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Discussion Starter #1
The NRA has a deal with Lockton insurance for firearms coverage. It’s time for me to renew. I thought it might be appropriate to shop around a little bit.

I found collectibles insurance services, they appear to be rated well by AM Best, They have been around since the mid-60s and are competitively priced. They are actually about 25 or 30% less than Lockton.

They offer a better coverage, require no serial numbers and only require listing of firearms exceeding $30,000 each. Lockton requires listing firearms over $2500. They offer coverage for ammunition and accessories. They also cover loss in transportation if you buy a new pistol and it is lost in transport as well as in a few other options that are not available from Lockton.

I’m starting to do my due diligence on the company. Does anyone have any information on collectibles insurance services that I should consider?
 

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Hey Shark,
Please let us know how much the policy runs a year.
Insurance is something I would be interested in also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
75K value was just a touch over $500 a year. Lockton was much higher for less coverage. They did inquire about how much the gun safes weigh and whether the gun room had walls over 3 inches thick for some reason. I saw some criticism somewhere where a person thought they excluded your carry weapon. I verified with the agent that’s not true.
 

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I’m interested too and was considering looking into it. Any info you can pass on would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’m still doing some research but I read through an exemplar policy today. It refers to modern or antique collectible guns, knives etc. and I guess anything could be collectible. There’s no specific definition of collectible. The coverage looks pretty broad, if you buy a gun on GunBroker and it’s shipped with a signature required or if you ship something signature required, this insurance policy covers the weapon.There’s also coverage for ammunition, accessories, equipment.

I know that in our a policy from Lockton requires that you schedule any weapon worth more than $2500. This policy doesn’t require you schedule anything under $25,000 individual value. Both policies require no serial numbers or that sort of thing. I’ve spent some time now inventorying everything and making sure I had recordings of serial numbers etc. if you had a loss, you would need the information to prove your loss.

I asked the agent about valuation and he said that often they use GunBroker to determine the value and if not there is an appraisal outline that is utilized. He said they pay on at an actual market value. They do offer an agreed value policy but it requires serial numbers appraisals and things like that.
The policy offers kind of an all risk coverage. Fire, theft, burglary, robbery etc.

I’m going to ask a couple more questions of the agent and look into the company a little further. At this point I’m inclined to go with him. I will keep everybody in the loop.

I should add that it looks like the policy requires guns to be stored in a safe that weighs more than 300 pounds and you may need a monitored alarm system for your house.
 

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You’re asking the right questions. (y)
Here’s a few key points to keep in mind to be armed with knowledge and be a better consumer:

  1. Coverage for all perils vs. named perils. In named perils, it’s as it sounds. Only coverage for specifically named perils or risks. If it’s not named, it’s not covered. All perils means it‘s covered unless listed as a policy exclusion.

  2. Actual cash value (ACV) vs. Replacement cost value (RCV). ACV will usually pay out for a covered loss the amount equal to fair market value. That means your 4 year old 50” $2000 TV is no longer worth $2000. Think garage sale/ 2nd hand Craigslist prices. RCV is usually paid out replace a covered item at cost new. In other words, you’d possibly get a settlement for an amount capable of buying a new comparable 50” TV. Most homeowners/property policies are written as RCV but definitely check. Auto insurance is almost always ACV.

  3. What possessions are covered and to what amounts? Most policies have exclusions or limits for things like jewelry and firearms. That’s where special item coverage policies comes in. Sometimes referred to as jewelry riders, although not usually limited to jewelry. Think easily lost, destroyed or stolen items. They can be a rider to an existing property policy or a stand alone policy.

  4. When it comes to special item coverage, there’s blanket or scheduled item coverage. Blanket is usually a declared coverage for a group of items. A blanket jewelry policy might cover $10,000 worth of jewelry regardless of number. Scheduled will provide coverage for specific individual items for specific individual amounts.

  5. lastly, where are those things covered? Only at home in a safe? Only in your possession? Anywhere in the world?
Finally, my last thought, if your agent can’t answer any of this or seems stumped, get another agent. (If they’re licensed, they should know this 🤬)

Also, ask for the policy. Yes, it’s long. Yes, it’s dry. Yes, it’s boring. Even potentially confusing. But, it’s all there. It has to be. Bear in mind our industry is one of the most regulated in the country. We can’t burp without permission from your state insurance commission telling us what flavor that burp will be. If your spidey-sense tells you they’re not being transparent, GTFO.

Oh, and yes, irregardless of a requirement to provide appraisals and/or serial numbers to write the coverage, in the event of a loss and subsequent claim, you will typically need to provide proof of ownership and/or value.

Disclaimer: I am not your insurance agent. The above is just general knowledge gained from my own professional experience as a policy specialist throughout a career in sales, claims and underwriting. Sorry so long.....I just happen to be a freak of nature that likes insurance. :sick:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Great explanation, thanks. I will report back when I study the policy more carefully. For larger collections, there’s another carrier I’m going to look at.

NRA Insurance, Lockton armscare appears to have had some troubles. They had a relationship for reinsurance with Lloyds of London and it looks like Lloyds bailed. Lockton and Chubb were fined several million dollars for selling a version of “Carry guard” coverage.
 

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Great explanation, thanks. I will report back when I study the policy more carefully. For larger collections, there’s another carrier I’m going to look at.

NRA Insurance, Lockton armscare appears to have had some troubles. They had a relationship for reinsurance with Lloyds of London and it looks like Lloyds bailed. Lockton and Chubb were fined several million dollars for selling a version of “Carry guard” coverage.
Policies are your typical legalese. Lots of doubling back on itself. “If party of A equals party of B blah blah stuff. :D Boring and even screwy for a layman, but for someone accustomed to reading that gobbledygook, should be quite clear for you.

For those that don’t enjoy reading that crap, I highly recommend consulting an attorney who does.

Often, policy language, rates, etc. can be quite proprietary. And often malleable with endorsements and such. But, you might have to get through the door as a potential customer and get to the final signing parts, however if at that point if they won’t send you their standard policy, again....run. That policy is approved by the state. There is really nothing to hide.

I spend a lot of my time helping folks clean up messes left behind by unscrupulous companies or agents. They are out there.

Im not familiar enough with the companies in question here, nor the specifically designed products to comment. However again, I applaud the due diligence. I wish all insurance consumers were as informed. My day would be far more productive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There was another carrier that specialized in larger collections called Core-Vens. They look like they had a pretty good rate but I tried several times today to get them on the phone and they never answered so I crossed them off the list.
 

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There was another carrier that specialized in larger collections called Core-Vens. They look like they had a pretty good rate but I tried several times today to get them on the phone and they never answered so I crossed them off the list.
Dint blame ya. I have zero patience for a company that can’t answer the phone or return messages.
 

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snip..

I should add that it looks like the policy requires guns to be stored in a safe that weighs more than 300 pounds and you may need a monitored alarm system for your house.
Mine is 1,900 pounds and is epoxy-bolted to the floor.
Good luck!!

At present, I only have what's covered by homeowners.

If I ever do purchase specialty gun insurance, (or ??) it will need to cover everything in the safe.
Specifically including all my Nikon camera equipment - which, all totaled, makes the cost of a .338 Lapua round look downright trivial. (Lautermilch will understand.)

There's actually a name for the affliction: It's called: "Nikon Acquisition Syndrome".
But it is known to readily metastasize into "1911 Acquisition Syndrome", or even, as Racer and Caleb have shown us "Wristwatch Acquisition Syndrome". :)

So, watch out! It can happen in your home too. :)
And always buy a bigger safe than you think you'll need.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My dear mother many years ago gave me my motto “Nothing in moderation”

I understand.
 

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At present, I only have what's covered by homeowners.....
This is an excellent thread. Something I take very seriously. Anything you value, you want to be covered by insurance. The OP is providing great information on options for firearms coverage. (y)

Anduril, If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check your homeowners coverage for things like firearms. Most policies have limits and even exclusions for such items. Aside from liability, your policy has building or structure coverage and possessions or contents coverage.

If you could turn your home upside down and give it a shake, everything that falls out is contents. What stays is building. Regarding contents, some certain items are not treated the same or May not be covered completely by your homeowners policy contents coverage. Such as firearms.

While a homeowner policy is typically more inclusive, take my renter’s policy. An awesome policy. However it only provides up to $500 of coverage for firearms. That’s total collection. Not individual item. So I have what we call a Valuable Personal Property policy in addition to renters that can cover the deficit.

WhIke there’s likely purpose driven companies that cater to firearm owners like the OP is researching that can offer better products, most common Property and Casualty carriers will have some form of additional coverage available.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’m going to follow up today with collectibles insurance. The one thing that concerns me is the agreement mentions collectible weapons. The IRS has differing meetings for collectibles for purposes of taxation. My “collection“ goes from some really collectible pieces to common Glocks.

The policy does not define “collectible“ and it may be a little ambiguous. The law generally says that if there is an ambiguity in a policy it will be construed against the person drafting the policy. In other words, if the insurance carrier writes a policy and words they use are capable of more than one meaning, usually you win the debate. My position is, it’s my collection, Therefore things are collectible.

I always look for ways that an insurance company can deny coverage or try to wiggle out of a claim. I think that’s the first focus when a claim comes in. In my situation, I don’t have receipts for ammunition and magazines and things like that. My gun room has a 350 pound steel jail door with a welded frame and the window has burglar bars and on the inside it is completely covered with two by eights screwed in with 4 inch deck screws and then reinforced vertically. I’m going to photograph everything and send it to them with the application. With a camera on your phone these days, It seems a necessary precaution to take. I will even photograph the motion detecting video camera, alarm system etc. so there will be no surprises in the unlikely event that I have a claim.

My suggestion is if you obtain a policy like this, you ask the agent “what does this mean?“ And keep your correspondence. As an example, there’s a provision in the policy that basically says if you’re a cop or armed security your duty weapon is excluded. I saw something on the Internet or someone mentioned a concern so I discussed it with the agent and his response was it was no problem with your carry weapon, it was only designed to deal with a police officers gun or someone carrying a particular gun every day as part of the job.

As my friend above says, insurance agreements or contracts and they are interpreted pretty strictly. The argument is that the insurance company picked the words and you just signed the deal. As an example, I had a case once were a doctor examined the patient. That afternoon he got a call from the emergency room that the guy might be dying. He freaked out and changed her medical record. The insurance company denied the claim. They had a provision that said if you changed or altered records they would deny coverage.

My practice was to first carefully RTFP (read the policy) When I read the policy it said something like “if after a claim is made you change any medical records we will not provide coverage” well, that meant that the ladies Family got paid Because the claim had not been made before he changed the records.

I will keep everyone in the loop.
 

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Insurance has a bad reputation. We know that. In my experience, most bad experiences result from a misunderstanding of how insurance works or the language of the policy. That said, if someone is disappointed in their experience, in my very humble, professional opinion, someone failed them. They failed their customer by not taking the time to explain why something isn’t covered or similar. Why their rates went up, etc. That certainly doesn’t preclude the reality there are some terribly unscrupulous companies and/or agents or adjusters. When I worked claims, our mantra was “We pay what we owe”. Nothing less, we have a duty and a promise to the customer. However, no more, we have an equal duty to the company.

One tenet of insurance most don’t understand is indemnity. Meaning make you whole again. After a loss, our goal is to put you back to the same as before the loss. (Or as close as possible). Not in a lesser position, but also not in a better position. That’s why a claim on an aging roof might be discounted for age. You don’t get a brand new roof if the damaged roof was 50 years old and beyond its life. You don’t get a brand new Honda to replace the covered 1990 one. :LOL:;)

As to defining terminology, such as collectibles, doesn’t matter what the IRS says, only what the company defines as such in the contract. Provided they do define it. As you say, if too ambiguous, it then can come down to a legal challenge where precedents elsewhere can come into play. And you are also dead on, by and large, if the contract isn’t worded well, most legal challenges will result in favor of the customer. That’s actually called something, although it escapes me at the moment.

Ive never seen a property policy that covers consumables. IMHO, ammo is that. I know we don’t. And neither has any other place I’ve worked. However, as I’ve said, I’m just not that familiar with insurance products specifically tailored to gun owners. I’m definitely very curious as to what you find in that regard. I’m in underwriting at the moment. But I still work sales some. I’m not too proud to recommend a customer seek coverage elsewhere when we can’t provide for their needs. Our goal is the customer‘s protection, not sales. Our motorcycle coverage is terrible. I send people to Progressive every day. ;)
 

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Shark, it’s dawned on my ive kind of jumped on my soapbox in your thread. Im really not kidding when I say I’m a freak of nature that weirdly enjoys insurance and I enjoy helping folk learn, even when they’d rather not. :ROFLMAO:

Hijacking your thread to preach wasn’t my intention.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Please sir, I welcome your participation. Between the two of us we may be able to provide useful information to other members. The concept you were looking for was simply the common law that says an ambiguity in the contract is construed against the drafter.

One of the things I always had trouble convincing adjusters of was the difference between first party and third party coverage. This firearm policy is obviously first party and the coverage says that in the event of a loss they will pay ACV, actual cash value. Third-party coverage is what protects you for harm you cause others. In injury cases adjusters would all be geared to offer ACV only to my clients. Frequently the problem would be that somebody financed a car and they owed $3000 on a $2000 car. First party coverage if you wrecked your own car would pay you 2000 and you’d be screwed.I had to file a few lawsuits to convince adjusters that they put my client in the position of owing $3000 and they were responsible if it was the fault of their insured.

I am thankful for hard-headed adjusters because without them I would probably have only a small High Point/Rossi collection and a Jon boat.
 

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You are absolutely correct re. First party vs. third party. Unfortunately, there are insurance companies/ adjusters that try games. I’ve never been certain why. I’ve never seen an adjuster position paid “commission “ on saving the company money. I guess that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

In truth, most companies utilize a tiered claims department system. They’ll hire hundreds of entry level folk to man a boiler room style call center handling basic claims (bumpers and fenders), burn them out in a year and repeat. Next a department of more experienced adjusters to handle more complex claims and then a smaller group of senior adjusters to injury and big dollar claims. The lower level is the first line of defense and usually poorly trained IMHO. To further confound the issue, they’ll have yet separate groups dedicated to total loss. And even another (Supposedly extremely senior staff) to handle cases in which the claimant is represented by legal council. It’s that group you likely deal with most often and unfortunately they may not have done time in the total loss dept and just don’t know any better. Frustrating for you and your staff no doubt. (but as you say. Good for business :D )

FWIW I was never coerced to “lowball” a claim. But, I’ve seen enough to know it happens.
 

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A little tongue in cheek for folks entertainment and knowledge.....

I don’t work in legal. I don’t enjoy the processes. Virtually not a day goes by without at least one phone conversation where the caller gets frustrated and threatens to ”call an attorney“.

Well, by the time we reach that point, I’ve already decided I really no longer want to talk to you. You’re probably being rude. Well, instead of being threatening as you hope, you just made my day! Now, not only do I really want this call to end, I absolutely cannot continue. I’m not qualified to have a legal discussion. Let me connect you with someone who is.....please hold. :ROFLMAO: :devilish:
 
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