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The oddest valuables Brits have tried to insure

A Steiff Bear called 'Growler,' which dates back to around 1904, on display at Christies in London. Photo: Ben Curtis/PA Archive/PA Images

Brits own nearly £222bn worth of high-value collectables, according to a leading insurance firm.

A survey of 2,000 people by Direct Line found two thirds (57%) of Brits are likely to own collectable items worth at least £500. A quarter of these items are uninsured.

This leaves an estimated £88bn insurance gap for items worth over £500.

Over three million Brits have had an uninsured item lost, damaged, or stolen, costing about £14bn in total, the firm said.

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These tin troops are expected to fetch £2,000 - £3000 at the 'Toy Soldiers and Figures sale' at Christies in London.

The research found a strong passion for memorabilia among Brits, with around 12 million people (23%) owning a total of £35bn in high-value treasures, such as vintage sports collections, music artefacts, and film souvenirs.

It also found a strong following for militaria, with one in 10 Brits claiming to own these collectables. Of all high-value objects, these are the most likely to be stolen, with more than quarter (27%) of respondents having filed theft claims.

Jewellery is the most-lost item, with 19% going missing, while 21% of electronic devices are broken, the most likely items, the data shows.

Overall, half (52%) of militaria owners claimed to have had an item damaged, stolen, or lost, followed by 39% of artwork, ornaments, and sculptures owners, and 34% of antiques.

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There's nothing that an eccentric English collector won't try and insure!

The research also revealed some of the strangest things insurers have been asked to cover.

Full-sized replica statues of Terracotta Warriors made in Xi'an, a toy soldier collection worth more than £10,000, and a menagerie of taxi-dermal animals, including a shark and tigers, are just a few things eccentric Brits have gotten insured.

Of course, it would always be worth insuring any Banksy's you have just lying around.

Work by anonymous street artist Banksy, a collection from German teddy bear inventor Richard Steiff, and antique golf clubs also made the list.

Brits have also tried to insure wine, whisky, and stamp collections.

Steiff bears have been known to go for over £1m, with the Louis Vuitton Bear — currently on display in South Korea’s teddy bear museum — worth about £1,829,017.

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Military medals belonging to Eric 'Winkle' Brown.

“Britons love collecting, from militaria to musical instruments, which often have both a high sentimental and financial value,” Nick Brabham, head of private insurance at Direct Line, said.

“However, it is surprising to see that many people are not insuring their passion projects, leaving £88bn worth of high-end items at risk.

Many policies will only cover unspecified items up to a specific limit, which would mean the policyholder wouldn’t be able to claim for their prized possessions in the event of an accident or theft.”