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Andy Mac

Model railway insurance?

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Just a quick topic/poll (my first!) to see/highlight insurance cover for you collection!

 

I had a very very lucky near miss when my house flooded, and the only room not damaged was where all the models were stored... so no damage to them, but the rest of my house was literally a write off....

 

Now had my models got damaged/soaked in the deluge, I have a strong suspicion that my insurance company would have been ackward with regards to settling with me on account of the values involved....

 

Consider the actual value, if you’ve been collecting for a few years, then those bargains that you bought from the box shifters in the good times,, (for me, Chinese manufactured higher detail RTR) are in all probability worth more today than you may realise/originally paid.

 

For instance, I’m one of the lucky ones that bought the Rapido NRM Apt-e sound model with some extra coaches... from memory the Apt-e was £325 and the extra coaches £50.... what value do I put on the these for replacement? On EBay, the sound set’s start at £700-£900 and the extra coaches are at £200!!!!

 

So now, after chatting with my insurance company, they have many photographs of the model boxes, with the model numbers visible, along with a card with the policy number also visible in each photo... I made a list up in excel with all the details, and assigned a conservative value to each item... the insurance company then accepted this as proof of ownership/value and my contents insurance was revised upwards to cover/compensate for my collection....

 

Whilst I have no intention of selling or disposing of anything, after all i’ve Finally started to construct my first proper layout, at least if the worst happens i’ll Be in a position to buy replacements for a substantial part of the collection....

 

So I hope everyone gives some thought to this, and even if one person just checks their policy then that’s a positive....

 

Cheers

 

Andrew

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I have removed the poll constructed as it could have lead to identifiable individuals disclosing whether their collection was insured as the anonymous options were not used.

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Funnily enough, I did exactly the same. I had my railway insured for x, but I began to work on an inventory. In the end, the locomotives alone were 2x. So like you, it was a further call to the insurance company to boost the cover. I used the freely downloadable model railway database software to list everything and add photos

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What are the pros/cons of using a specialist model railway insurer as opposed to a renegotiated extension to the Household insurance?

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Some insurance companies will treat your stock as a collection and many household policies have a limited liability for replacing collections.  Worth checking where yours stands by asking the specific questions.  

 

Specialist policies will often cover for travel to and from exhibitions, your household policy may or may not cover you.  Of course if you don't exhibit, then that is no advantage.

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You could specify models as an item of value on your house insurance.....as it stands though contents insurance is to a set value.......essentially what you can read from this, is it is unlikely home contents insurance would pay out the value of your models or.....pay out a fraction of there value....its far better going through a specialist provider such as magnet insurance.

 

generally however i would point out that the insured sum on any particular model would be the manufacturers RRP, if it was fitted with sound that would be £100 on insurance companies work on quantifiable pricing IE the money you would have to spend to buy a brand new replacement if it was available.....not EBAY! just because some gold-digger has an APT at price set by current trends does not mean you will hit the jackpot if someone nicks it or its washed away in a flood.

 

Magnet dont want pictures of your locos they will just offer a level of cover appropriate to your valuation of your railway....the more you value it at, the more you pay...

 

20k of cover is about £70 a year (depending of course on the nature of the building your layout is in). for layouts that attend exhibitions there are other insurance options avaliable.

Edited by pheaton

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Pheaton,

 

I had the general insurance contents cover, and when I went to specify the models value, they then asked for details of the individual item’s..... the contents cover seems to be best for a small collection of high value items, as opposed to a large collection of individual items at moderate cost....

 

I know values are not based on EBay, but they can give you an indication of price wise.... now had my collection been drowned in the flood the assessor would see all the damaged boxes and items and could quite quickly realise that the list that had been supplied by me would have been accurate..... Had the collection been stolen, then i’d Imagine that you would have to be able to prove in some way that you had the items in the first place.... hence for me, it was simpler to photograph everything with my policy number visible. The main point i’m Making is, I realised quite quickly I was woefully under insured for my collection, and secondly would struggle to prove that I owned what I claimed to own...

 

Basing the value insured on current prices for a similar model is probably the way the insurance company would arrive at a value....if you’ve been picking up stuff like me for the last 14 years, then all those class 37’s, 47’s, you were able to pick up for £40 each, will have literally trebled in price....

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I've separately insured my collection for many years now. The whole construction of standard insurance policies - 'new for old' 'wear and tear' etc - is really completely unsuited to the ways we buy, modify, use and/or keep our models. Far better to deal with a specialist insurer that understands this.

As with all insurance, you are managing a risk. If you don't want to go down this route and choose to do it through your household insurance because its cheaper, you are essentially accepting the risk that should something bad happen, you may not get what you expect as recompense for your models.

Edited by andyman7
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... I used the freely downloadable model railway database software to list ...

Sorry, but you lost me there. What software are you talking about?

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Sorry, but you lost me there. What software are you talking about?

The link in the link : https://easy-model-railroad-inventory.soft112.com

 

I spoke with Magnet about proof of ownership as I pointed out to them that I could easily over insure my stock for malicious reasons. Their advice was that regards proof of ownership, a receipt is desirable, but in the absence of this, their claims assessors would look favourably on a photo of the item with personal details and policy details visible in the background, as stated above.

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Something to bear in mind with household contents, these generally only cover upto a certain amount for items in outbuildings like sheds. A specialist would cover the whole amount you want to insure. Also it is most likely to be covered for market value. without saying too much it is also possible to cover for actual value and not market value

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Just an update to this, the inventory software I referred to, Easy Model Railroad Inventory, seems to have been pulled from the internet and no longer hosted.  So if you're using it, backing up your original download might be wise

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48 minutes ago, chris p bacon said:

The link posted by 21C1 worked for me, although all I do is enter it on an XL spreadsheet I have.

 

The URL works for me to, but I think the issues is that when you click on download it comes back with the 403 Forbidden error.

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