Friedman Group

Insuring fine art

March 27, 2019

Do you have expensive art in your home: Paintings, sculptures, glass works, textiles, ornamental jewelry, and other items?

If you have art, is it "fine art" - a one-of-a-kind work that may have some historic or artistic significance that required a specific fine skill to create, and is rare and unique?

Fine art differs from collectibles and jewelry, which your policy will typically cover up to a limit. For example, your policy may cover a loss of up to $2,500 for your art, collectibles and antiques.

However, if you're assuming that your homeowner's insurance will cover your fine art, you may be disappointed. Most standard homeowner's policies have a cap, per insurance category, on the amount of personal property coverage provided.

Typically, this restricted amount is not nearly enough to cover a fine art collection, or even a set of collectibles. This means your homeowner's policy will likely not be adequate if you have high-value artwork. In addition, general homeowner's insurance policies may have more exclusions, further limiting when and how a potential claim is paid out.

Have your art regularly appraised and keep an updated inventory of items; both of these steps can help you determine which insurance coverage might be best for you.

The solution

It's possible to buy special coverage for specific items such as pieces of art, which would cover them for their most recently appraised value. 

If you were to lose the art in a theft of fire, you want to make sure that you can get compensated for its full value, particularly if it has appreciated over the years since you bought it.

Additional fine art insurance is often a better option for many fine art collectors or owners. You can opt to insure items individually on floater policies, or purchase broader valuable-item insurance.

Fine art coverage can help protect your artwork collection. Many fine art owners rely on insurance for artwork to cover theft or unexpected damage to their collections.

In addition to theft, fine art home insurance policies may cover fire, accidental breakage and loss from severe weather. Be sure to read your policy carefully, as you may need separate a separate flood policy to be protected in the event of flooding.

Fine art policies can also include transportation coverage. This can be especially beneficial because a significant 5 to 10% of art-collection claims are a result of damage or loss to the pieces during transit.

Before you get started, you'll need to have your artwork appraised. The next step is to meet with us to find you the right coverage that can cover your unique collection and be tailor-made for you. 

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