In May of 2021, a rare 1979 Wayne Gretzky rookie card was sold for a price that set a new record for the most expensive hockey trading card in the history of the sport. The price was 3.75 million US dollars. Although that was a one-of-a-kind piece of sports memorabilia, there are thousands of sports fans across Canada who have extensive collections of uncommon things. All of these pieces have enormous emotional and financial value, which is why it is an absolute necessity to secure them with an insurance plan.
If you have treasures in your possession that are both financially and emotionally significant, such as a collection of sports trading cards, jewelry, watches, fine art, coins, stamps, wine, or any other item, it is imperative that you protect these valuables with the appropriate insurance coverage.
Private collectors in Canada have always had limited alternatives to choose from when it comes to insurance coverage. Either they could work with a well-known high-net-worth (HNW) insurance carrier (although in most cases, this would require them to fulfill a certain HNW risk profile in order to obtain coverage), or they might try to get very limited coverage under a conventional homeowners’ insurance policy. Due to the paucity of available options, the majority of private collectors today either have insurance that is grossly inadequate or none at all.
On the other hand, there is a new managing general agency (MGA) in town that is prepared to fill this coverage gap and provide insurance solutions for the most valued possessions of Canadians. Private Collection Insurance offers a variety of one-of-a-kind high-value item coverage plans that can protect a wide range of valuables, including expensive jewelry, luxury watches, coin, stamp, and wine collections, from a variety of potential risks, including theft, fire, flood, and accidental breakage.
“We wanted to build a company that specializes in understanding and protecting people’s passions, personal interests, and experiences and cultural,” said the founder and president of Private Collection Insurance, who is himself an avid hockey card collector. He recognized the importance of his own acquisition (which was sitting in boxes in his basement) when he revisited his old passion during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We desired to create a business that specializes in acknowledgement and helping to protect people’s impulses, interests, and unique assets,” said the founder
The first obstacle that this new MGA will need to overcome is convincing private collectors that they really do require insurance. “I collect sports cards, and I spoke to some other collectors, and none of them had insurance,” commented the company’s creator. Some of them are carelessly sitting on assets worth millions of dollars that aren’t covered by insurance, but they don’t give it a second thought. On the other hand, given that I work in the field of risk management, I don’t share that same sense of boundless optimism. Because I am aware that unfortunate and unanticipated events do occur – and because we see them occur on a daily basis in this line of work – I wanted to make sure that private collectors are aware that they are not covered adequately, and we want to give that insurance coverage.
There is a significant business opportunity presented here for insurance brokers. Not only is this a significant coverage gap that needs to be filled – and one that is expected to grow in North America as collectibles appreciate in value – but also, it needs changing the communication that takes place between the broker and the client to something a lot more personal, which in turn has benefits for client retention, cross-selling, referrals, and business development.
The creator of the MGA described the industry as “a joyful industry.” “Brokers will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about people, including their routines and interests. For instance, if you started talking to me about sports cards, I could go on for hours; the same is true for people who collect coins or wine; and the same is true for people who collect sports cards. It’s a different dialogue, one in which a broker can really get to know their customer on a more personal level and gain an understanding of what drives them.
In addition, from an errors and omissions (E&O) point of view, the coverage plans that are made available to brokers by Private Collection Insurance are quite crucial. The company’s founder provided the following explanation: “If something were to happen to your client’s jewelry collection or their wine collection, and you did not offer them this coverage, despite being told that it is available, that could potentially result in an E&O claim because brokers are responsible for ensuring that their clients are covered adequately. If brokers have customers who own expensive objects, and if the brokers do not properly advise their customers on how to insure those items, the brokers could be held accountable for any loss that occurs as a result.
Private Collection Insurance is backed by Lloyd’s of London, and Canadian brokers will be the only ones to get Private Collection Insurance plan information. The MGA is now active in Canada, and its leadership is considering making plans to launch operations in the United States in the not too distant future.
The company’s founder stated that “in the previous few years, collecting things have grown in value by an incredible amount.” “Nothing is going south, everything is heading north, and we want to provide brokers with another choice for insuring the high-value products that their customers own. We don’t just sell generic, off-the-shelf things like everyone else does; our offerings are unique. We are extremely eager for the future, we appreciate a good challenge, and we are here to provide a competitive alternative option that will be offered in the market.