How to get art insurance?
July 13, 2008 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Does anybody know about art insurance? How to go about getting coverage? How much it costs? Who are some trustworthy insurers?

I don't have a Picasso or anything, so I'm not talking about a million- or even hundred-thousand dollar coverage policy. Just have some random things I've collected that might warrant considering it.
posted by Dukebloo to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I talked with my homeowners insurance provider about this same thing. He had two options:

-Have every piece of art appraised and listed separately
-Buy a single rider to cover the amount that you think all of the art is worth.

But homeowners insurance will cover art, they just need to know about it.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:50 AM on July 13, 2008

As I understand it (here in California), there are basically two kinds of homeowner's insurance at your (our) level. The one you get when you tack on the extra deal when you're renewing your auto insurance (like Renter's Insurance) is just a catchall bucket, $10K, $25K, etc. depending on how much stuff you think you have. You can go through and inventory your world and make sure you have everything cataloged and appraised, but at the end of the day you're just going to get a check for whatever your policy was for and that will be it as far as the Ins. Co. is concerned.

If you have specific pieces that you want to be sure are covered in case of Acts Of God and protect them with insurance, then you'll need riders on your Home/Renter Insurance (or separate policies, but it doesn't sound like you're at that level). These riders will be specific to the piece that you want to add on, and you'll probably want full documentation and appraisal. I seem to remember the rates for these being what, 3x the generic Renter's Ins., but I could be wrong. I'm by no means an expert here, just relaying my small amount of research from about a year ago.
posted by rhizome at 10:05 AM on July 13, 2008

Homeowner's insurance covers all of my uncle and aunts expensive Rosewood pottery (which ranges from several hundred each for the smaller pieces to several thousand to the very big pieces), Hawaiiana (he has a couple of antique menus and the like that have been appraised at several thousand, the whole collection is worth more than twenty thousand), pietra duras from Italy and original artwork.

From what my uncle has told me, a great deal of it just rolled into the original homeowner's insurance, and he just pays a fee on top of that to cover the rest from fire, earthquake, water damage, or theft.

If you live in an apartment, State Farm offers you up to 20k in coverage (which covers everything in your apartment, art included) for a couple of dollars a month. (YMMV, we have other insurance policies with them which might have decreased the cost.
posted by arnicae at 10:36 AM on July 13, 2008

You don't need art insurance for what you describe. I know people with quite decent art collections, and they all insure it through their homeowners or renters insurance. Getting separate art insurance is for serious collectors, with very large and/or very valuable collections.
posted by scody at 11:16 AM on July 13, 2008

It's been my experience that any individual art item over 100k should have a separate policy on it.
Home owners will cover the majority of what you have as long as it's listed and APPRAISED. A Videos of the items, as well as a video of your entire household, kept in a safe deposit box in a different city than you, are always a good idea, we keep ours in my brother's city and he keeps his in ours. Video is also good in the fact that sometimes if you have lots of little items they are easy to forget about especially when you most need it, like in a natural disaster when the last thing on your mind is your collection.
posted by HappyHippo at 4:08 PM on July 13, 2008

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