Topics

Loss Protection for our freight cars.

Denny Anspach
 

I have generally, and perhaps carelessly, not considered value when considering protection for my accumulated RPM freight (and other) models. Seeing what finely finished Westerfield and Sunshine models (and kits) are bringing on eBay and elsewhere tends to narrow one’s thoughts in this regard, however. A recent friend’s total (TOTAL) loss of every single model, layout, and everything else in California’s Ventura fire truly raises the issue to even a higher plane.

Very simply, how do listers protect their modeling investments from loss, i.e. through household insurance, special hobby insurance, no insurance at all, etc.?

Do you insure only some items, but not all?

If insured, does your company require a detailed inventory and updates, etc.?

How does one add new models?

How are evaluations made?

Do you think that what you are paying for insurance coverage is reasonable?

Are their specific insurance sources that seem to understand the hobby especially well?

Denny


Denny S. Anspach MD
Quarryville, PA

Tim O'Connor
 

Denny

I enquired of my insurer many years ago what the best way to protect
my models was. They say that "household coverage" protects everything
in my home up to 2/3 of the entire insured amount for the house (i.e.
in addition to the actual physical house insurance). Since most houses
are overinsured (at least in New England, where land is typically a
large part of the home's value) this covers my models just fine.

The most important thing is to be able to document what you have, with
pictures, receipts, whatever... and keep that in a safe place.

Tim O'Connor

James SANDIFER
 

Homeowners insurance will not cover our collection unless they have a special rider. You can insure your railroad through the NMRA or a company line American Collectors Insurance. I have used the later for many years and include some of my wife’s collection in the coverage. It costs about $60 per $10,000 of coverage. You can log onto the NMRA website or the ACI website and see more details.

 

 

J. Stephen Sandifer

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2017 3:19 PM
To: Steam Era Freight Car List
Subject: [STMFC] Loss Protection for our freight cars.

 

 

I have generally, and perhaps carelessly, not considered value when considering protection for my accumulated RPM freight (and other) models. Seeing what finely finished Westerfield and Sunshine models (and kits) are bringing on eBay and elsewhere tends to narrow one’s thoughts in this regard, however. A recent friend’s total (TOTAL) loss of every single model, layout, and everything else in California’s Ventura fire truly raises the issue to even a higher plane.

Very simply, how do listers protect their modeling investments from loss, i.e. through household insurance, special hobby insurance, no insurance at all, etc.?

Do you insure only some items, but not all?

If insured, does your company require a detailed inventory and updates, etc.?

How does one add new models?

How are evaluations made?

Do you think that what you are paying for insurance coverage is reasonable?

Are their specific insurance sources that seem to understand the hobby especially well?

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Quarryville, PA

Tony Thompson
 

Steve Sandifer wrote:

 
Homeowners insurance will not cover our collection unless they have a special rider. You can insure your railroad through the NMRA or a company line American Collectors Insurance. I have used the later for many years and include some of my wife’s collection in the coverage. It costs about $60 per $10,000 of coverage. You can log onto the NMRA website or the ACI website and see more details.


    Maybe a difference in policies. My State Farm agent says my homeowner's DOES cover the model railroad as long as I have a description of major contents.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Rod Miller
 

On 12/31/17 1:18 PM, Denny Anspach danspachmd@... [STMFC] wrote:
I have generally, and perhaps carelessly, not considered value when considering protection for my accumulated RPM freight (and other) models. Seeing what finely finished Westerfield and Sunshine models (and kits) are bringing on eBay and elsewhere tends to narrow one’s thoughts in this regard, however. A recent friend’s total (TOTAL) loss of every single model, layout, and everything else in California’s Ventura fire truly raises the issue to even a higher plane.
Very simply, how do listers protect their modeling investments from loss, i.e. through household insurance, special hobby insurance, no insurance at all, etc.?
Do you insure only some items, but not all?
If insured, does your company require a detailed inventory and updates, etc.?
How does one add new models?
How are evaluations made?
Do you think that what you are paying for insurance coverage is reasonable?
Are their specific insurance sources that seem to understand the hobby especially well?
Denny
Denny S. Anspach MD
Quarryville, PA
A good friend lost about 25% of his layout in the northern
CA fires. Not only was there fire damage, the water damage
to the remainder of the layout and the many pieces of rolling
stock stored under it in their original boxes was break taking.
Most structures on the portion that didn't burn were total
losses because of water hoses dragging over them, etc.

I invited my insurance agent to my shop and layout to ask
the how best to make sure all was covered appropriately.

For both the shop and layout he suggested photos and brief
descriptions. For the shop
I will provide the model number of each piece of equipment
(mill, lathe, shear, etc.) along with the photos. For the
layout he suggests photos to provide an idea of the scope,
then a count of the various cars (freight, passenger) and
an average per car replacement cost, and the same
with brass and plastic categories for the locomotives. Then
the rolling stock replacement cost is simple arithmetic:
number of pieces of each type times the average replacement
cost for that type. For books I will take photos of the spines,
come up with a count, and a replacement cost. I will store a
copy of this documentation in the cloud, and send another to
the agent.

Different insurance companies may have different approaches.

IMHO the key is to have your insurance agent tell you what
to do, and to insure for the actual replacement cost (not
acquisition cost discounted for age). Plan on a 100% loss
from a fire even if everything didn't burn - smoke, water,
firemen doing their job, etc.

--
Rod Miller
Handcraftsman
===
Custom 2-rail O Scale Models: Drives, | O Scale West / S West
Repairs, Steam Loco Building, More | 2018 Meet is May 24 - 26
http://www.rodmiller.com | http://www.oscalewest.com

Layout Tour
 

Denny,

The NMRA offers very reasonable insurance for members for their layouts and models:

https://nmra.org/search/node/insurance

Chuck Davis

Norfolk VA

Jeff Shultz <jeff@...>
 

My homeowners insurance coverage includes up to $10,000 coverage for "collections" without an additional rider. I do have a rider, but it is for a piece of non-railroad related art. 

On Dec 31, 2017 2:25 PM, "mylvrr@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

Denny,

The NMRA offers very reasonable insurance for members for their layouts and models:

https://nmra.org/search/node/insurance

Chuck Davis

Norfolk VA

Larry Smith
 

For all Property and Casualty insurance it is smart also to make an inventory of everything you have.  Also as the agent recommended, take photos of everything and then store them off site.

You can purchase additional coverage with you homeowners insurance, but you have to include all of your model railroad equipment in with your wife's jewelry as well and they will only cover what is listed.

Collectors insurance, which is what the NMRA offers is all encompassing.   It covers everything, layout, books and rolling stock and locomotives.  Our club currently has the NMRA insurance and it is only $350 a year for 75K of coverage.  That covers total loss of everything.  By the way, the NMRA Insurance covers your equipment at shows as well, whereas the homeowners policy may not.

Again check with your agent and see what the limits are on your coverage if you add your model railroad equipment.

Larry Smith

Jon Miller
 

On 12/31/2017 2:48 PM, larry Smith wooddale@... [STMFC] wrote:
 Our club currently has the NMRA insurance and it is only 
$350 a year for 75K of coverage.

    When compared to what regular insurance for the home costs that is very high.  It's very similar to rider insurance in cost.  Check your policy to see what it says, some insurances do not exclude models and some will.  But whatever don't call your trains art:-D!

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Douglas Harding
 

I enquired of my agent years ago. He said the rider his company offered could not come close to the NMRA program, dollar for dollar. I learned this after a basement flood, where I had 14” of water. I had coverage, up to $5000, only because the water came up via the drain. No coverage if it came through the walls or windows. When I completed doing the dollar inventory of what actually got wet, and I only had 14” so it was mostly what was sitting on the floor, it still came to over $10,000. They covered the unbuilt Fine Scale Miniature kits, but I still got a check for only $5000, the max of my coverage. I can not image the loss if it had been overhead plumbing or some other such disaster.

 

The cheapest coverage is one that requires an exact inventory. General blanket policies do not cover as much per dollar of premium.

You will be amazed when you start doing an inventory, esp at the dollar totals. And don’t forget all the detail parts, decals, etc.

I have over 1000 volumes in my library. A $10,000 rider will not come close to covering the library, let alone what is in the basement. A 35+ years of accumulation adds to many thousands of dollars.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

Larry Smith
 

Jon

Our club isn't housed in a home, but in a science center.  Home owners coverage can't be purchased on our inventory at any price.  Yes it does cover models and layout and all of our books.

Larry Smith

Dean ONeill
 

Tony Thompson and all,

That is interesting. I have State Farm homeowners insurance, and I called about my large collection of freight cars (twice).

They said it was not covered as it was a special hobby collection, and that I would need additional coverage.

So, to me, those conflicting answers indicates special diligence is needed.

 

Along the same lines – make sure you have a disposition plan should you get hit by a bus. My wife knows not to toss my collection it the dump, but ideally, it would go to a better cause. One guy recently passed his large collection to the NP Railway Historical Association – family gets half of the proceeds, NPRHA gets the other half for selling it.

 

Dean ONeill

Redmond WA

 

Tim O'Connor
 


J. Stephen Sandifer wrote 
Homeowners insurance will not cover our collection unless they have a special rider. You can insure your railroad through the NMRA or a company line American Collectors Insurance. I have used the later for many years and include some of my wife's collection in the coverage. It costs about $60 per $10,000 of coverage. You can log onto the NMRA website or the ACI website and see more details.


That's pretty pricey, although it's not completely outrageous. But it is about 5x
what my homeowner's insurance charges for coverage. I have found similar variability
in life insurance plans.

I was told that special riders were only needed for special "one of a kind" items
that were particularly valuable, but not brass or similar items that were expensive
but nevertheless are not considered to be "art objects". But of course I'm sure it
varies from state to state, and with insurers. I remember that jewelry was especially
expensive to insure, probably because of the risk of theft and loss.

Tim O'Connor

Jon Miller
 

On 12/31/2017 7:23 PM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:
I remember that jewelry was especially
expensive to insure, probably because of the risk of theft and loss.

    I helped a person out who wanted to sell a ring.  The appraised value of the ring was 13K however the highest price a jeweler would pay was 3K (wholesale).  I paid a little over the 3k and insured it with a rider for 3K.  Still was expensive but you can see the problem with jewelry.

    I don't think we have that kind of problem with model RR equipment as almost everything we have could be replaced with at least a similar item.  And then I have some stories about home burglary and insurance replacement!:-D

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Jared Harper
 

We had a house fire in 2013.  We had replacement coverage and everything burned and damaged in the fire was replaced, no hassle, including art.  Fortunately the model railroad was relatively undamaged but our insurance  would have covered it.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA

Jared Harper
 

Keep in mind that not all insurance companies are the same.  It helps greatlt to have pictures of all you stuff.

Jared Harper

Jon Miller
 

On 12/31/2017 7:23 PM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:
But of course I'm sure it
varies from state to state,

    Some ad on TV states " I should have had a different insurance company".  When one buys insurance they should determine if it covers your model RR including all the freight cars be they resin or plastic.  You might just want to hunt for one that does!:-)

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Carl Gustafson
 

One of the things I don't recall seeing mentioned is whether or not the insured value will include just the kit
(if kit-built) or the cost of having someone build and paint it.

Carl Gustafson

William Canelos
 

My son has USAA insurance replacement cost.  Had a big hail storm which destroyed his roof damaged the siding gutters and some wood trim,  It also destroyed his very large outdoor g scale railroad including all the buildings(about 32), 17 freight cars, and smashed the ties out of the rails, and 27 switches and very expensive number six switches.  No custom items like we make.   The adjuster came out and told him to list every item and show a catalog or advertised MSRP retail price for each item. it was a total pain, but they paid off every item at full msrp price. He made out fine and I collected all the building parts that were still ok or which could be epoxied and fixed up about half of them  or kitbashed some into completely different things. The freight car bodies were not repairable, but the trucks and metal wheels were fine excep for a couple of side frames.  Also many other parts were salvaged.  Most of the rails were ok, but none of the switches were worth trying to repair, but most of the motors were salvaged.  We were able to buy replacement ties and save 85%of the rail.  So financially he made out great,  but the repairs were time consuming and it took about 4 months to get thing back to normal(sort of).

So the point is that there was nothing special about these items and documentation was readily available, so he got paid off well.   For custom items like we make it would be difficult to find a comparable item.  Even if we documented the cost of adding detail parts, original kit price, trucks and couplers etc.  It would be completely time consuming to do it and keep all the receipts etc. for each of our many items.  Also we would never be able to get reimbursement for our research and labor.  I have a headache thinking about it.  A piece of jewelry can be appraised, but a custom freight car?????   Perhaps the group could look into getting an NMRA master model railroader to becoming an appraiser!!

I have USAA and they indicated that custom work is extremely difficult to insure for the reasons stated above.

since I am very new to the site I may have missed some of the posts in this thread.

Bill




Tony Thompson
 

My agent explained to me that hobby and other "special" home contents are common and only require some documentation. But extraordinary items like valuable art can require a rider because they are outside the norm. Obviously your agent makes a call whether your layout etc. is "extraordinary" or not.
Tony Thompson 


On Dec 31, 2017, at 7:23 PM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

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