How (and Why) You Should Insure Your Sneaker Collection
The transition of sneaker culture from niche to mainstream in the past few years has seen collections get bigger and more valuable – and more prone to potential disaster. A decade ago, insuring sneakers may have seemed like a silly idea, but a shoe collection today can be worth as much, if not more, than a house! Sadly, collections get stolen and/or damaged more often than you think, so it’s worth having some sort of financial contingency. So, whether you’re a sole trader (pun intended) or a corporate giant, you gotta have some protection. Here’s a basic guide to getting your sneaker collection insured – but be sure to check with financial and legal experts before you sign on any dotted lines.
Catalogue Your Collection
Assuming there is some depth to your collection, it should really be catalogued. Haven’t done it yet? There’s a great guide here. In short, cataloguing your collection accounts for everything you own, and means they are covered by the insurance. Even deeper details like size and packaging status may also help with valuation.
Get Your Collection Valued
As part of the catalogue process, it might even be worth keeping receipts or noting the price of the shoes. Of course, with the secondary market being the size it is today, it’s also important to get a rough market value of rarer items. The caveat is however, many insurance providers will factor in depreciation depending on how old the items being insured are.
Find An Insurance Provider
Most, if not all insurance companies will provide some form of home contents insurance with some degree of coverage for typical household items like shoes. However, a decent sneaker collection may go beyond what an insurance company deems a reasonable amount of shoes and their value to cover. This is where specialised insurance policies come in.,
Back in 2015, American insurance provider AIG launched policies for couture and wearable high fashion items – items often priced well beyond even the most valuable sneakers. However, this option is likely best suited for the upper echelon of collector with true single-digit run sneakers and other rarities. It’s likely this tier of sneakerhead has already taken additional measures to protect their collection (storage and security, etc.) so they are likely all over the insurance game.
For more mortal collectors with regular rotations, but considerable amounts of heat, it may be better to tack on an insurance rider to a general home contents policy. This is a common strategy for people who collect and store valuables like art, jewellery and musical instruments at home – so why not sneakers?
Keep Records Up-To-Date
Many people simply stick with their existing insurance provider for a long time and either ignore or don’t think about updating their policies. It’s possible sneaker insurance becomes an emergent niche within the industry and offers specialised service, so watch this space. Similarly, while some insurance providers may reward loyalty and good risk mitigation practices with lower rates, sometimes they have to be proactively sought out. Ask and you may receive! And of course, it's unlikely your sneaker collection will remain static as time goes on, so keep your provider up to date with any acquisitions and liquidations to ensure coverage is accurate.
Ultimately, collecting any sort of valuable item – physical or otherwise – is fraught with risk. Insurance is simply a measure to ensure some financial peace of mind in the unfortunate incidence of damage, loss or theft. While cash settlements can recuperate some of the lost soles, as many collectors in all interests will know, some items are simply irreplaceable. Always seek professional financial and legal advice before entering any sort of insurance policy to ensure you find the product that best suits you and your sneaker collection’s needs.