Whether you have one treasured painting or a collection of art, a standard home insurance policy will rarely provide the protection you need to keep your artwork (and investment) safe.
The obvious risks to your artwork are theft, fire or water damage and yes, a home insurance policy will cover this, but there is often a fairly low single article limit (£1500 is common) so a claim for any artwork worth more than this will be capped at that level.
But fire or theft are just some of the risks you face. Have you considered what would happen if the painting you’d invested so heavily in turned out to be a fake. Or on the flipside, if the value of the painting went up due to death of the artist and you hadn’t amended your insurance. And if artwork is damaged and repaired, who covers the likely fall in value of the repaired piece.
A good art insurance policy will do so much more than pay out if you do suffer a loss – If you treasure your art, you need the right insurance in place to look after it, whatever the circumstances. Luckily there are plenty of specialist art insurance policies on the market that do cover every eventuality and allow you to set the right level of cover.
As specialist art insurance brokers we have access to the art insurance market and it’s our job to help you find the best policy for your circumstances. We’ve been arranging art insurance since 1989 and we understand the emotions and decisions involved.
To help you look after your artwork, we’ve put together a quick guide to arranging art insurance
Get an up to date valuation of your artwork
Unless the art is a recent purchase, you’ll need an up to date valuation of your art (in the last 5 years) to ensure you get the right level of cover in place. Under-insurance could mean not receiving a full settlement or even getting your claim turned down.
Many art galleries and auction houses offer a valuation service. Some offer dedicated valuation days around the United Kingdom. Visit the Association of Art & Antique Dealers to find your nearest gallery or auction house http://www.lapada.org/
A number of high value home insurance products include a free 2 hour walk through valuation guide via a leading specialist valuation company. At no cost to you they will make an appointment to undertake a valuation of not only your art and antiques but also your general contents to establish that your possessions are adequately insured. Speak to your broker about this.
Consider whether you need a separate art insurance policy or a high net worth art and home contents policy
There are reasons to have a standalone art policy and reasons to combine the art insurance with your home contents. It’s not just about how extensive your collection is, it’s your circumstances and needs that will drive the solution. We recommend contacting an independent broker to establish your needs and recommend the most appropriate policy for you.
Search the market for the best insurance
Unless you’re an art insurance expert, we really wouldn’t recommend ringing around or going online to find the best insurer out there. You need to understand the policy covers and exclusions and then you need to negotiate with the underwriters to get the most competitive deal. It takes time and effort to arrange your own insurance.
Luckily for you, an art insurance broker will do it all for you – search the market, negotiate the deal and make you aware of any special terms.
Keep up your side of the deal by looking after your artwork
Protect your artwork from extreme temperatures, light, and humidity as well ensuring the frame or display cases are adequate. Get the correct security on your property and take photographic evidence of your collection.
Guess what – your broker can give you advice on all of this.
Contact an expert art insurance broker
Actually you can pretty much skip step 1 to 4 and go straight to 5. An art insurance broker’s job is to get your art properly insured and protected. They will take you through all the necessary steps and ensure you get the right cover in place. At renewal their job is to review the situation and keep finding you the best deal.
But perhaps it’s the claims stage where a broker really steps in. Their job is to act on your behalf with the insurer and ensure a swift and fair settlement.
So if you care about your art, the answer is simple, contact your art insurance broker now and get your insurance in place.