Most people purchase insurance to protect our cars, our homes, our health, and even our loved ones in case of an untimely demise.
But some of us, assuming we've disposable income, look to spend our money on expensive items – art, jewelry, family heirlooms, what about a rare wine bottle, and much more. And when we're keen on protecting these assets, surely we should want to insure the security (and cost) of luxury items that included a substantial price tag.
Does my house insurance plan cover art?
Art can be, but is not necessarily, covered by property insurance, especially fine art that's very costly. Property insurance is supposed to cover some valuables susceptible to your deductibles and coverage limits. In some cases insurance companies will pay out a per-item amount for insured valuables, which can range from approximately $2,000 to $6,000. If your art falls within that range (or the range decided from your particular insurance provider), you'd be covered. For those who have art valued beyond the range limits, however, you should purchase extra protection.
When assessing the art you would like extra coverage for, it's important to document the provenance of the piece and compile all documentation that proves the skill is yours – along with as current an appraisal as possible. Many insurance companies will give you the choice to buy a special “floater” or “rider” that allows you to protect your art collection through your property insurance. This will provide an extension around the per-item limit of your basic home insurance policy.
For collections which are even more valuable, consider working with a separate art work insurance provider. Why? Art insurance brokers have the experience, knowledge and specialized policies that better protect you need to you need to claim. This really is distinctly not the same as a house insurance provider who'll look at the claim in additional general terms as just a part of your home's contents.
Some policies goes past the “basic” claims and provide coverage for restoration, theft, or damage. You will find usually three common kinds of coverage:
- Scheduled – individually itemized, where each piece of art has a different value and coverage limit
- Blanket – the whole art collection remains safe and secure with a per-item maximum
- Combination – schedule some pieces and leave the rest within blanket policy
Does my home insurance policy cover jewelry?
Much like art, jewelry also requires special coverage under your home insurance policy. Appraisals and documentation of ownership is a great starting point.
Buying an “endorsement” on your home insurance policy can cost up to 2% of the item's value. Past the limits of your insurance company (much like art), it is best to look for alternative insurance outside of the home policy. Many people are more likely to insure diamond engagement rings separately, as they could be the most expensive pieces of jewelry they own. Appraisals are best from a member of the Certified Accredited Appraiser Program, based on the Canadian Jewellers Association. Your insurance company will require detailed descriptions and photos from the jewelry in question.
Of course, each situation is different, as well as your causes of wanting insurance on expensive items can vary. After you have the worth and appraisals in hand, your broker (even if it's a specialized dealer for art or jewelry) can guide you to the best kind of insurance. This may already be part of your home insurance plan, or it may be separate to pay for specific items.