Are The Valuables in Your Home Protected Against Theft or Damage?

Are The Valuables in Your Home Protected Against Theft or Damage?

Part of the Buffalo sports memorabilia collection owned by John Boutet.
Keep your collectables, antiques and memorabilia safe
Kip Doyle

From coins to art to sports memorabilia, anyone's personal passion can be turned into an eye-catching collection, especially if they have some space at home to keep all of the items they've accumulated.

Collectables are a massive industry, with the collectables market holding a global value of $370 billion, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, the global art market reached $67.4 billion in 2018. There is big money in items that are deemed rare, one-of-a-kind and desirable to investors and collectors.

But collectors aren't the only ones paying attention to the high price tags of collectables. Crooks are interested as well.

Billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach, who grew up in Amherst, had his Santa Monica home burglarized in 2012. Paintings by Piet Mondrain and Jasper Johns were taken, and the total value of the stolen art was put at $3.2 million. All of the art was eventually recovered.

Another collector with local roots is John Boutet of Grand Island. He has amassed what is arguably the greatest private collection of Buffalo sports memorabilia. Boutet's collection, known as the "Buffalo Sports Museum" is displayed in the basement of his home, although he is working to have the collection included in the planned BFLO Hall of Fame Experience.

Part of the Buffalo sports memorabilia collection owned by John Boutet.
Courtesy of John Boutet


"Collecting to me is about bringing back the happy feelings you had as a kid. One of the coolest things in collecting for me is to find an item and think about the life of that item," Boutet said. "Who owned it before me? Where did it come from? Because in reality we are simply caretakers of collectables. They will be here long after we are gone and someone else will then be the new caretaker."

That is, as long as those prized items are protected from theft or damage. Boutet, who's favorite items in his collection are his 100-plus year old Buffalo Bisons baseball programs and ticket stubs, says there are methods for protecting and preserving vintage and valuable items.

"I highly recommend taking every precaution by using common sense when displaying. Keep (the item) away from sunlight, store it in a cool dry place and limiting touching," he said. Boutet also pointed out the importance of a reliable security system.

These precautions can help keep your collection safe in normal circumstances, but they won't prevent theft or a catastrophe, like a flood or fire.

If you want to have your collection protected, AAA Insurance can help, David Hodge, AAA Western Central New York VP of Insurance, said.

"Our partnership with Chubb Insurance allows us to offer Masterpiece Valuable Articles Coverage. These special policies provide individualized coverage, including blanket and itemized options," Hodge said.

With this coverage through Chubb, appraisals are only required for individual jewelry pieces valued at $100,000 or more, fine art items valued at $250,000 or more, and collectables valued at $50,000 or more. Otherwise, only a detailed description and estimated value of items is required.

Insurance agents will work with clients upfront to determine the value of their items. Then, for covered total losses, policy holders get 100% of the agreed value as a cash settlement.

A number of other AAA Insurance options provide protections for valuables being kept at home.

"Whether you have collection of antiques, paintings, vintage trains or autographed baseballs, we can help you find a policy that covers your items and gives you peace of mind," Hodge said.


Do you want to protect valuable items in your home against theft and damage? AAA Insurance agents are ready to help you find a policy that will protect your collection!

AAA Insurance

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