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Being properly insured gives you the collector, a piece of mind. Personal property limits vary from carrier to carrier, therefore check with your insurance company to see if an appraisal is necessary. Most homeowners insurance policies have a per item limit for personal articles, when an individual piece or the collection are large, exceeds the maximum coverage, you will need to schedule the items with an additional floater and look for a more appropriate policy that will give you the needed peace of mind in the event that there is a total loss or if something is damaged.  The standard home owner’s insurance policy has limitations on the amount provided for fine art. Most insurance policies, as they are written, are not designed to cover a significant art collection. 

An insurance policy reimburses you for the loss of a scheduled item, according to the appraised value on file. If ever there is damage, if ever there is a loss, in this case, your insurer will want facts.  Was there a floater? Was the item scheduled? An appraisal confers proof that the item existed, an appraisal also establishes value and validates an agreed upon value with your insurer at the time of the claim. Which is key to a fair settlement. 

Art works are inherently unique, one-of-a-kind items. Fine art, as works of art, falls into the category of appreciable assets, yet, the amount that you paid for the item, may not be what the item is worth. Unlike most personal property items that depreciate due functional usage, art has the ability to rise in value. 

All fine art collections are unique and initial evaluation or reevaluation of the collection depends on the volatility of the pieces on file. It is suggested that collections with a lot of volatility should be appraised every three to five years.  A good starting point is to look at your current situation and here are some good questions to begin with. How much coverage do you have under your existing policy? Have certain individual pieces started to appreciate in value? Have certain artists within your collection started to increase in popularity? Is a certain artist in the collection starting to sell on the secondary market? 

Companies can write for almost anything. Contact your insurance agent and ask about increasing the amount of coverage for your collection. If you are unsure or at a loss as to the value of your collection or individual pieces, feel free to contact us, we will be glad to help.

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