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Author: ortman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 17885  
Subject: Question regarding Renter's Insurance Date: 1/15/2001 5:46 PM
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I was pricing out some renter's insurance - and wanted to try finding an answer to the following question before I ask the insurance agent(s).

I don't own much stuff. I took inventory, and found that a $35,000 policy should be fine for me. A simple break down:

Personal Belongings (clothes, appliances, furniture, etc) : $14,000
Books (not of a rare nature - just a lot of books): $6,000
Comic collection (some rare and collectible): $15,000

I was pricing policies which offer actual replacement value. Given that, I have the following assumptions:

In a total loss situation, I would be able to obtain $14k for the loss of my personal effects.

I would also be able to obtain $6,000 for the loss of my library. This value represents the price it would take for me to go to the local bookstore and purchase a library of similar size and quantity. I obtained this figure by taking the number of hardcover, softcovers, and paperbacks - and multiplying by the average price at the bookstore for said items. Will this serve me well if I ever need to file a claim? I won't need an actual list, will I?

My main question is in regards to the comic collection. I have some 6,000 comic books. Some of these are worth nothing - while others are worth several hundred dollars.

I briefly spoke with a GEICO sales rep regarding this issue. She informed me (to the best of my understanding) that a replacement value policy would pay to replace 6,000 comic books - but would not recognize the inflated value on many of my more rare books. I got the impression the price I would be awarded would be the equivalent of what one would pay if they went to the local comic shop, and purchased 6,000 new comics off the rack. She said that I might look for an additional policy to cover the worth of these items.

If that's the case, then I might be ok. The average cost of a new comic is about $2.50. Given the size of my collection, it would cost about $15,000 if one were to go to the store and purchase 6,000 comic books. The fact that I have many books worth nothing, while many that are worth hundreds of dollars - leads to an average worth that more or less matches the current cover price on new comics.

Given that, it seems that I would be ok in the event of a total loss. Of course, if I were to lose one or two particularly valuable issues (i.e. theft) - then I would be hosed, as the policy would only cover the loss at about $2.50 per comic.

How large is the gap between my understanding of the situation and reality? Would the recognize the value of a comic book as being about $2.50? Or would they somehow obtain another figure?

Thanks for your time - sorry for the length of my post.
-Ortman
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