Customers always ask about insurance coverage when they have a gun safe or burglary safe. There are lots of assumptions and questions, so I called several agents that handle home insurance, and here is what I was told.
One said that usually, if you have a burglary safe you can get a small savings on your annual insurance cost, probably around $10; the other disagreed. Ask your agent. The next paragraphs talk about coins in particular, but collections of guns, jewelry, watches, etc. will be similar.
They both said that, if you don’t have your coins scheduled or itemized on a rider, your policy will usually cover up to about $500, whether they are in a safe or not. But they will only be replaced at face value, so numismatic value will not apply. A penny that is worth $50 to a collector will still be reimbursed for $.01. Value of the silver or gold content most likely will not count either.
If you have your collection appraised and covered on a rider, they will be covered up to the appraised value. (My coin guy charges $50/hour to do written appraisals.) When that value is based mostly on the gold or silver weight, however, be careful. If the appraisal is done when gold is $1300 per ounce, and you are robbed when gold is worth $1600 per ounce, you will be reimbursed at the original $1300 value. Cost of the insurance rider will probably run about $38/year for every $10,000 in value provided the collection is in a safe. Cost will go up about $4 to $5 per $10,000 in value if there is no safe.
All kinds of variables affect insurance, including where you live, which insurance company you use, your loss history, etc. For an extremely high value collection there may be better coverage with a TL-rated safe. There might be specialized policies for high value collections, like there are for classic car collections. Some items are irreplaceable because of sentimental value, like Great Grandpa’s old rifle or Grandma’s wedding ring. To the insurance company they are probably only worth generic value. I am certainly no expert. Don’t make assumptions – ask your agent lots of questions.
You should always have insurance coverage on your valuables. But the best protection against theft in the first place is to have a really good gun safe or burglary safe and good home security. Don’t take a chance that you may not be properly reimbursed after a loss. Prevent the loss!