a different kind of insurance qstn -----

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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Have any of you guys ever tried to get an appraisal of your rocket collections, for household insurance coverage against fire or theft? My insurance agent tells me that if my rockets are a 'specialty collection' (versus plain old toys), then they have to be appraised and covered under a special rider policy.

For my unbuilt stuff, it's pretty easy to just make a list and then point to a catalog and say 'this one costs this much' and 'that one costs that much.' The only problem there is that I have about six big boxes of unbuild stuff that if I take it all out to inventory I'll never get it back into the boxes. But how do you measure the value of the time and effort you have sunk into the built birds (if you even can do such a thing)?

Micromister, you must have about a buzillion dollars worth of time sunk into your micro fleet. Some of the rest of you do too. Has anyone ever gotten an appraisal or extra insurance?
It seems you'd pay a pretty penny for an appraiser to research the value of a large rocket fleet than spans, say 30+ years. I don't know if professional appraisers would have much experience in this area. Plus, there may not be much actual value in built kits. I know I may buy an old, unbuilt kit, but probably wouldn't spend hardly anything for a built one.

Nevertheless, this is a very interesting topic that I have never seen mentioned.
If your house burned down (God forbid) and all your 'stuff' was destroyed, what would be a fair price for the insurance company to reimburse you? If that price includes some old or collectible kits, built or unbuilt, how would you establish those values?

I kind of figure I would have to be the one supplying the substantiation to an appraiser, as I expect he would not have a clue where to begin looking.
For normal items you can provide documentation. For collectables/valuables that are separately scheduled, you need an appraisal. A lot of what goes into an appraisal is like items/comparables. You could certainly provide what you had but they would have to do research, as much as possible.

Why it may not be worth it is that for old items, the value doesn't necessarily hold or go up. It also may not matter what you paid for the kit, or the time and materials you spent in building it, but rather what someone would pay for it. ie you 'ruined' the value of the kit by building it.

I am just thinking out loud. We need a rocketeer who is either a appraiser or in the insurance biz. My comments are soley driven by my interest in hearing a real answer :)
Originally posted by rstaff3
you 'ruined' the value of the kit by building it

And this is a perfect example of my question. I don't really want to buy someone else's built kits either, and I suspect there is very little market for such. That would explain why you don't see such items for sale on R.O.L. or ebay.

As far as setting the value of a built kit, I would have to say that an individual would have to be pretty arrogant to insist that something increased significantly in value just because HE built it. What I was really after was: would 'replacement value' cover the cost of what you paid for getting a collectible kit? And maybe some (small) reasonable allowance for the glues and paints you used?

The National Rifle Association used to offer equivalent insurance to members (maybe still does) to cover collectible firearms. I remember an art collecting website that offered insurance. Maybe this is something Tripoli or the NAR might want to look into? Of course, flight-related losses would have to be exempt, but someone could probably make a few extra $$$ for their organization by selling this?
Interesting thoughts. Maybe you should pose the question to the NAR.
I doubt that the NAR would be of much help...

The way I would approach it is this:

For non-collectables, whatever the current retail cost of the kit is what "replacement value" would be

For collectables that are in the SAME condition as when you bought them (eg: built ones are still built, unbuilt ones are still unbuilt), you can either claim your purchase price (assuming you have those records) *or* you could use the sale of a duplicate item from a recognized auction house (eBay should qualify)

For collectables that have been *modified* (eg: an unbuilt collectable that you then built), I would go with a recent auction of a duplicate unbuilt kit on the principal that, while you may have reduced the value of the kit by building it, it would still cost you $XX to buy another unbuilt one to build.

All of this is just my opinion based on how i've seen insurance contracts written, your milage may vary... :)

Easiest way would be to take such a suggestion to your insurance agent and get his approval, then you're golden.


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