Insuring rarities and collectibles such as coins or trading cards isn't as straightforward of a process as insuring other items, since their value is often determined subjectively. Here are the steps we recommend taking to properly insure your rarities.
Get your collectibles professionally graded
Before you insure your shipment, you may need to get your items professionally graded. This is especially true for trading cards and rare coins. You can get trading cards graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator, or "PSA" 👍
For rare coins, you can go through the Professional Coin Grading Service (aka the "PCGS").
Do market research to determine the current value of your items
Once you've had your items graded, you'll need to research the market to determine their current value. In most cases, there isn't a widespread market for collectibles or a price chart that clearly shows the value of your item. So, you'll need to determine the proper value yourself by gathering as much information as you can 😅
A good place to start is to visit the "Search Completed Listings" page on eBay, and then type your item into the search bar. This will pull up all recent transactions with items similar to yours that took place on the platform.
Note: The value of your item may change based on whether or not it's a 'first edition' of its kind. Without a written appraisal proving the item is a first edition, it's difficult for insurance companies to associate a higher value with it. For example, sellers may declare a higher value such as $400 for an item, but the comparable value for a non-first edition in the market might be $100.
Provide as much proof as possible
Shipsurance requires ample proof that clearly displays the value of your shipment, in the event that you need to submit a claim. This includes documentation of your item's "grading," as well as evidence of several recent transactions on a public platform that proves your item's value (like we mentioned above).
You'll also want to take ample photos of your package, both inside and out, to show that you packed and protected it properly. Proving that you packaged your items properly will only help your case if you need to submit a claim.
Before you purchase any labels for your shipment, we suggest rounding up all of this evidence in case you need to open a claim for a missing or damaged package down the line 😊 The more proof you can provide, the better!
Learn more about how to submit an insurance claim here.
Collectibles that have been professionally graded AND have their value established
Collectibles sold under a paid, commercial invoice
Collectibles with recent, dated appraisals from a reputable appraisal company (emphasis on dated and documented)
What’s not covered:
Collectibles on their way to be graded (even if they have had their value otherwise established)
Note: If you are shipping your collectibles to be graded, these items will not be paid out for the estimated appraisal value, and will be denied due to Shipsurance’s Terms and Conditions 🙈
If you would like to receive compensation for these lost or damaged items on their way to be appraised, you’ll need to appeal the denied claim by providing a paid invoice from a commercial entity (e.g. Target, eBay, etc).
Shipsurance handles each claim on a case-by-case basis, so a partial payout is not always guaranteed. However, having a concrete paper trail to establish value is the best way to make sure your items qualify for coverage 😉
Certain items may not be insurable for some international destinations
If you send items that aren't allowed to be shipped to certain countries based on information provided in the USPS International Mail Manual, they may not be eligible for insurance claims if the package gets lost or arrives damaged.
For instance, the United Kingdom prohibits coins to be imported into their country. If collectible coins are shipped to the UK, Shipsurance will consider it a violation of coverage and will deny any insurance claims you file for that shipment.
Before you purchase insurance for your international shipment, visit the Postal Service's Individual Country Listings to check whether your destination country allows for your item(s) to be shipped there.