Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Insurance for Fossils?

I like to read messages on the Fossil Forum website on the Internet from time to time.  It has posts from all over the world and provides a picture of what other fossil enthusiasts are interested in.  The other day I read a concerning post of a member who had part of their fossil collection stolen.

Luckily, they had insurance and a good insurance carrier who worked with them on the values of their fossils.  The person did not have the collection properly documented or photographed so insurance did not pay the full amounts for the value of the collection stolen.

The person who posted the story had some advice for those who maintain fossil/mineral collections:

1) Insurance companies will investigate claims made on collections and a red flag to them is if a person does not have good credit or a history of financial problems.  So if problems exist in ones credit report be ready to explain the issues.

2) Keep receipts and appraisals of the items in the collection.  Take a lot of clear photos and try to get macro images as well of all the specimens.  Keep a copy off site on a memory stick or CD/DVD because the computer/camera might get taken or destroyed at the house.

3) Secure the collection and always lock your doors and set alarm systems.  If items are really valuable consider investing in a safe.

Seems like good advice to consider.

On the topic of insurance, it is a really good idea to make sure you have good automobile or truck insurance.  When out at quarries or road cuts, a vehicle is more likely to get damaged by careless drivers, flying rocks, heavy equipment, or hail storms.  I remember being at a geology club field trip at a local quarry and a member came in late.  As he was driving in, he went past some dump trucks and a rock bounced out of the truck and broke out the side window in his new SUV.  Ouch! I hope he had car insurance.

You can get quotes on auto insurance here in Louisville from Ron Park at  Looking at their website, you can get quotes for auto, health, home, and life insurance for a list of well known insurance companies.

Waldron Shale Horn Coral

Two horn coral fossils are shown in this post. They might be Metriophyllidae cf. Duncanella sp. found in the Waldron Shale.  These Silurian Period fossils were found in Clark County, Indiana.  They would need to be thin sectioned to get an exact identification though.