Why You Need Gun Insurance

Presentation-inscribed Metropolitan Arms Company, New York. 36-caliber; 5-shot percussion revolver with 4 1/2-inch barrel.  Serial #2086.  About identical to the Colt Model 1862 “Police Model” revolver. Original, profuse factory engraving and ivory grips.  Uniquely inscribed along the top of the barrel in two lines (in place of the usual maker markings):  “PRESENTED TO HON. E. C. STACEY BY CO. C. 2’D REGT MINN. CAL’Y JAN 1, 1864.” Edwin Clark Stacey, an attorney, played an active role in politics of Minnesota Territory and was later elected a judge.  The 2nd Minnesota Cavalry saw service in the notorious Minnesota Indian uprising and also service against Indians in the Dakotas and the West.
Presentation-inscribed Metropolitan Arms Company, New York. 36-caliber; 5-shot percussion revolver with 4 1/2-inch barrel. Serial #2086. About identical to the Colt Model 1862 “Police Model” revolver. Original, profuse factory engraving and ivory grips. Uniquely inscribed along the top of the barrel in two lines (in place of the usual maker markings): “PRESENTED TO HON. E. C. STACEY BY CO. C. 2’D REGT MINN. CAL’Y JAN 1, 1864.” Edwin Clark Stacey, an attorney, played an active role in politics of Minnesota Territory and was later elected a judge. The 2nd Minnesota Cavalry saw service in the notorious Minnesota Indian uprising and also service against Indians in the Dakotas and the West.

The hazard of fire is also ever-present. Not a few articles have been written on insurance; the subject is well covered in the James E. Serven book The Collecting of Guns and in several American Rifleman articles. In broadest terms, antique and collectors’ firearms are not best covered under the most commonly used “Home Owners” policies.

In most circumstances under that type coverage, a maximum fixed percentage (usually 10 percent) of the total value of the policy would apply to items such as firearms. Also, a limit or maximum dollar value would be set for any one piece, coverage generally applies only to guns actually on the premises and claims most often are paid on an actual cash or cost basis or even according to replacement cost less depreciation.

A favorite gun of the popular star of many early Western movies, Wild Bill Elliott.  Highly ornate Colt single-action 45-caliber revolver (serial #350594) entirely covered with an abundance of cattle brand motifs by the well-known engraver Cole Agee.  Chrome-plated finish (as occasionally seen on handguns used in films) with silver-mounted ivory grips.  Elliott’s film career in Westerns began in 1927 and continued through to 1954. (As illustrated in The Peacemakers; Arms and Adventure in the American West, courtesy of the author)

Highly ornate Colt single-action 45-caliber revolver covered with cattle brand motifs by the well-known engraver Cole Agee. Chrome-plated finish (as occasionally seen on handguns used in films) with silver-mounted ivory grips. (As illustrated in The Peacemakers; Arms and Adventure in the American West, courtesy of the author)

Establishing some of these factors often entails considerable administrative as well as emotional problems after a loss has occurred. Special waivers and riders can cover some contingencies, but experience has shown that collectors rarely bother to adequately investigate their coverage for antique and collectors’ guns under a Home Owner’s policy.

The result is very much a case of closing the barn door after the horse has gone. One of the best and broadest types of coverage for antique and collectors’ firearms is under policies known as “Fine Arts Floaters.” Any good, knowledgeable insurance agent will be familiar with them. A number of attractive plans are even offered by some of the larger collecting organizations.

The key feature of the Fine Arts policy is the fact that each and every gun in the collection is itemized and valued and kept on record with the insurance company and agent. These policies normally have provisions allowing for coverage even when the guns are on exhibit at a show and in transit. Should a loss occur, settlements are normally quicker and are generally for the amount on the scheduled list.

It is, of course, quite necessary to continually update the schedule as prices change, or as items are bought or sold. Coverage under Fine Arts policies has not only been found to be broad in scope, but often features advantageous rates. They are well worth investigating.

COMMENT