How to protect your family heirlooms for future generations

How to protect your family heirlooms for future generations

When it comes to your family heirlooms, you can’t help but be passionate about them. You probably also want to ensure that they are safe from damage or theft, especially if you know that they will one day be handed down to future generations.

But when it comes to protecting the irreplaceable mementos of our lives, how can you ensure their safety and security? This guide will show you how to protect your family heirlooms and collectibles, keeping them safe and sound to continue a legacy into the future.

1. Keep a record

To begin with, make sure you have detailed records of the items: their descriptions, costs, and appraisal values. This will not only help you insure them properly, but will provide a comprehensive account in case of theft or loss, which will come in handy when it comes time to make a claim. In addition, this information may be useful in case you are ever audited by the IRS for tax purposes. These records are often requested during an audit; therefore, the more information you have on hand about each item, the better off you’ll be. Be sure to include details such as where and how you acquired each piece of property, including receipts if possible, as well as details about any restoration work that has been done.

2. Store them safely

When it comes to keeping a family heirloom protected, the first rule of thumb is to store it safely. Putting a piece that is worth thousands of dollars in an enclosed space, or even on a shelf where it could be damaged, is asking for trouble. The best thing to do is buy a large, airtight and stable box or chest, take photos of everything, and then store each item separately. You may even want to categorize them by a number or code that matches your written records. The next step? Put that box away in storage where no one can get to it easily. For highly valuable items, store them somewhere secure, like a bank safety deposit box.

3. Get a collectible insurance policy

Collectible insurance policies are used to protect antique and collectible items, and depending on how valuable your collection is, getting one could be a wise decision. For example, if you inherited a hand-carved grandfather clock from an uncle who purchased it from an upscale store in New York City, getting insured wouldn’t just be smart—it might save you thousands down the road. Fortunately, getting a collectible insurance policy doesn’t have to break your bank; most insurance providers offer affordable rates, depending on what kind of coverage you need.  So when it comes to protecting your hard-earned treasures, consider adding a collectible insurance policy to your arsenal.

4. Plan to pass them on

There are many ways to plan to pass on heirlooms, but if you’re looking to leave them to others—especially pieces with high-value or a lot of meaning within the family—putting your plans in writing is a good idea. While it may not matter to you at that point, it can mean the difference between keeping your wishes intact and an all-out family feud.

Additionally,  you may want to discuss your plans with your insurance provider—they can oftentimes provide customized coverage that protects the item through—or even after—the transition.

Whatever you’re looking to leave behind, what types of coverage you need or the questions you may have, we at Penny Insurance are always here to help you along the way. If you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.

Insuring Family Heirlooms- From Generation to Generation

Insuring Family Heirlooms- From Generation to Generation

Insuring Family Heirlooms—from Generation to Generation

Some of the most valuable things in life aren’t those that were expensive—they are things that are truly unique. Like the old grandfather clock that sat in your ancestor’s living room to the family ring that has been a part of more weddings than you have, these family heirlooms are the foundation of our own backgrounds and characters, and can be—quite literally—irreplaceable. For that reason alone, you should make sure you are doing what you can to take care of them—including insuring them in case of loss, theft or damage. 

What is considered a family heirloom?

While the word “heirloom” brings up ideas of art passed down for generations, or a piece of priceless jewelry, the reality is that an heirloom is anything of value that is passed down from generation to generation. Practically, this means that everything from furniture, clothing, serving ware, textiles and more could be considered an heirloom. As such, any of these things can be worth insuring, if they are valuable enough for your family.

What kind of insurance will I need to insure an heirloom?

There are a few different types of insurance that may cover an heirloom, depending, of course, on what the heirloom is. Homeowners insurance may cover items within the home, but generally will not recognize the inherent value of a specific thing, so typically you will be looking at more specialized policies. Other options are personal property insurance, which focuses coverage on a per-item basis. At Penny Insurance, we offer Valuable Items Insurance, which takes into consideration the value you place on an heirloom item.

When in doubt, it’s best to consult your insurance agent for guidelines on what can be insured and for how much. Even if they won’t cover it, there is a great chance they will know who will. 

How do you insure a family heirloom?

Insuring the most precious of items isn’t hard—even though there are a few things you’ll need to do to get everything in order. Here is a step-by-step process for getting your family heirlooms insured.  

1. Locate and List

What do you consider a family heirloom? Is it—practically—worth insuring? Do your due diligence and determine what pieces you would like to insure—from artwork to jewelry or even grandma’s vintage recipe book. Once you have compiled all the information you can, you’ll need to find out what it’s generally worth.

2. Get an appraisal

While an appraisal can’t tell you how much you value grandpa’s old watch, it can give you a more complete picture of what you have to insure—the monetary value of the item, how old it is, and maybe even a bit of background information you didn’t have before. All of this information will be vital to have on hand as you meet with your insurance agent. 

3. Work with your agent

Once you have all the information in place, schedule a time to sit down with your agent and go over the details of what you want to insure and for how much. They’ll be able to not only walk you through the process and the price, but often may also give you ideas on how to protect the item, or coverage options you should consider. 

4. Keep them safe

While it’s great to have Aunt Cindy’s stole insured in case something happens to it, keep in mind that there is no compensation equal to that of losing something that held personal value for you, so you’ll want to make sure you keep your family heirloom as safe as possible. Consider how you will store and care for the item until it’s ready to pass down to someone else—and when you do, let them know how they can go ahead and protect and insure it, as well.

No matter what type of heirloom you want to insure, Penny Insurance is ready to help. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know. 

Secure Your Valuables

Secure Your Valuables

Most families have items that hold special meaning to them, whether its heirlooms passed down from generation to generation or high-value possessions. When it comes to protecting these prized belongings, safe storage space is key. Art, jewelry, and fine china are a few examples of valuables that need to be stored in special conditions; and to be kept in pristine condition, each of these collectibles require special care.

Fine Art

Some of the best artwork is hidden safely away to preserve the natural beauty of the piece. Art can easily be damaged and the most common risks include tears, smudges, stains, and even fingerprints. To protect your art from the elements over time, minimize direct contact with the piece as much as possible. This may mean storing it away from prying hands and animals or setting up a barrier or protective covering. If you do choose to store it, you have several options to ensure its quality. You can wrap the piece in plastic or place it in a Styrofoam box as both options will keep your art safe from outside contact. Your art’s storage space should be dry and kept at a consistent temperature to promote longevity.

Fine Jewelry

From engagement rings to grandma’s vintage pearls, all of the precious gems, stones, and metals that make up jewelry collections should be cared for accordingly. For pieces you wear every day, you can protect them from tarnishing or wear and tear by placing them in a softly- lined jewelry box. The box’s cushion can prevent scratches from occurring accidentally when the pieces are placed in their secure home. If you own high-value jewelry that is only worn on special occasions, then it needs to be kept in a more secure location. Safes and lockboxes are good options, and they should be placed in hidden locations to keep thieves out.

Fine China

Fine China is often only used on rare occasions, so that means it can be stored for lengths of time between uses. If this is the case with your fine china, keeping it stored in the right conditions can be the difference between damaged pieces and usable ones. If your china isn’t stored within the safety of a suitable display cabinet, the alternative is to place it in specialty storage bins. These types of bins are available from several major retailers and can ensure your china stays in good condition. The other option would be to use regular storage boxes. If this is the case, your priority should be to wrap all of the china individually and make sure they are placed securely in the box. Labeling the boxes correctly is also a crucial step, as a worst-case scenario could be mishandling a box that is improperly labeled.

Possessions can be considered high-value because of price or sentimental value. Either way, it’s important they are protected in all possible ways, and that includes insuring them. At Penny Insurance Agency, we understand that your high-value assets need to have the proper coverage for your ultimate peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our customized plans for valuable items.


Penny Insurance Agency Now Represents PURE Insurance

Penny Insurance Agency Now Represents PURE Insurance

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C.—Penny Insurance Agency will now represent Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) Insurance. PURE Insurance focuses exclusively on the high net worth personal lines insurance market.

“Our decision to represent PURE Insurance allows us the opportunity to service another market for high net worth,” Will Penny, President of Penny Insurance Agency, said. “PURE Insurance is the pinnacle of property and casualty insurance for the high net worth marketplace. Being an independent insurance agency, we wanted to offer our clients the best possible options rather than just one company.”

About Penny Insurance Agency

Penny Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, specifically Tryon, Hendersonville, Asheville, Landrum, Campobello and Spartanburg and is licensed in multiple states. Founded in 1931 with a mission to provide the very best insurance protection at the most affordable price, Penny Insurance is still serving as a leading independent insurance agency for families and businesses. Contact Penny Insurance Agency at its website or by calling 828-692-9171. Connect with Penny Insurance Agency on Facebook and Twitter.

About PURE Insurance
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) is a member-owned reciprocal insurer dedicated to creating an exceptional experience for responsible high net worth individuals and families. PURE provides customizable coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability, watercraft, flood, fraud and cyber fraud to more than 75,000 responsible, high net worth families throughout the U.S. Inspired by some of the finest policyholder-owned companies, PURE emphasizes alignment of interests and transparency.

PURE’s low cost of capital, careful member selection and proactive risk management all contribute to highly competitive rates. In return for a fee, PURE Risk Management, LLC acts as Attorney-in-Fact for PURE. PURE membership is subject to an executed Subscriber’s Agreement & Power of Attorney. For more information or to find a local broker, visit You can follow PURE on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Penny Premier: Hiring Staff for the Home 101

Penny Premier: Hiring Staff for the Home 101

>Hiring administrative personnel or domestic staff for your home is one of the most important decisions a successful family must make. These people help ensure that the family can thrive over multiple generations and run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. To mitigate the risks of making the wrong hire, it’s important to establish a plan that includes a strong application, review and interview process. Penny Premier partnered with Chubb Insurance to unearth what should be your focus when interviewing staff for your family. Read more about intricacies of hiring domestic staff here.

All I Want for Christmas: Insuring Your High-Value Holiday Presents

All I Want for Christmas: Insuring Your High-Value Holiday Presents

The countdown to Christmas is on!  The holidays are a magical season in which we can truly enjoy time with our loved ones and make memories. This holiday, you may be planning on gifting a present that is exceptionally high value—that engagement ring she’s been wanting, that laptop he’s been eyeing, or even that sweet new set of wheels to your much deserving loved one. Whatever you are gifting this year, you want to be focused on the joy of giving, not on the safety of your gift. You may want to consider giving yourself the gift of insurance—that is, insuring your high-value holiday presents this year.

Home Owners’ Insurance May Not Cover Your Presents: Home insurance is supposed to cover the items in your home—including presents—in the event of a fire or theft. However, most home owners’ insurance policies are capped and may only cover a portion of your present. If your present is lost to something that is not covered in your home owners’ policy, you may be left with no way to replace it. Review your home owners’ policy with your insurance agent and make sure you fully understand what it does and does not cover over the holiday season.

Get Your Presents Appraised: If something were to happen to your high-value gifts, you’ll want to be able to replace it as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. In order for that to be possible, you must be able to prove the value of the present. We recommend that you get your high-value presents appraised. If you are gifting jewelry, you can go to a licensed jeweler to get a certified appraisal. For other high-value gifts—like a piece of art —you will need to go to a specialist.

Insure Your Assets: Once you get your high-value gifts appraised, meet with your personal insurance agent to discuss what your best options are moving forward. You may determine together that you need to insure that family heirloom you plan on gifting to your girlfriend or that new high-tech gear you’re giving to your child before they head off to college. While you cannot replace the sentimental value of a priceless family heirloom, you can protect its financial value.

Be Wary of Theft: Proactively protect yourself and your assets this holiday season and take measures against theft. The holidays see a spike in burglary so be sure to keep your doors and windows locked and your alarm systems on. If you are going to be out of town for the holidays, do not publicize your plans on social media. If a burglar knows your home is unoccupied, your property becomes a much more enticing target.

The holidays should be a joyful time of year filled with love and the spirit of giving. Eliminate the extra stress of worrying about your high-value presents this Christmas and give us a call today. Our Penny Premier Concierge team has the industry insight and experience necessary to help you determine your best insurance option. At Penny Insurance Agency, your peace of mind is our priority. Happy Holidays to you and yours!