I had always rather assumed that the 'garages and outbuildings' bit of my house contents insurance would cover engines but when it came up for renewal this time I thought I'd ring to check. Confusion!

"Engines - what like spare car engines? Er, well no it's more of a collection really. Oh yes, we cover collections, like stamps and things, if you keep them in the house. Well, they are a bit bigger than stamps and live in the garage."

Eventually she decided that while tools and equipment were covered, old engines (she hadn't really got to grasp with what we were talking about) probably wouldn't be.

So, looking round for something else, I saw the Walker Midgely ad in SEM. They certainly knew what I was talking about but apparently require each item to be separately listed with its 'market' value (determined by whom?).

Well, there may be some collectors who have a number of fancy show engines with well established values for whom making such a list would be a simple job but I, and most others I know, have an ever changing miscellanea of 'projects' in various states of completion. None of which are particularly valuable individually but, if the lot were to go up in smoke or something, I'd certainly want some kind of financial kick start to get going again.

What I really need is an agreed value for garage/workshop contents if disaster strikes.

Any solutions out there?


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Nick H
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W-e-l-l, when I had a break in of the garage some years ago, they just nicked the tools & as I have a large white-painted board which now had no spanners on it, I just showed it to the assessor & Robert was my father's brother. I got over £2,000 fort hand tools - amazing how it adds up - and about £500 for power tools.

The door was damaged where the little swine had kicked the panel in & the insurers (Norwich Union) replaced the doors (beyond practical repair) by fitting firestop doors & cladding them externally with 1/8" steel sheet! I saw the bill from the builders & that came to another £2k. - and they didn't load my insurance the next year either.

Now, not desperately helpful up to now Nick, I know, but probably the best thing I can think of is to drag blinking into the light the valuable engines, take their photo, get (say) Paul Evans or Geoff Challinor to agree a value - a donation would probably do the trick! Print off two sets of photos, write the s/n on the back of each one. Seal one in an envelope & send it to yourself Recorded Delivery to obtain a reliable date mark & store unopened somewhere safe. The other set you keep to remind yourself of what's in the sealed envelope! Update annually.

I'd have thought most insurers would accept that.

I have no financial axe to grind, but might I recommend Gary Alexander of The Beechtree Consultancy. He insures Regia Anglorum, the Longhall at Wychurst, the Wessex SEC & the Bristol & SG SEC. I'll make a separate post of a scheme I'm adapting for engines in transit that is evolved from one written for BBC cameramen. Please feel free to mention my name.

Very useful fellow.

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Kim Siddorn

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This is the proposal I put forward for my SE club. See what you think - might be useful for your club too.


Kim Siddorn

Insurance Against Theft & Accidental Damage

I have been looking into a new policy that would insure our members against loss by theft of their equipment. It was originally written for BBC camera & sound operatives in order to protect their stuff whilst in transit and at events, so is pretty much suited to our needs. It is expected that whilst at home, your engine stuff will be protected by your domestic Contents Insurance & theft from your home will be excluded.

Here's what it will cover

a.. Engines & equipment carried in trailers. So long as they are secured by straps or ropes or permanently bolted to the trailer your equipment will be covered. b.. Non-commercial road trailers. If you use a trailer solely for domestic purposes and transporting your engines & driven equipment and have taken reasonable steps to secure it by clamping a wheel or fitting an anti-theft device to the tow hitch, it is covered. c.. Theft from your vehicle overnight, Conditions - Insured items out of sight, alarms where fitted must be switched on & the vehicle must be locked & immobilised. d.. Theft from your vehicle in transit. As long as the conditions have been met as above, you stuff will be covered in places like service stations etc.. e.. Theft whilst loading or unloading. From reports, this seems to be the time of greatest risk & there are no special conditions if you are actively involved in moving your stuff from the vehicle or trailer to (say) an exhibit site. f.. Theft whilst exhibiting. As long as you are taking reasonable care of your stuff, it's covered. The felonious but unseen hand that unscrews your glass oiler whilst your attention is elsewhere would be covered. However, if you are negligent - like leaving loose stuff close to the rope & going to lunch - I'm afraid you are on your own! g.. Damage resulting in a total loss or simple loss. Most engine stuff is pretty sturdy, but occasionally a mounting lug gets broken or a small but valuable item lost in transit.

The premium for this cover will be £250 for £10,000 or £500 for £50,000, plus tax. The plan is that the club will pay the premium & its members will be encouraged to buy into the scheme. £10 will cover you up to £5,000 worth of cover, £20 will get you £10,000 etc. The cover will be written to "(The Club) and its members", thus offering insurance to the club as a body as well as its members as it does on our TPL cover. All claims will carry a 15% excess.

Not all members will want or need to be insured and it is expected that those who DO want to be covered will eventually be in sufficient numbers to cover the premium. A list of those who have "bought in" to the scheme will be kept & only they will be able to claim on the cover provided.

Reply to

The best insurance I have found is a bloody big alsatian in the yard. Never had any burglars or attempts so far, but did have a car door panel kicked in when parked outside, the youth responsible got a little slap on the wrist from the court and the damage was less than the loss of no-claims bonuses. So I just sent a couple of big blokes to tell him of my displeasure, so to speak, and he has behaved ever since !

Reply to
Mike the Brewer

Yeah, they make for wonderful fire extinguishers. :-)

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