Off the shelf policies don’t provide proper artwork insurance. Homeowners, renters and condo policies have limited coverage. To really protect your collection requires a bit more.
GOOD – Basic Policies and Artwork Insurance
Home, condo and renters policies protect your belongings. They pay for damage by fire, theft plumbing leaks and 14 other perils. Personal Property (Coverage C) is the most your policy will pay. Off-the-shelf policies value your property at Actual Cash Value. That’s defined as replacement cost minus depreciation. That’s a start, but we recommend more.
BETTER – Two Upgrades for Artwork Insurance
Even if you don’t have much artwork we recommend two important upgrades to the base policy.
- Replacement Cost Coverage for Personal Property. You want the insurance company to pay you the full cost to replace damaged or destroyed items. This endorsement removes the depreciation deduction. Only your deductible applies. We sometimes call this “new for old” coverage.
Replacement cost coverage is an option on homeowners, condo or renters policies.
- Special Coverage for Personal Property – also called “open perils” or HO-5 coverage. This expands the causes of loss that your policy covers. The basic policy covers 16 named perils. That’s exactly what it sounds like. Only listed perils are covered. Some examples: fire; vandalism; smoke; and plumbing leaks.
But what if you leave your window open, and rain damages your artwork? Or, someone spills wine on it? Those aren’t among the 16 named perils. You need open perils coverage for your policy to pay.
BEST – Scheduled Artwork Insurance
Scheduling your valuable articles gives the best artwork insurance coverage. That means listing and describing each piece and assigning a value to it. This is the best way to insure many types of valuables. That includes jewelry, antiques, rugs or special collections. You may see it on your policy as Scheduled Personal Property.
Important Benefits of Scheduling Artwork
- Sets the value BEFORE a loss – it can be hard to describe your artwork after it’s completely destroyed or stolen. It’s also difficult to prove what it was worth. Scheduling it establishes the value before the loss, not after. The insurance company will pay the lesser of
- the cost to repair the item;
- the cost to replace the item;
- the amount listed on the schedule.
- Provides Special Coverage – like the open perils coverage described above. For example: hanging hardware fails and a painting crashes to the floor. The frame breaks. It’s covered! But it wouldn’t be without special coverage or scheduling.
- Removes the deductible – most property policies have a $1000 deductible or more. But scheduled property is usually covered with no deductible at all.
Valuing Your Artwork for Insurance
Many insurers allow you to set the value of your own artwork up to a limit. Often, that limit is $5,000. Any single piece valued over that needs an appraisal to justify the value. Insurance companies may require updated appraisals every 5 years. They want to make sure the valuation stays current.
If you have a lot of art or other valuables an insurance company might require an alarm system in your home. That usually means a system that’s monitored 24/7 by a service, not self-monitored via app or cell phone.
Want to Insure Your Maine Art Collection?
Do you live in Southern Maine and need artwork insurance? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred home insurance companies. We can help you find the best value for your collection.
We’re independent and committed to you.