Do I need special coverage for my record collection?

By Insuranceopedia Staff | Last updated: June 13, 2023

When I first saw this question, I thought it would be a straightforward one to answer. But after doing a bit of research, I realized that it's much more nuanced.

In most circumstances, there is no need to get special insurance coverage for your record collection, as long as you own it purely for enjoyment and it's not part of your business as a radio station manager, record store owner, or DJ. Your records will be covered under your home insurance as personal property. As long as you make sure to have a high enough limit to cover both your personal property and your record collection, that should do the trick for most people (but be sure to check out An Intro to Insurance Sublimits to know what to watch out for).

The problem comes when you file a claim and there is a dispute about which category your record collection falls under. We'll go over the three most relevant categories to illustrate the issue: regular personal property, memorabilia, and electronic media.

Personal Property

In the best case scenario, your insurer will deem your record collection to be regular personal property. This will give you full coverage with no special limitations. It will likely be on a replacement cost basis (if possible) and the loss will be treated exactly the same way as damage to your sofa would be.

Unfortunately, this classification is unlikely.


The second best scenario is if the insurance company considers your record collection to be memorabilia or a collection of some kind. In this situation, your payment will be subject to a maximum limit. Since memorabilia is either one-of-a-kind or difficult to replace, the payment will be for actual cash value, rather than replacement cost.

This is the most common classification for record collections. So, if your collection is large and valuable, it would be best to buy a separate policy since the value of each record may exceed the maximum coverage limit provided under your standard home insurance policy (learn more in Personal Property Floaters 101).

Electronic Media

When I spoke to some colleagues and underwriters, some of them mentioned cases in which the insurance company would consider a record collection to be electronic media. If this is the case, then you would likely have no coverage whatsoever under your standard home insurance policy.

Worth Looking Into

Since few people build a record collection without at least some financial investment and dogged dedication, being left without adequate coverage is taking quite a risk. Given the uncertain nature of the situation, speak to your broker or agent and let them know about your collection. They will be able to verify your coverage and ensure that you have the coverage you need (see Insurance Agents: What's the Point? to find out how they can help).

Share this

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Insuranceopedia Staff
Whether you're facing an insurance issue or just seeking helpful information, Insuranceopedia aims to be your trusted online resource for insurance-related information. With the help of insurance professionals across the country, we answer your top insurance questions in plain, accessible language.

More Q&As from our experts

Term of the Day


Insurance is a financial arrangement in which one party pays another to protect itself from a particular loss. Insurance…
Read Full Term

Stay informed with Insuranceopedia!

The world of insurance can be complicated. Subscribe to the Insuranceopedia newsletter and stay in the know! Access expert content, industry term definitions and answers to your questions from knowledgeable insurance insiders. Arm yourself with what you need to know to keep your assets and your family safe.

Go back to top