TL Dallas supplies specialist books and collectables insurance policies that are approved by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA).
This month Molly Jones, from TL Dallas in London, provided a blog for the PBFA’s website and has also attended the York National Book Fair at York Racecourse.
Molly said: “Having developed a suite of specialist policies for collectables, we feel privileged to have protected hundreds of book shop owners, book dealers, book binders and private collectors for over 30 years.
“Our book dealer policy was one of the only ones to pay out for business interruption due to Covid-19 during the three lockdown stages, so we know how valuable our advice and cover has proved for so many. At the present time, over £2.5 million has been paid out to our clients in relation to these claims.
“We are also proud to support and join you at several of the book fairs taking place across the country this year.
“When it comes to insuring valuable collectables, we understand no item or client is ever the same. A bespoke approach is always needed with someone knowledgeable and experienced on the end of the phone a must – not some centralised call centre or online only contact form! We also pride ourselves on offering a personal service with our in-house claims team.
“As you would expect we insure against flood, fire, theft, damage and losses, but we also help our clients with other insurance policies, including household insurance and can make sure any specialist collectable items in the home are well protected. As part of the household policy we provide, book dealing or book binding activities at home are all covered without affecting the household policy, which is something that some insurers do not allow.
“Dealers, collectors, binders and shop owners have faced so many challenges of late, due in part to the pandemic, but the determination and passion for what you do is clear for all to see.
“We understand that when you need to get precious cargo from A to B quickly and insure the books you are taking to a book fair, sending to buyers or storing away, you want to call us, tell us how much they are worth and get an immediate quote – without time consuming valuations. We also still accept cheques as payment – something we know appeals to many of our clients!
“We also provide insurance cover that protects you if you have unwittingly sold or bought a stolen item. The defective title cover came in handy for two of our clients recently, one who had bought a book and another who sold it not knowing it had been stolen many years ago. The cover allowed the book to be returned to its original owner with no financial losses for either party, as the policy paid out.
“Over the years we have handled many interesting and unusual claims. On one occasion a man came into a book shop from a neighbouring pub and mistakenly thought he was in the lavatory, relieving himself across a shelf of valuable books!
“There was also one claim where a book dealer was doing some “DIY” around the home and the hammer he was using flew out of his hand right into a cabinet containing rare vases. The hammer hit one vase and subsequently knocked the other three over, one by one!
“As well as books, we are also experienced in insuring unusual collectible items including gaming cards. Over the past few years, the trading card game (TCG) market and sports cards market has boomed. With prices at all-time highs, collections are worth more than ever before!
“This year it was confirmed that a collector, named Logan Paul, had broken the record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at a private sale with a coveted PSA Grade 10 Pikachu Illustrator card selling for $5,275,000 (which is £3,862,424!) To illustrate the growth in the market, a SGC Grade 2 Honus Wagner card (a baseball player from the early 1900’s) sold for $1,000,000 in the year 2000 – that same card has since sold in 2022 for $7,250,000!
“Now, your average collector will not hold a PSA Grade 10 Pikachu or a SGC Grade 2 Honus Wagner, however their collections are still their prized possession, and more and more collectors understand the importance of insuring their cards, due to the drastically increasing market.
“We are also seeing huge demand for retro toys and other sports memorabilia including Lego and Scalextric. Some Star Wars Lego sets can be worth thousands of pounds, and clothes worn by famous sports stars like Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali can amass millions of dollars.
“There are regular conventions held in the UK where collectors and vendors browse a huge range of new and old collectibles, in which our insurance is imperative, and we know from client feedback that the peace of mind it gives them is invaluable.”