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Do you insure your LEGO collection?

atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
edited August 2011 in Collecting
Recently I had to renew my house contents insurance and I made a point of mentioning my LEGO collection to them as I wanted to ensure that it would be covered should the unthinkable ever happen (I guess all the recent natural disasters has shown us that these things can and do happen). So, my questions is, do you have specialist insurance for your LEGO collection? If so, how did you go about valuing it and how did you insure it?

I used the collection value on Brickset and then added around a third to cover sets that weren't valued in the database or where I know I paid more than the rrp. This is a great start (thanks @Huw) but it's not perfect. We all know that some of our sets are worth many times the rrp value and some are probably nigh on irreplaceable at any cost.

My insurer recommended that I class it as one listed item and that, as long as I had a list somewhere of all the items and their value then I would be covered. That's where Brickset's collection manager really comes in handy, just export the list out as a .csv file once a month and you've got an offline backup, and of course Brickset will keep an online offsite backup for you :-)

I'm currently working on little project and have enlisted the help of kindly developer to work on some software that will help me to keep track of the 'market' value of my collection in pretty much real-time. I don't want to say too much more at this stage in case it doesn't come off, but it's looking good so far. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes as it may be something that I can offer to other people to use as well.

In the meantime, I'd be interested to hear from others on this topic.
jpsirois
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Comments

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    edited March 2011
    When I first saw your thread I thought what the ****, Of course I value it :D


    I'm currently working on little project and have enlisted the help of kindly developer to work on some software that will help me to keep track of the 'market' value of my collection in pretty much real-time. I don't want to say too much more at this stage in case it doesn't come off, but it's looking good so far. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes as it may be something that I can offer to other people to use as well.
    That sounds like it would be good integrated into Brickset.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,590
    Very good ideas
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited March 2011
    IIRC, there used to be a PC application called 'BrikTrak' that did this sort of thing. As well as off-line brick & set collection/inventory management, it could also be set up to periodically pull sale prices from Bricklink & update your collection value. You could then plot the value as it changed over time. Had some neat features for managing the inventory of your bricklink store as well. Not sure what happened to it, but was a good app.

    As for my bricks, I try not to think about how much they would cost to replace ...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Ah, good info @bluemoose...a quick Google later, it seems it's not been seen for 6 years or so.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    @atkinsar : I think we spoke previously about this. I am keenly interested in this functionality because half my collection are vintage sets. I have a ballpark figure in my head what my collection is worth, but it would be nice to have some empirical data to back it up.

    And to answer your original question, I have it listed as a single item included in my homeowner's insurance, with photos to validate the size of my collection. I value it at $150k :P
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    I used it on an old PC until I had a disk failure; tried to find it to reinstall it on a new disk, but it had vanished. There was a similar app that I found, but it wasn't as good ... can't remember what it was called ...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I used it on an old PC until I had a disk failure; tried to find it to reinstall it on a new disk, but it had vanished. There was a similar app that I found, but it wasn't as good ... can't remember what it was called ...
    Well no idea is a new idea I guess! The idea for the project I'm working on was born from a different need, but I realised recently that it could also be used to value my collection. I might do a more thorough search for this other software you mention though.

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2011
    And to answer your original question, I have it listed as a single item included in my homeowner's insurance, with photos to validate the size of my collection. I value it at $150k :P
    Whoa!! Quickly goes off to check your collection on Brickset...I'm back, you have 375, 'nuff said!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Brickset doesn't externalize the quantity. I actually have three copies of 375 ;)
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Well that's just greedy ;-)
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    The 'other' application was 'BrickStore' ...
    http://www.brickforge.de/software/brickstore/
    ... which does some of the bricklink store inventory aspects, but doesn't really do much of the other stuff that BrikTrak did.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Well that's just greedy ;-)
    Hah, this may sound funny to some, and maybe to others they will have experienced the same:

    When eBay was still a fledgling in late 90's and early 2000's, there were so many vintage collections up for auction and a less established idea of the value of these sets. I was an extremely active buyer then... literally constantly refreshing an open browser at work and watching every Lego auction as it closed. When an auction was going off for a set I already had, but at what I considered a great price (typically below what I had paid for it) I bought it and considered myself aggregating the cost of acquisition :P
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Well I definitely missed that boat! I wish I'd been doing the same...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    The 'other' application was 'BrickStore' ...
    http://www.brickforge.de/software/brickstore/
    ... which does some of the bricklink store inventory aspects, but doesn't really do much of the other stuff that BrikTrak did.
    thanks, I'll check it out.

  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 987
    edited March 2011
    I've been debating for years to add my collection as a seperate rider to my insurance. I keep an inventory of the sets I own and value them to true market value based on the average price sold via Brickset and eBay. It would be nice if Bricklink would add current value in addition to the retail cost at the time of purchase.

    I occasionally update my spreadsheet to reflect the true value of Lego sets I own. I guess it's a mute point if I don't have insurance. This thread has convinced me to go to my insurance company to see what the cost would be.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,603
    This is a very useful thread as I've recently needed to renew my home contents insurance and really struggled to estimate the value of my collection....I have a spreadsheet into which I enter every single LEGO-related item I aquire however small and capture condition, completeness, how much I paid, postage cost etc.. So I know how much I paid, but that's not the same and knowing the value. There are sets which I bought for £50-£60 which are currently fetching hundreds of pounds on eBay (modulars, Town Plan, Older Star Wars UCS sets some of which are still MISB etc.) so any estimate based on my trusty spreadsheet is probably miles out. I'd therefore eagerly snap up software which might help with this task.....
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 987
    Different States and/or Countries vary what's covered and not covered. I'm not familiar with other States and Countries....but for me, I'm covered to the replacement value of my belongings. Like I've mentioned, I have yet to add my collection to my insurance but I intend to. Based on true market value...I would have to add a rider of about $48 to my insurance. Not sure what the cost would be, but it's something that is necessary.
  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 987
    Opps.....meant to say $48K..
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Opps.....meant to say $48K..
    I didn't notice, I thought you were saying you'd have to pay an extra 48 bucks on your insurance.

  • 12651265 The Great State of TexasMember Posts: 987
    Yeah I screwed up my figure and can see the confusion. Haven't had the time to go to meet with my agent yet to determine my cost of adding my collection to my insurance. Like I've mentioned, based on today's going rates.....I value my collection to around $48K for replacement value coverage.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    IIRC, there used to be a PC application called 'BrikTrak' that did this sort of thing. As well as off-line brick & set collection/inventory management, it could also be set up to periodically pull sale prices from Bricklink & update your collection value. You could then plot the value as it changed over time. Had some neat features for managing the inventory of your bricklink store as well. Not sure what happened to it, but was a good app.
    So I took the liberty of looking around the Internet for this and it looks like development on the program ceased and the domain on which it was hosted has been retired. The last time the site was still up was around 2006 ( http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20060412130356/http://www.briktrak.com/ ) and the latest version of the program was being developed. Then the domain disappears. The site was one of four sites that was part of the BritDog group ( http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20030802084913/http://www.britdog.com/ ) I found this document ( http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/brickswest/2003/Presentations/session02_computer_assisted_building.pdf ) that outlines the program in 2002; it was built on VB, XML, and SOAP and was donationware. I also found that the originator of the program is Richard Morton. It appears he was a very active AFOL. It also looks like he collaborated with Jacob Sparre Andersen, Steve Bliss, Dan Boger, Jennifer Boger, David Eaton, Sean Kenney, Jake Mckee, and Calum Tsang ( http://news.lugnet.com/lego/?n=954 ) It also looks like Richard Morton has been active with LEGO up to 2010 based on his flickr stream ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjmorton/ )

    So, anybody know this guy? Or want to contact him? Maybe this can be rereleased as an open source project. It seems it would be very useful to AFOL collectors.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Brickset doesn't externalize the quantity. I actually have three copies of 375 ;)
    You've inspired me to get this set, I really should own it if I want to call myself a collector right? I picked one up on ebay last night, boxed with instructions and complete except for 1 minifg torso and a shield for £68. Not exactly a bargain, but not a bad price when I look at the average Bricklink price over the past 6 months which is approx £130.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,603
    edited March 2011
    Not surprising - sets on Bricklink are almost invariably horribly overpriced.........
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Brickset doesn't externalize the quantity. I actually have three copies of 375 ;)
    You've inspired me to get this set, I really should own it if I want to call myself a collector right? I picked one up on ebay last night, boxed with instructions and complete except for 1 minifg torso and a shield for £68. Not exactly a bargain, but not a bad price when I look at the average Bricklink price over the past 6 months which is approx £130.
    I'm sure you were well within your right to call yourself a collector before the purchase. But the set was such a seminal one for so many reasons (first castle, first modern minifig, most distinct coloring of any set) not to mention its age, rarity, and unique pieces, that I'm sure it will instantly be a crown jewel of your collection.

    Also, £68 seems like a good price. If you'd like to send me a link to the auction listing, I can tell you for sure.

    On a sidenote, my feelings are often conflicted when seeing the going rate for such sets. I'd like their value to be high because I own a fair share of them, and, subjectively, I think many of them should be demanding higher prices given that some recently retired sets fetch so much and by many perspectives are inferior sets. But, since I'm still filling gaps in my vintage sets, I love that I can get them for what I perceive as a bargain. I'll probably start a separate discussion :P

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Thanks @rocao, I've just sent you a pm with the link
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,590
    I just realized that set 375 is me. Ha. I have such great memories of that castle and regret that the parents donated all of my Lego sets and Star Wars to Goodwill, etc. Hopefully they brought a lot of kids smiles. Of course, they'll now need the Joust Exhibition set which is prolly not cheap. :o)
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited June 2011
    The guy who developed BrikTrac, Richard Morton, runs this Brick Link store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=StudsOnTop

    I don't have a Brick Link account. If I had, I'd contact him about BrikTrak through Brick Link.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    @Yellowcastle - You _HAVE_ to get yourself a copy of 375, surely?!?!

    @Atkinsar - I know this thread is really old, but interesting project, how's it going?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    @Atkinsar - I know this thread is really old, but interesting project, how's it going?
    It's going well thanks, I'm still a little way off unveiling it to anyone though, and when I do, I'll probably go into beta testing with a few select people (I've already got your name down ;o).

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    Cough.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,590
    Haha
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^^ yes, and you James :-D
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    Good man. Thanks again for your efforts last weekend.
  • Jabba_the_TaffJabba_the_Taff Member Posts: 211
    Ending up here from another thread, I'd just add that, from renewing my house insurance just the other day, I'd definitely try to include your Lego collection as a separate entity on your details. Judging from speaking to a few different insurers it is similar to a stamp or coin collection and they'd want to know about it when buying. That's not to say you wouldn't be able to claim if you didn't list it, but that the process would be a whole lot smoother if you did. For some reason, books, CDs and DVDs didn't seem to be deemed a collection in the same way (except, of course, if they're particularly significant/valuable.)

    For those of you who take parts of your collection to shows/displays etc it might also be worth buying the provisio for 'valuables away from the home.'
  • Bluefox1966Bluefox1966 UKMember Posts: 360
    I've insured my LEGO on my house insurance as a separate named item. It cost me an extra £12.00 a month but well worth the piece of mind.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited November 2012
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]

    As a college student with a budget of approx. $75-$100 a month for Lego, I find myself living vicariously through some of our Brickset members. You know who you all are:

    "Just bought 7 more Emerald Nights."
    (two days later)
    "Found a good price on the Death Star so I grabbed 3 more."
    etc, etc.

    So, do you guys have home vaults? Fireproof safes? It sounds like some of you have several thousands upon thousands of dollars sitting around in Lego product. Do you report each of your major purchases to your homeowners insurance so that you'd be able to claim it all if disaster were to ever strike? Just curious.
  • jlbbluejlbblue Member Posts: 54
    edited December 2011
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]

    I think this is a good question and glad it came up. I don't have the largest of collections, but still around 30K and I hadn't thought of this.
  • DavidRod8DavidRod8 Member Posts: 143
    edited December 2011
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]

    Everything I'm buying goes into a climate controlled storage unit... which has adequate insurance coverage :)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,001
    edited December 2011
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]

    There is a thread around here somewhere that discussed insurance..
    Basically you need to go to your home insurance provider and ask if they will insure your collection (many agencies do have plans) and what it takes and how can you rank the price (over retail) because eBay usually cannot be used.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited December 2011
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]
    There is a thread around here somewhere that discussed insurance..
    I searched prior and I can't explain it other than I must have typed "insurance" wrong because nothing relevant came up. But now I see that there are some older threads. My apologies.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    edited December 2011
    [This comment has been merged from a new thread to this existing thread - Yellowcastle 12-10-11]

    I had not thought about it either, but Monday morning, I will be calling...
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,590
    I still haven't done this but with so many recent purchases, I think it might be time.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    There's been 3 break-ins in my street in the past week, glad I've got my collection insured. This is well worth doing guys, and make sure you have every single set listed somewhere, preferably with a valuation.
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    not practicle for me as i would have to have an inventory of each part i own :-(
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited December 2011
    ^^ how do you work out the valuations? surely the insurance company would like you to use a consistent method for all of them, and one theyre comfortable with. I need to add this to my spreadsheet ... Im thinking that ebay average prices for actual sets sold in the same condition would be most reliable.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited December 2011
    eBay or Bricklink, either's good enough for this purpose, whatever gives you the higher valuation really when it comes to insurance. Bricklink is probably better because it's slightly easier to get the valuations from than eBay. The main purpose here is that if you had to replace your sets, what would you have to pay in today's market.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    whatever gives you the higher valuation really when it comes to insurance
    would an insurance company be happy to rely on bricklink I wonder (which theyve never heard of)?

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I'm no insurance expert, all I can tell you is when I spoke to mine they said as long as you have an itemised list with valuations, that would be sufficient. But then, they probably don't expect a UCS Falcon to set you back £1,000 !
  • canon03canon03 USAMember Posts: 335
    I've used the company collectinsure.com for the past 3 or 4 years. They started out very reasonable, but have started increasing their prizes very rapidly. I keep all my purchase receipts in a file at the house and keep photo copies of the same at work. I suppose I'd look at completed sold auctions from eBay to prove the increased value of a set over the original purchase price. What other companies are used by brickset members from the US?
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    edited September 2012
    I visited an insurance agent today about adding a rider on to my home owners insurance to cover my Brick link store invertory. He said that I would need to hire an apprasier to determine the value of the collection. I didn't even ask how it would cover rotating stock but I'm sure that I will not like the answer. Any experience out there in accomplishing what we all know should be done? Thanks.
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