Look, I don’t want to fear monger here, but with this climate change thing crashing down around us we need to have a talk. Typhoons in Asia, fires in Europe and Western America, massive hurricanes in the Atlantic; these and other catastrophes are all enemies of your beloved music collection. So, let’s chat now to make sure we’re not kicking ourselves later. If a disaster hits, what’s the best way to ensure your entire collection is covered? If you read the title of this post, then you may already know: the Discogs Collection, available with a free account on the largest music collectors’ website in the world. Nowhere else can you have the most complete repository, including release variant, of what is in your collection.
You may be asking, why does information like the release variant matter? Well, my friend, because insurance companies will “…use the information you provided, and give the lowest damn value we can possibly justify for your item,” according to this Reddit post from a former insurance claim adjuster. Yeah, a little disheartening, I know. There’s a catch though if you’re diligent enough to take advantage of it. Take their toaster example:
- If you said “toaster – $25”, we would have to be within 20% of that… so, we would find something that’s pretty much dead-on $20.01.
- If you said “toaster- $200”, we’d kick it back and say NEED MORE INFO, because that’s a ridiculous price for a toaster (with no other information given.)
- If you said “toaster, from Walmart”, you’re getting that $4.88 one.
- If you said “toaster”, and all your other kitchen appliances were Jenn Air / Kitchenaid / etc., you would probably get a matching one.
- If you said “Proctor Silex 42888 2-Slice Toaster from Walmart, $9”, you just got yourself $9.
- If you said “High-end Toaster, Stainless Steel, Blue glowing power button” … you might get $35-50 instead. We had to match all the features that were listed.
Now we’re talking! If you’re able to provide more precise notes, you’ll get a more precise reimbursement without having to worry about getting short-changed*.
Considering a vinyl record collection, an insurance adjuster could look at your notes this way:
- If you said “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – $10”, we’d give you about $8
- If you said “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – $100”, we’d say NEED MORE INFO, because that seems incredibly high for a vinyl record (remember that the adjuster is trying to get as low a reimbursement as possible)
- If you said “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon used”, we’d give you about $10 because that’s what it’s frequently sold for in record shops
- If you said “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon”, and all your other records were used/vintage you’d see about $10
- If you said “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – Harvest – SHVL 804. Original form of the release, it has solid light blue prism LP picture labels with silver lettering, later forms have an empty prism. It has a gatefold sleeve, and there are three known variations of the original blue-tinged sleeve. Originally delivered with 2 posters and 2 stickers,” we’d give you the median value of $151.
As long as you’re keeping your Discogs Collection up to date, you’ll be covering the most accurate index of your collection. To make this process even easier we have an export to CSV tool built-in. If your insurance company needs a full list of the items in your collection, you can simply download the data and send it over.
I know collectors with collections worth a pretty nice used car. You wouldn’t want all that value to just disappear, or be woefully under-reimbursed. It would be adding insult to injury. Take the time to make sure your collection is an accurate and up-to-date index and if you don’t already, consider getting some insurance for that beautiful treasure of yours.