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  Auction vs insurance space artifact values

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Author Topic:   Auction vs insurance space artifact values
Altidude
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Posts: 49
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Registered: Jan 2016

posted 04-22-2019 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Altidude   Click Here to Email Altidude     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I’m trying to get my collection insured, especially with regards to the latest Apollo A7LB spacesuit TMG price. On Antiques Road Show, they typically inflate the auction estimate by two for the insurance amount. Is that what other space collectors do?

For instance, with the TMG auction price of 90K, would you insure this for 180K? Thanks for the help in advance. By the way, I did not purchase this particular piece, but am using it as an example.

4allmankind
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Posts: 1036
From: Dallas
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-22-2019 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I chose to only insure for what I paid because proving what an item might have sold for after suffering its loss is a tough challenge.

Altidude
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posted 04-22-2019 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Altidude   Click Here to Email Altidude     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That’s sound advice. Thanks!

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 4050
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 04-24-2019 03:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be remiss of you NOT to reach out to Larry McGlynn for advice. Insurance after all is his business.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 1225
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 04-24-2019 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is an eBook I wrote on the subject of appraising and insuring your collection.

It should answer your questions on how to appraise and insure your collection. Remember that Antiques Roadshow is a form of reality show and use pricing to create drama.

fredtrav
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Posts: 1635
From: Birmingham AL
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 04-24-2019 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting the eBook Larry. I had talked to my insurance agent about mine and they had told me mine would be covered under my homeowners policy under contents. That I did not need to purchase additional, unless I felt the value was more than the total insured amount under contents. I will get video of mine for proof however. I have a list of my major items, and all my books, but they are not pictured.

Tallpaul
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Posts: 130
From: Rocky Point, NY, USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-24-2019 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tallpaul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The idea of doubling the price paid to arrive at an insurance value is a practice that I believe started with the jewelry industry. It created the impression that the jeweler was giving a great deal on the item. The surprise came when the item was lost and the insured party discovered that: 1. their item was overvalued, 2. they had paid for far more coverage than they needed, and, 3. they become down right po'ed when they learn that the insurance company will send them to a replacement specialist or offer them a cash settlement equal to what the insurance company would pay to replace the item, and it is never a retail price as the replacement company works at cost plus a percentage. This situation would apply with standard items of jewelry (like and kind quality). It would be different with custom made pieces and rare gems or pieces manufactured by companies such as Tiffany, Cartier, Harry Winston etc.

With space collectibles it is a good thing that there is such an active auction market, as that gives a fairly realistic idea of fair market value since there are so many auctions in a given year. Still there are fluctuations, for example, Apollo 13 Franklin Mint coins seem to be falling in price while the Apollo 14 Franklin Mint coins are going up in price. Through auctions, it is fairly easy to establish insurance values for items that are seen regularly. For example, Apollo 11 insurance covers, flown covers for any of the Apollo flights, and Robbins medals as examples tend to appear in most auctions.

Lastly, as Larry writes, be prepared to pay a professional hourly fee for the services of an appraiser. Run the other way if the fees are based as a percentage of value or the appraiser makes an offer for the items.

Altidude
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posted 04-24-2019 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Altidude   Click Here to Email Altidude     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much! This is the advice I've been looking for.

I have quite a few items that I collected in the 90's and early 2000's and their prices seem to have risen substantially. I guess what i will do is just try to find comparable and see if the insurance company will accept.

However some of my collection is quite difficult to figure out. Don't want to get into the nuts and bolts of my particular collection, but will give you an example to give me further guidance. For instance, I have a piece of a PLSS that an astronaut cut off before leaving the moon. It's hard to try to decide an estimate on the this as it is not a common piece. Would you think that a lunar dust stained piece from the same mission would be a reasonable comparison?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41651
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-24-2019 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How large a piece of PLSS material do you have?

There have been several PLSS cut and complete pieces that have come to market over the past two decades, in addition to sales of lunar dust-stained material in general. The valuation will first and foremost rest on the provenance and the size of the segment.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 1225
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 04-24-2019 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The answer is to find three comparables. Does have to be from the same mission.

Most insurance companies will require an appraisal for individual items over a limit. An example is that most direct writing companies like Allstate or State Farm have a $5,000 limit of individual valuations before they require a appraisal.

Altidude
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Registered: Jan 2016

posted 04-24-2019 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Altidude   Click Here to Email Altidude     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well... it’s the entire PLSS. Just kidding, it’s a very small portion of it. It’s just a snap that was cut from it by Dave Scott. Not very large, but coated with lunar dust which is kind of cool. Got it a long time ago and cannot remember the price. May have that info in a box somewhere. Probably not worth that much, but most likely worth a bit more than what I paid for it at that time.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 1225
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 04-25-2019 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember those OPS cloth swatches. I believe that sold in 2004 at the Aurora Auctions. They were nice pieces.

And I meant that the comparables do NOT have to come from the same mission.

Altidude
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Registered: Jan 2016

posted 04-25-2019 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Altidude   Click Here to Email Altidude     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That may be what this is, but I don’t recognize the OPS initials. It was described as a piece of the strap with a snap that held the PLSS to the spacesuit and Scott cut this off as a souvenir before disposing the PLSS.

In any case, it is a big help to know that lunar surface material can be evaluated across different missions (with the exception of Apollo 11, of course).

Chuckster01
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Posts: 776
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 04-25-2019 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it is worth I have a fairly extensive collection with several one of a kind "irreplaceable" items. When I checked into insuring just the valuable items the cost of the coverage was prohibitively expensive.

My solution was a large fireproof and flood proof safe that is securely bolted to the concrete slab. This safe was a bit overboard and is large enough to hold all of my rarities and much more.

The total cost of the safe installed was less then one year's quoted premiums for the insurance coverage with no appraisal, no recurring premiums and best of all as I buy and sell over the years I do not have to make changes in the coverage.

For me this was the only viable way to protect my collection but the safe also holds my wife's jewelry, our coins and stamp collections, my guns and the petty cash we used to leave in the dresser.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 1140
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-25-2019 10:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chuckster01:
My solution was a large fireproof and flood proof safe that is securely bolted to the concrete slab.

May I ask what brand of safe you used? I'm in the market for a solid, reliable brand as well - but the major brands such as SentrySafe aren't all that large. Thanks.

Chuckster01
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Posts: 776
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 04-26-2019 04:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got a Liberty 17.

Although not listed in the specs they tell me it is waterproof to 30 feet or one atmosphere and fireproof for 90 minutes at 1200 degrees.

As I said before the cost delivered was about one year's insurance premium at $1,400. I bolted it down myself with 5" long Red Heads half an inch in diameter. You would need a forklift to get this out.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 1140
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-26-2019 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Chuckster. Very helpful!

MadSci
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Posts: 225
From: Maryland, USA
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 05-16-2019 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MadSci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fredtrav:
I had talked to my insurance agent about mine and they had told me mine would be covered under my homeowners policy under contents.
Just a recommendation to get that in writing before considering it case closed. General Insurance Household goods policies don't routinely cover "unusual" items, as well as individual items of unusually high value or items it is difficult to establish a current value for. This varies from State to State and insurance carrier to carrier, but just consider that your family jewelry collection alone may require separate documentation and coverage, imagine what your latest purchase of a flown or signed item may require...

I know in Maryland, State Farm will NOT cover these items, and requires a separate rider or insurance all together. They basically won't do it due to their concerns about not understanding how to value the items.

Larry's ebook will likely help you out, but from bitter experience, NO information provided by an insurance company that is not in writing and signed by ALL parties (ie the actual insurance carrier, not the agent) is worthless when claim time comes around. Verbal advice from agents is NOT considered binding by insurance companies, and if an issue arises the agents involved will reverse thrust faster than a de-orbiting Gemini capsule!

I could name the insurance company involved in my issue, but will restrain from doing so, so that collectSPACE doesn't need to call its lawyers over this post.

As always: Caveat Emptor, spatium collectoribus!

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