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model train insurance

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model train insurance
Posted by Kenny350 on Monday, March 28, 2011 8:28 PM

I want to buy insurance to cover my investment in trains.

Are there any companies who cater to  train people???

Or any companies that you have got a great deal from.

Thanks guys

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Posted by Howard Zane on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:04 AM

I shopped for this once as my railroad is over 2800 sq ft and brass collection then was over 1800 pieces (sold in 2005). the best I could find was around 40 cents per $100 of value which translated to literally buying a new house every year whether I needed it or not. There are companies that still offer this and doing an on-line search will probably bear fruit. Also an ongoing inventory was required along with current photos/video.....which is an excellent idea... insurance or not.

Also check your home owners policy. Many companies vary on just what is covered. You may be pleasantly surprised. I think the NMRA has some kind of policy or can lead you to a company offering this. I'm also pretty sure that TCA and TTOS offer the same.....but I doubt if there will be much of a cost savings. It is worth a shot.

Tips....to counter cost of insurance for theft or fire

1. get a big ugly, loud, and mean looking dog ( a continuous reel of barking sounds also is good)

2. vary your travel schedule as often as possible

3. When going out for an evening, hire a train sitter just as you would hire a baby sitter. This is easy and quite logical. (This is also a great protection should a fire occur during your absense)

4. when traveling for a period of time, hire a house/pet sitter. (I have been doing this for over three decades and the cost is a mere fraction of what insurance would cost)

5. have as many cars in driveway as possible, leave lights and TV on.

6. Alert your immediate neighbors should you be traveling for a period of time and inform them of the house sitter.

7.do not show off your railroad or collection to strangers, or at least try to be selective.

I have found that if a claim is filed, many companies will spend considerable time and money trying not to pay the entire amount. Be very careful here.....read the 8 point type, or have a lawyer assist you.

My ten cents....

HZ

 

 

Howard Zane
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Posted by bobwrght on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:20 AM

I have used Collectibles Insurance Services 1-888-837-9537.

Pleased with them.

Bob

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Posted by Forty Niner on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:25 AM

You can add them to your currect home owner's policy under a seperate notation, increase your contents coverage with a notation about the trains, or even ask about placing them under a "fine arts" policy such as antiques or something such as that would be listed.

Contact your insurance and ask him what he can offer as it's always cheaper to "add on" to your current homeower's policy.

Ouw home is insured for $250,000 but our contents are insured for $500,000 because of clocks, stamps, and model trains split at $150,000 for normal contents and $350,000 for the "other" stuff.

I am insured with American Family Insurance and they have been very good about taking care of these things for me at a reasonable price.

Mark

WGAS

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:56 AM

Unless you have real collectibles worth a fortune in your train collection, I´d suggest to include it in your regular home owner´s coverage. Insurances dealing in insuring collections are more likely to be a lot more expensive.

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Posted by grizlump9 on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5:44 AM

i hate to jump into the middle of a controvery here but my personal experience is that collectibles insurance co beats my home owners coverage hands down in all respects.  i have state farm on the house and i can't believe they are not competitive with the other major companies.

in my case, adding this coverage to my regular home owner's policy would have cost me a lot more money for a lot less coverage with more limitations.

grizlump

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Posted by Jimmydieselfan on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5:55 AM

Forty Niner

You can add them to your currect home owner's policy under a seperate notation, increase your contents coverage with a notation about the trains, or even ask about placing them under a "fine arts" policy such as antiques or something such as that would be listed.

Contact your insurance and ask him what he can offer as it's always cheaper to "add on" to your current homeower's policy.

Ouw home is insured for $250,000 but our contents are insured for $500,000 because of clocks, stamps, and model trains split at $150,000 for normal contents and $350,000 for the "other" stuff.

I am insured with American Family Insurance and they have been very good about taking care of these things for me at a reasonable price.

Mark

WGAS

I hghly doubt you have half a million dollars worth of contents and clocks, stamps , trains. So why have so much coverage? This is whats wrong with America today, people  try to take advantage of something they don't deserve. Half a million, give me a break.

N Scale Diesels......I like 'em

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Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:06 AM

Once you add up ALL of the contents of your house, you'd be surprised how quickly it adds up. If he has it insured at replacement cost, rather than the deflated costs, that changes things also. And where does he say that he's going to get paid a "half a million dollars"? He just stated that he has $500,000 worth of coverage for the contents of his home. And believe me, if he has that much coverage, he's paying for it; not taking advantage of something he doesn't deserve. Don't be so quick to judge, until your cheaper insurance balks at paying for your model railroad empire. The old adage STILL holds true, "You get what you pay for."

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Posted by galaxy on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:14 AM

I lost all my belongings to a {rented} house fire in 1991. Thank goodness I had a renter's policy.

As a single person, I calculated I lost about $32,000 of stuff just in normal nominal priced stuffed. I had a simple Ho layout then and didn't even include it. But I had a record, tape and CD collection that added up. Even 5 pairs of Levi jeans today amounts to about $150 or more! ANd think of all the stuff in your bathroom...I didn't even have a comb to comb or brush my hair the next day at teh motel I stayed at as they didn't provide them! I had $20k in coverage and got it all, the balance discrepancy I got a "portion of a percent" of the remaining loss in deduction on my taxes.

A computer back then was about $3k and I lost one.

Everyone: take pics of every room in your house, open your closet doors and snap some shots and keep in say a safe deposit box at teh bank to prove you had what you say you had. Then try to add up replacement cost for every item and you will see you have a lot more than you think! It does not matter if it is clean or messy, just snap some shots of every corner in your rooms and basements, gargaes, attics, sheds, etc. Make a list of serial numbers for the expensive items that have them, such as appliances, electronics, etc.

Make sure you have FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE on your policies.

Just a fair warning based on personal experience!

-G .

Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

 HO and N Scale.

After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

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Posted by cacole on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:01 AM

I have no experience with separate insurance to cover collectables, but in past dealings with regular homeowner's insurance companies, when something is stolen they will depreciate its value according to when it was purchased and how much it cost at the time of purchase.

In some cases, they will even ask for proof that you actually owned the article(s) (photos or receipts) and will ask to see a catalog entry showing the actual replacement cost.

If the item can't be replaced because it's no longer available, they will give you a very reduced payment based on its depreciated value.

If you decide to insure your trains, keep very accurate records with photographs and receipts proving that you really owned the items, and keep those records in a secure location away from your residence.  Meticulous records do no good if they are also lost in a house fire..

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Posted by pastorbob on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:10 AM

I have had my layout and equipment insured on my homeowners policy for several years.  It is a separate policy attached to my homeowners, and they accept my excel files for equipment verification and pricing.  Had one claim when a drain line backed up and soaked some kits still in boxes with bad water.  They paid because I had the spreadsheets with purchase date, purchase price, etc.

Of course if I changed to a different homeowner policy and company, I am sure I would have to do a new rider for the train equipment.

Bob

Bob Miller http://www.atsfmodelrailroads.com/
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Posted by Forty Niner on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:23 AM

Jimmydieselfan

 Forty Niner:

You can add them to your currect home owner's policy under a seperate notation, increase your contents coverage with a notation about the trains, or even ask about placing them under a "fine arts" policy such as antiques or something such as that would be listed.

Contact your insurance and ask him what he can offer as it's always cheaper to "add on" to your current homeower's policy.

Ouw home is insured for $250,000 but our contents are insured for $500,000 because of clocks, stamps, and model trains split at $150,000 for normal contents and $350,000 for the "other" stuff.

I am insured with American Family Insurance and they have been very good about taking care of these things for me at a reasonable price.

Mark

WGAS

 

I hghly doubt you have half a million dollars worth of contents and clocks, stamps , trains. So why have so much coverage? This is whats wrong with America today, people  try to take advantage of something they don't deserve. Half a million, give me a break.

Whether you beleive me or don't is really no concern of mine but considering you don't know me or anything about me then make a statement such as this just proves what I have said for a long time. I won't repeat it here out of respect for the moderators and the forum, but I feel certain you can probably "guess".

Mark

WGAS

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5:04 PM

I have State Farm for my homeowner's insurance and I have a rider on my home owner policy for my layout.  My agent came out to my house and took pictures and video of the layout and the equipment that I had.  As I continue to increase my collection every 3 months I send my agent a file with pictures of the new items I bought and what I paid for them and what replacement cost would be on that day if possible, I have collected some items that it's hard to put a replacement value on it so my agent uses the fomula of cost + 15% for replacement value.  Since normal depreciation values doesn't apply in this rider so you don't have to worry about loss value due to age of your equipment but you will lose some value on the layout due to wear and tear.   The problem is you can't put a real value on man-hours put into the layout.  But at least if the worst case scenario happens you can recover most of what you lost and rebuild again.

 

Ray

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Posted by rclanger on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:44 PM
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Posted by Medina1128 on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 4:04 PM

There is a free program called "RRTrains". It has a feature to allow you to attach pictures of each piece of equipment.

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Posted by fwright on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 5:02 PM

I guess I take a somewhat different approach.  To me, the purpose of insurance is to prevent catastrophic failure of family finances.  Insurance (again to me) is not a pre-paid savings plan for the minor but almost certain bumps in life.  I can do much better in the long run by putting the insurance premium into a savings account to cover the minor but not catastrophic events of life.

Loss of hobby items is by definition non-catastrophic.  My train stuff was bought with surplus funds.  In the event of total loss, they would be replaced (gradually) with surplus funds.  If there are no surplus funds, I make do with what I already have, or do without.

The sad reality is that aside from theft at an open house, there are very few plausible scenarios where there would be a claim for my trains but not for anything else.  And I wonder how willing most insurance companies would be to cover a loss from theft at an open house.  Almost all other insurable losses to the trains would likely be in conjunction with theft or damage to the house.  And dealing with the loss to the rest of the house or contents takes priority over the trains.

So the only insurance I have on the trains is whatever my home owner's policy provides.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

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  • From: Boonville, In
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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:32 PM

fwright

I guess I take a somewhat different approach.  To me, the purpose of insurance is to prevent catastrophic failure of family finances.  Insurance (again to me) is not a pre-paid savings plan for the minor but almost certain bumps in life.  I can do much better in the long run by putting the insurance premium into a savings account to cover the minor but not catastrophic events of life.

Loss of hobby items is by definition non-catastrophic.  My train stuff was bought with surplus funds.  In the event of total loss, they would be replaced (gradually) with surplus funds.  If there are no surplus funds, I make do with what I already have, or do without.

The sad reality is that aside from theft at an open house, there are very few plausible scenarios where there would be a claim for my trains but not for anything else.  And I wonder how willing most insurance companies would be to cover a loss from theft at an open house.  Almost all other insurable losses to the trains would likely be in conjunction with theft or damage to the house.  And dealing with the loss to the rest of the house or contents takes priority over the trains.

So the only insurance I have on the trains is whatever my home owner's policy provides.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

My view on insurance is that if I lose everything from a fire or tornado I want to be able to replace it and go on.  As for surplus money whether or not you have insurance won't affect what you can buy to replace, but there are things you bought many years ago that you couldn't buy now due to cost.  Example are some Brass engines that I bought in the late 80's and there is no way I could either buy or even perhaps find them again for what I paid for them back then.  For me the added cost of the rider on my insurance policy isn't that much per 6 mo.  I am looking at $80 per 6 mo.  $160 a year is peace of mind to know that if something happens I can at least rebuild and restart and not have to do the "I wish I had insured my layout" phrase.

 

Ray

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Posted by Forty Niner on Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:55 AM

You will be surprised at how much you "won't" get from your insurance company even if you would loose everything, they will want documentation for almost every item you own.

I have found over the years that "theft" is not a problem with my trains except from other model railroaders, yes, it happens when you trust someone sometimes. My main concern has always been "fire" as that will wipe out everything you own beyond salvage.

But it is a decision that each person has to make on their own, if you are comfortable without extra coverage then by all means don't buy it. If, on the other hand, you have accumulated a sufficent quantity of equipment that you would find hard pressed to replace then extra coverage might just be a reasonable alternative for you. Again, a decision that you must make for yourself.

The OP requested information regarding this process and I and a few others tried to respond to his questions to the best of our ability, sarcastic comments aside, if he is thinking about it then he should at least look into it and make his decision based on facts.

In the end run it doesn't cost anything to inquire about the coverage and he might find out it's cheaper than he realizes, check with your local agent as I'm sure he has "all" of the information you require.

Mark

WGAS

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Posted by Kenny350 on Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:24 AM

Thanks Bob...I have contacted Collectibles insurance. There are very reasonable

and provide replacement cost insurance.

Thanks again for everyone's comments

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Posted by bobwrght on Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:05 AM

Your welcome. I started using Collectibles Insurance some 20 years ago mostly for Antique Clocks i restore. Don't have to send an inventory unless you have a loss and they cover items in transit to shows and back. They understand the collectors needs.

Bob

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Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:28 AM

Oh, and as an aside, along with taking pictures of everything, KEEP your receipts. We have a fireproof filing cabinet that we keep our important documents in. Not only is it invaluable in an insurance claim, it'd come in REAL handy come tax time; not having documentation to justify your tax deductions if you're ever audited. They say to keep your documentation for 7 years; whenever I make a purchase, or pay a medical expense, the paperwork gets scanned and saved in PDF format. I do a weekly backup and the DVDs get swapped out at our safe deposit box at the bank. Sometimes, being OCD comes in handy, my wife likes to say.

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Posted by Forty Niner on Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:30 AM

bobwrght

Your welcome. I started using Collectibles Insurance some 20 years ago mostly for Antique Clocks i restore. Don't have to send an inventory unless you have a loss and they cover items in transit to shows and back. They understand the collectors needs.

Bob

Soooooooooo, another clock collector/model railroader huh? The two just seem to go togther some how, probably has a lot to do with the tools being able to be used for both of the or just a fasination with "gears". I've had to trim my collection back quite a bit since we moved to our current house. I had "my" collection and then when my Dad died I inherited his collection so I literally had them lined up in rows in the basement and had the wall clocks "stacked", and this was after I had the upstairs completely full of all of the "keepers". What's your main interest? Anything in particular?

Mark

WGAS

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Posted by Mike Kieran on Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:18 AM

Forty Niner

You will be surprised at how much you "won't" get from your insurance company even if you would loose everything, they will want documentation for almost every item you own.

I have found over the years that "theft" is not a problem with my trains except from other model railroaders, yes, it happens when you trust someone sometimes. My main concern has always been "fire" as that will wipe out everything you own beyond salvage.

But it is a decision that each person has to make on their own, if you are comfortable without extra coverage then by all means don't buy it. If, on the other hand, you have accumulated a sufficent quantity of equipment that you would find hard pressed to replace then extra coverage might just be a reasonable alternative for you. Again, a decision that you must make for yourself.

The OP requested information regarding this process and I and a few others tried to respond to his questions to the best of our ability, sarcastic comments aside, if he is thinking about it then he should at least look into it and make his decision based on facts.

In the end run it doesn't cost anything to inquire about the coverage and he might find out it's cheaper than he realizes, check with your local agent as I'm sure he has "all" of the information you require.

Mark

WGAS

Mark brings up a very good point. Most thefts are from other model railroaders.

A fire is more likely to decimate your collection (remember John Allen?), especially wiring. Alot of older homes have cloth insulation on the wiring and the newer homes have shoddy wiring put in by unskilled workers (aprentices).

As for leaving your paperwork in a fireproof box, they may melt since an entire house engulfed in flames can bring high temperatures. I would recommend a bank safe. They can withstand a higher temperature.

__________________________________________________________________

Mike Kieran

Port Able Railway

I just do what the majority of the voices in my head vote on.

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Posted by cmrproducts on Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:31 PM

Our Model Railroad Club experienced a fire back in 1990.  We lost everything and had no insurance - not because we were not going to get any but had just moved and needed a show (to have enough money) to purchase it (we do have it now BTW)!

But my point is that each of the members in the Club also lost items in the fire.  As we had no idea what to do after the fire about any coverage - I ask my Home Owner Insurance agent about if there was anything that could be done (as the members were just going to write all of their loss off)!

The agent stated that my policy covered OFF Premises items and I was able to receive a payment of my losses to my personal property (trains and tools) that were lost in the fire at the Club.

It was rated at 10% of the Content Policy Value so it covered everything I lost and I only have to give them an inventory of the items!

What I am driving at here is - if you have a realy good Insurance Agent - they may have coverage on your Contents and you may not even know it - I had no club that I would be able to get compinsated for my loss.

Each Insurance Carrier is different and each of our members had to check with each of their own policies but I believe most all were able to recover some money for their losses!

When I had my current layout well along - I had my current Insurance Agent out to our new house to make sure our policy was up to date and I then had her go down into the basement to look my layout over.

Once she recovered from the shear size of the layout -

I looked her in the eye and ask - is this covered with my current policy? 

She ask if the stuff was collectable and I stated NO - just regular production trains and that I had an inventory & pictures of it all.

She said YEP - Its covered!

BOB H - Clarion, PA

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:29 PM

Jimmydieselfan

 

 Forty Niner:

 

You can add them to your currect home owner's policy under a seperate notation, increase your contents coverage with a notation about the trains, or even ask about placing them under a "fine arts" policy such as antiques or something such as that would be listed.

Contact your insurance and ask him what he can offer as it's always cheaper to "add on" to your current homeower's policy.

Ouw home is insured for $250,000 but our contents are insured for $500,000 because of clocks, stamps, and model trains split at $150,000 for normal contents and $350,000 for the "other" stuff.

I am insured with American Family Insurance and they have been very good about taking care of these things for me at a reasonable price.

Mark

WGAS

 

 

I hghly doubt you have half a million dollars worth of contents and clocks, stamps , trains. So why have so much coverage? This is whats wrong with America today, people  try to take advantage of something they don't deserve. Half a million, give me a break.

Let's see. A blue collar husband and wife in their mid fifties both working full time bringing in a $100,000.00 a year. After 35 years of work they have earned $3,500,000.00. Then throw in some inherited items. Why is it hard to imagine having $500,000.00 worth of possessions at this point in their lives????

 

                                                                      Brent

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:05 PM

As far as insurance paying off on a claim, that's why I have the rider added to my policy and why my agent came out and documented everything on my layout and all the equipment I owned and why every 3 months I have to send in a updated list of anything I bought along with copies of the receipts.  It's setup as replacement value not just a static value.

I think we have covered this topic pretty well, we all have our own opinion on what or how to cover the loss of our layout if something goes horribly bad and we lose everything.  The amount of coverage we have is a personal choice and should not be scoffed at by anyone.  Remember opinions are like a__h__es everyone has one and no opinion is any better than any other.  We are here to share information and help each other to better and further our hobby in a positive way.

 

Ok my 5 mins on the soap box is over.

 

Ray

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