How WAX Built An Insurance Company For Collectors By Collectors
Since the dawn of watchmaking, collectors have been trying to protect their timepieces. A century ago, brands went as far as encasing their watches in sterling silver hunter cases to protect their fragile glass faces and casebacks from damage. During World War II, pilots would often wear oversized watches on their legs so that they were protected and able to withstand a fighter plane’s cockpit.
These days, many collectors opt for far less medieval methods. As the adage goes, “Never buy your watch on finance and always insure your collection.” Life is just too unpredictable not to insure your valuables, and as the news has shown us time and time again, the risk is only increasing as watches become more mainstream.
The Current State of Watch Insurance
To say the insurance industry is stuck in the last century would be an understatement. Paper forms run rampant, and the appetite to take on risks from outside the proverbial box is slim to none. That is because many of these legacy insurance companies have been doing things a certain way forever, and they can be resistant to change.
We’ve seen this firsthand from the fact that most insurers won’t insure your collectibles unless you have a homeowners and auto policy with them first. They also need appraisals on every item, which can be time-consuming and expensive, especially when you have assets like watches where the value is rising on a near-monthly basis. Most collectors tend to add and remove items from their collections on a fairly regular basis, so needing to interact with an insurance agent each time this happens can be frustrating.
Whether or not you think of watches as investments, the fact remains that they can be extremely valuable and need to be protected the same way you would insure your home, your car, or the money in your bank account. Yet, the data suggests that nearly 70% of collectors are either completely uninsured or underinsured due to the belief that their homeowners policy has them adequately protected.
Enter WAX Insurance
Most of you probably know @NYCWatchGuy on Instagram, as a passionate collector with a sense of humor. But he also thinks deeply about the industry and the problems facing it. And when he personally ran up against one of those problems, it spurred him to team up with former Olympian Calvin Bradley and fellow Instagram watch aficionado Richard Vinhais (@Uppercrustlife) and take action.
Specifically, the idea for WAX came about when, as a Millennial who didn’t own a home or any cars, NYCWatchGuy tried to get his watch collection insured. Once the Sisyphean nature of that task became unavoidably clear, he turned to his friends Bradley and Vinhais to launch WAX as a community-built platform to address the needs of their fellow collector friends. Now, after a year of building a best-in-class product, WAX is finally ready to unveil what they have to offer.
What sets WAX apart from its competitors is that the app-based collectibles insurance provider relies simply on pictures of your items along with a small questionnaire to assess their fair market value. Better still, there’s no need to re-appraise or email your agent when you learn the value has changed because WAX handles that automatically.
WAX offers the most competitive pricing compared to its counterparts in the space as they work with a number of the best carriers in the world to find the right policy for each collector. Rates vary by state, but WAX aims to beat most personal articles policies on the market today. Not to mention that making changes to your policy and filing a claim is super easy and can be accomplished in-app with just a few clicks.
Additionally, instead of blindly charging you overinflated premiums, WAX offers discounts if you have protective measures in place for your valuables. For example, having a TL-rated safe can provide you with premium discounts, while having a monitored burglar alarm will bring that rate down even further.
Fun Fact: One of the highest burglar ratings on the market, the “TL” stands for tool resistance and signifies that the safe is tool resistant on all six sides. The most common types of TL-rated safes are TL-15 and TL-30, which means that can withstand a sophisticated criminal attack for 15 and 30 minutes, respectively.
Of course, having a safe that can withstand a 15 to 30-minute break-in attempt isn’t cheap, sometimes even costing thousands of dollars, which is why WAX has partnered with safe manufacturers to get them to clients at preferred pricing.
WAX has already insured hundreds of collections that vary in value from $5,000 to $35,000,000 and covers almost any type of collectible, including watches, jewelry, trading cards, memorabilia, comic books, handbags, sneakers, vintage tech, art, wine, and a lot more.
Thinking Of The Future
WAX resonates with Watchonista because it counts passionate and long-standing watch collectors as part of its executive management team. This simple fact allows the company to offer compelling products and solutions that will appeal to novice and experienced collectors alike.
What's next for WAX, you ask? We have it on good authority that in the future, the app will allow its users to borrow money against their collection, thus allowing collectors to unlock the value of their items without selling them. WAX always keeps a keen eye on the future while providing you with the peace of mind needed to sleep a night, knowing your favorite timepieces (and other collectibles) are protected.