Editor’s note: The following tips to help safeguard your old iron collection are in addition to “Policy Questions,” Jules Irish’s article about the age-old question on whether to insure your collection.
Memorabilia collector tips
- Scatter your collection – it prevents a thief from stealing it all.
- To avoid moisture damage, store on shelves and not in a basement.
- Don’t store valuable collectibles in “mini-storage” facilities.
- Get a professionally installed central-station alarm system – one that rings at the house and notifies a security company or police station.
- Use a post-office box if buying in the mail – collector mailing lists with addresses can fall into the wrong hands.
- Purchase good-quality deadbolt locks.
- Do not buy a safe that weighs less than 500 pounds. “You’ve just gift wrapped your collection,” says Dan Walker, owner of Collectibles Insurance Agency, Westminster, Md.
Dealer or exhibitor tips
- Show setup and takedown are the most vulnerable times for theft.
- Be sure no one follows you after a show.
- Stay alert during show hours.
- Have more than one person in a booth and never leave it unattended.
- Have more valuable items on back tables or in special cases.
- If flying, take items on the plane when possible – do not ship them. “Shipping is becoming more hazardous and less friendly when people have losses. Insurance that covers shipping – but not the type offered by the shipping companies – is more important than ever before,” says Walker.
Tractor collector tips
- Take photos of each tractor from opposite corners – one showing the front and left; the other showing the rear and right.
- Do not store collectible tractors in a building that is subject to fire, such as a two-story wooden barn with hay in the rafters or a building with poor electrical wiring.
- Store collectible tractors in a building with a low fire potential, like a one-story frame, metal or block building with no volatile materials inside.
- Keep tractors under cover.
- Don’t store in a remote or isolated building – this may increase the risk of theft.
On the road?
- Don’t park overnight in a remote parking lot.
- Choose a well-lighted parking space, preferably near your room.
- Stay close to your tractors.
- When possible, travel with tractors in a securely locked, enclosed trailer. FC