Fine art is often among the most expensive and valuable possessions you may own. However, many art collectors wrongly assume that their homeowners insurance’s personal possessions coverage will fully cover art and other valuables. While possessions coverage can apply to these items, it often is not expansive enough to protect high-value items like fine art.
To avoid having too little coverage for fine art, it’s recommended that you purchase additional insurance for the items in your collection. There are several insurance solutions available to help you get this coverage, and it’s important to work with your Hill & Stone agent to get the right one for you. Keep reading to learn more about how to get the right insurance for your fine art.
What Is Fine Art?
Most people have art in their homes, but whether it’s considered fine art can be tricky. There is no set definition of “fine art” and what’s considered fine art for insurance purposes may vary depending on the insurance carrier. As such, it’s important to talk with an insurance agent to determine whether your art would be considered fine art and whether you need to secure additional coverage for proper protection.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Coverage Apply to Fine Art?
When you buy homeowners insurance, your policy will often include personal possessions coverage. It can provide compensation when hazards (e.g., fires, vandalism, theft) damage your belongings. However, personal possessions coverage often includes insufficient limits to cover high-value items like fine art.
For example, many homeowners policies will place sublimits on coverage for items of value, including art. So, even if you have high overall levels of personal possessions coverage, the coverage available for art may be much lower, and it may not be enough to cover the full value of important pieces.
The coverage provided by standard personal possessions insurance may leave you open to significant financial and personal losses if your fine art sustains damage. To get adequate coverage, you can turn to more customizable insurance solutions.
Insuring Fine Art
There are typically several solutions to consider when insuring fine art, including the following:
Valuable items endorsements—A valuable items endorsement will insure multiple pieces, such as fine art, silverware, musical instruments or sports equipment with a higher level of personal property coverage. You won’t have to itemize the pieces under this endorsement.
Valuable items floaters—A floater extends higher personal property coverage to only one item and covers it for its specific value. So, if you have a single high-value painting, you may be able to insure it using this coverage. This endorsement may provide coverage against expanded loss scenarios, such as loss or accidental damage.
Valuable items policies—A valuable items policy is separate from your existing homeowners policy. It can provide expansive coverage for extremely valuable or unique items, such as one-of-a-kind paintings or sculptures. Often, this coverage can insure items against numerous losses, including accidental breakage. Plans may also insure items both when they are housed on your property and if they are in transit or on display at a temporary location like a museum.
Keep in mind that each type of coverage will use different formulas to determine how much they will pay you for different losses. Deductibles may also apply to partial and total loss scenarios. Work with your Hill & Stone agent to choose an insurance benefit that is most appropriate for the art in your home.
Choosing the Right Amount of Fine Art Coverage
When insuring fine art, you will want to carefully calculate and document the value of the items in your collection. Once you know the value of each item, you may be better able to decide whether you will benefit from a valuable items endorsements, fine arts floater or valuable items policy.
Determining the value and insurability of items may involve having the items appraised, photographing them and keeping written documentation (e.g., bills of sale and appraisal documents) on file with your insurer. You may also have to have items periodically reappraised to be able to maintain the coverage on them. Since art value may appreciate or depreciate over time, having up-to-date documentation can help insurers verify value and approve a claim.
Get Your Fine Art Insurance Today
With the help of your Hill & Stone Insurance agent, you’ll be able to find a policy that is optimized for your needs. We can ensure that your valuable pieces will have protection whenever challenges arise.