There is very little market for insurance documents. That's not to say that no one will buy your policies, but you probably won't sell them for more than $140. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Books & Manuscripts > Our Opinion: The Market for Insurance Documents


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ARE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES A DEAD ISSUE?

Old Insurance Documents
Dear Chatelaine's Antiques,
My 98-year-old grandfather passed recently away and left us two life insurance policies worth about $140 each. I have the original documents from 1907 and 1910. Should I cash them in, or are the actual documents worth more?
Judith

Dear Judith,
Your documents are part of the collecting category of paper ephemera, which has a thriving market. People collect everything from magazines and newspapers to postcards and posters. It's not a stretch to imagine someone who collects antique life insurance policies.

Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. There is very little market for insurance documents. That's not to say that no one will buy your policies, but you probably won't sell them for more than $140.

A quick check of eBay showed people are paying $5.00 to $20.00 for pieces like yours. Insurance documents with interesting graphics or engravings may sell a little better than others.

You'd have to go way back, even 100 years earlier, before your documents would be worth anything more than the policy. You might as well cash them in if you can. Or keep them as a unique way of remembering your grandfather.