Saturday, May 3, 2008

Insuring Your Art

Homeowner’s policies do not cover art, antiques or jewelry. For these you will need a rider. Depending on what you have purchased, these riders are not too expensive and may offer you piece of mind. Call your agent to find out what they require to purchase a rider and how much it will cost.

The first thing you need to decide is if your art will need to be insured. If something is really valuable I highly encourage you to have it insured. Repairing or replacing something that is costly is more onerous than doing the same for an inexpensive piece. Your homeowner’s policy probably covers many of your items with a “decorative” value. The average homeowner’s policy covers $50,000 for household contents which may cover many pieces. It certainly does for me! I have purchased many pieces of pottery and inexpensive prints for under $300.

You will need an invoice or valuation from a gallery or appraiser to present to your agent in order for a piece to be insured. It will need to have to be an invoice that states the name and contact information of the gallery or appraiser. Some insurers prefer that it be on letterhead. It should state the replacement cost of the piece so you will need to get these prices updated every couple of years to reflect the most current values of your artwork.

I do these valuations for my clients every couple of years, but I am only qualified to state current prices for artists that I represent. For everything else you will need to see an appraiser. I am happy to provide names of qualified appraisers in the area.

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