Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why Would Anyone Insure Their Art?

Statue P at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Most of us are accustomed to seeking insurance cover for things such as our homes, our car, travel, and even for our health, but when it comes to insuring fine art work we may well think why bother. There was a time when the so called ordinary person would have perceived the idea of insuring artworks to be something that only the gentry did, but nowadays with people often putting any spare money into a work of art which is likely to appreciate in value, then insuring against loss, theft, or damage should be a reality. 

Insuring Against the Unexpected


Whether you own a small exquisite piece of fine art or are an art dealer with numerous priceless pieces adorning your gallery, insurance is paramount for peace of mind. Aside of the tragic loss of human life which happens when natural disasters like hurricanes or floods wreak havoc around the world, art galleries and swanky offices can sometimes be left assessing the level of damage to irreplaceable pieces of art which were damaged when the area flooded. Naturally they’re also worried about the cost of their insurance premiums rising, but the point here is that at least they did have insurance for when the unexpected happened.

NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art: Statue of Yu...

Collections Borne out of Love


Under insurance is another big problem because plenty of people over the years amass large collections of antiques, jewellery, and art but many of them don’t have a real grasp on the true value of their collection. Because collections are invariably built out of love or passion for particular items, insurance isn’t approached in quite the same way as it would be if they were looking to insure their car for example. Often they just insure these valuable collections for the price which they paid for them some years ago.


To counter this problem people should be insuring items in their collections for the retail replacement value, which means getting someone to appraise them on that very basis, every few years or so. This means that they have appraisal reports which they can pass to insurance companies to ensure adequate coverage and it also means they have evidence to back up any future claims.


More insurance companies are starting to employ art consultants and can make their more wealthy clients aware of the importance of valuation and insurance. However, if you’ve got collectibles or art worth a couple of thousand pounds or more, then you may need a specific policy clause to cover your valuables, since most general home policies rarely cover items above that level.


There are plenty of specialist insurance companies such as Catlin Insurance UK who offer coverage for a variety of fine art. The range of inclusions under a fine art insurance policy is wide and includes such things as

  • Furniture, lighting and mirrors 
  • Historical artefacts 
  • Arms and armour 
  • Fine wine, bottles and glasses 
  • Musical instruments 
  • Ceramics, silver and glass 
  • Fossils and mineral specimens 
  • Textiles 
  • Memorabilia 
  • Paintings
  • Toys and games 

It’s worth shopping around for the best deal but take care to find out just what risks are covered. Check that the policy offers protection against theft, accidental damage, and as in the case of a natural disaster, losses from fire and water damage.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Join 1000's of People Following 50 Plus Finance
Real Time Web Analytics