael78651
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11 Feb 2015
05:23:01pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

You are not obligated to insure your collection for the full catalog value, full retail value, full market value, or any value other than what you want. Your premium is based on the amount of coverage. If your collection has a catalog value of $100,000, you can insure it for $2000 if you want. If you sustain a loss, then the most you could get is $2000.

I would not insure a collection for the full catalog value anyway. Your coverage will not compensate you for catalog value. While true that you do not have to provide any inventory or other proof for a stamp with a value of less than $5000 (this may have changed) when you purchase the insurance, in the event of a loss, you will need to provide an inventory of what you lost.

Peter, the Collectibles Insurance Agency (CIA) used to be the contract insurance agent for the APS. They lost the contract and Hugh Wood was awarded the new contract. The policies from both companies are very similar. CIA will also insure model railroads and other types of collectibles. I haven't checked with Hugh Wood as to whether they will insure model railroads. The premiums are similar as well. (Disclaimer: read the policies before you sign or pay the premium so that you understand what you are getting.)

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11 Feb 2015
05:55:11pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I received notice from Collectibles Insurance Agency that they are no longer licensed to do business in the State of New York and that in the event they go out of business the losses would not be covered by the state fund.

Does not mean that they are not a good company.

Check either of the polices out as far as what is considered acceptable storage and their requirements for safeguards .... if I remember correctly it makes for interesting reading.


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cocollectibles
11 Feb 2015
06:17:41pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Thanks for the information on Collectibles Insurance. That was very helpful.

Cheers,
Peter

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nigelc
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11 Feb 2015
06:44:05pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Quote:

"You are not obligated to insure your collection for the full catalog value, full retail value, full market value, or any value other than what you want. Your premium is based on the amount of coverage. If your collection has a catalog value of $100,000, you can insure it for $2000 if you want. If you sustain a loss, then the most you could get is $2000"



Hi Michael,

That's true but aren't you also at risk of a "condition of average" where a claim for a part loss when underinsured can result in a pro-rated reduction in the amount you receive?

By the way is it just my computer where I'm finding it very difficult to read the text I write when typing a new reply in the message box even although it looks fine when previewed?

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michael78651
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11 Feb 2015
09:33:32pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Quote:

"That's true but aren't you also at risk of a "condition of average" where a claim for a part loss when underinsured can result in a pro-rated reduction in the amount you receive?"



Nigel, those are good points that you raised. I do not know the full answer to those. One would have to inquire of the agent for that.

I dis ask about not insuring at full catalog value, and was told (this was CIA at the time) that they recommend insuring for no more than 50% of catalog value, as the 50% is more closely aligned with market value, which is the basis on how settlements are determined.

I see your point whereby if someone insured a $100,000 collection for only $20,000, and suffered a total loss, that the settlement would be no more than $20,000. However, if, for example only one album of stamps with a value of $5,000 from the total collection of $100,000 were lost, would the settlement be pro-rated on a percentage (5% in this example) of the total value of the collection and the amount of coverage? If so, one might expect that the settlement for that $5,000 album would result in a payment of just $1,000 (5% of the $20,000 coverage amount). That I do not know the answer to, but it does seem logical. The policy would reflect how that would apply in such a situation.

I know that if one doesn't have an inventory, then there is no point in insuring the collection as there is no basis on which to file a claim. Of course even with an inventory, a fraudulent claim can be made. That is an issue where the insurer can request that one provide letters from dealers, friends and anyone else who can attest to the make-up of the collection. That would be taken under consideration in the settlement process. Images of valuable items accompanied with sales receipts is the best way to go. This also I was told by the CIA representative.

Again, I have to qualify my comments with the policy is the controlling force. My conversation with CIA was some time ago, and the policies and settlement practices may have changed since then.
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michael78651
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11 Feb 2015
09:48:23pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

I have one after-thought about the pro-rating of an underinsured collection. Discuss this with the agent, but it is your decision regarding how much to insure a collection for. You save alot of money on premiums with a lower coverage amount, but you cannot think in the aggregate.

When considering how much to insure the collection for, the minimum valued-stamps really have no value. I would disregard all stamps in the collection that have a catalog value of less than $10.00. Total and create a detailed inventory of all stamps in the collection valued at $10 and up. Include images of these stamps with the inventory. Save the data file and images on your computer, and also create a back-up file in another section of your hard drive. If you have more than one hard drive, save the back-up on the other drive, and even on an external data storage site if you subscribe to one. Next, save the data file onto a CD-ROM, DVD, or some other form of external data storage media. Do this twice or more. You can keep one copy near the computer, but one copy must be kept in a location at the opposite side of your home. If you have a bank safety deposit box, store one disc there.

There larger your collection and the higher your insurance coverage, the more important it is to keep good records and multiple back-ups just in case of a fire, computer dies, etc.

Along with some personal thoughts, what I wrote above is what I have read as recommendations through the years on how to insure any collection of value. If a collection has little to no monetary value, then insurance isn't necessary. From my discussions with various dealers, the general consensus in today's market is that stamps (and sets) worth less than $10.00 are common and have little true value. That is why I used that amount above. If the dealers find no market value in such stamps, I think insurers will find likewise.

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nigelc
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14 Feb 2015
01:06:05pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Hi Michael,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on insurance valuation with us.

I've never insured my collection but as a first step I've decided to take your advice and create an inventory.

I do not want to detail every stamp and, as you say, most of them will be cheap stamps with no real individual value so I do very much like your ideas of (1) setting a minimum catalogue value (or estimated value) for inclusion and (2) using an appropriate percentage of catalogue for valuation. I would then adjust these valuations up or down depending on condition.

With luck I should be able to report back in a few months how I've found this process in practice.

Thanks again.

Nigel

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Tom in Exton, PA
22 Feb 2015
10:36:25pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

The plot thickens when you have a very specialized collection, where varieties and especially unique usage and covers make up a decent part of the collection and what makes the collection important and unique. The kind of complete collection that is worth more than the sum of the parts. You can never be compensated for the 35 years of searching for the perfect specimens and the elusive. Nor can that collection ever be replaced for any money.

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usrevenues
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27 Feb 2015
10:24:29pm
re: Insuring Stamp Collection

Also, if you collect areas where standard catalog values have no correlation to actual value (postal history and/or other usages, cancels, etc.), then catalog value can be meaningless. I have stamps that catalog less than $5 yet because of either their cancels or how they are used on documents, are worth many hundreds of dollars and up.

Not to mention certain varieties that are not listed in the standard catalogs.

Regarding using your homeowners insurance for your stamp collection, I really do NOT recommend that, for several reasons:

1. A claim would likely be subject to your homeowner's deductible, which for most people is $500 or $1,000.

2. If you collect on a loss/damage claim on your stamp collection, you then run the risk of your entire homeowner's policy rates going up, or you being dropped entirely.

Given how cheap Hugh Wood policies are ($2.90 per year per $1,000 of coverage), you would be hard pressed to find more cost effective coverage.

I actually have claim experience with Hugh Wood. The first year I had my policy, an incoming parcel from an auction house vanished en route. The auction house refused to make good. I thought I was hosed until I remembered that the Hugh Wood policy covered philatelic shipments in transit. I submitted a claim, and while there was a bit of back and forth to substantiate the claim, they were pleasant to deal with and paid the claim in full within about 60 days, to the tune of almost $2,000.

To date I have nothing but good things to say about the APS insurance plan through Hugh Wood.

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