A human approach to insurance

Valuable Articles Insurance

Whether you’re buying art for the love of it or see it purely as an investment, it’s important to protect your collection. Rogers Signature Service offers exceptional customer service and expertise in art insurance. As a leading independent insurance brokerage in Canada, we have access to a large number of markets. This allows us to deliver the best coverage and truly competitive art insurance quotes.

If you’re looking to insure a single valuable piece or a large collection, our experienced art insurance brokers can help you find the best protection. We’ll help you determine if your art is adequately protected as part of your home insurance or if it requires specialty coverage through a separate art insurance policy.

Contact us today to discuss your options and get an art insurance quote. Read on below to learn more about how art insurance works and the benefits of working with Rogers Signature Service.

Protecting Art Through a Home Insurance Policy

Does homeowners insurance cover art? It can be covered in your contents insurance, but there are often limits:

  • Overall Policy Limit – Your policy’s overall policy limit will determine the maximum amount that is paid out in a covered claim for replacing your contents. You need to ensure this will cover the value of your art as well as everything else you’d need to replace – appliances, furniture, clothing, and more.
  • Per-Item Limit – Often, this type of policy will have a maximum amount that will be paid out per item. This varies by insurer and can be as low as $2000 or as high as $6000 or more. If your art falls beneath this limit, you would be covered but if your art is valued at a higher amount, you wouldn’t have full protection.
  • Exclusions – Some exclusions apply when it comes to artwork. For example, some policies specifically exclude the theft of artwork. This varies by the insurance company, so it’s important to understand what is excluded.
  • Repair/Restoration – This may not be covered by home insurance. You may only be eligible for a cash settlement if the art is damaged or destroyed.
  • Definition of Art – Make sure you pay attention to how art is defined by your homeowner’s policy, as it is likely more narrow than separate art insurance.
  • Transit – Home insurance can cover your belongings while you move, but there may be exclusions for breakage.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will also not cover art purchased as part of a business or anything that’s loaned or stored outside of your home.

An Art Floater or Rider

You do have the option of purchasing a special extension, also known as a “floater” or “rider,” to better protect your art collection through your home insurance. This will generally extend the per-item limit to better reflect the value of your artwork. Some will also protect your art from the hazards such as theft that are otherwise excluded by your home insurance.

This is a good option if you have an art collection that isn’t extremely valuable or only a few pieces that are kept in your home. If you have art worth more than the policy limit on this art floater or rider, you should opt for separate art insurance if you want the best protection.

Art Insurance Through a Separate Policy

Art insurance is sold as a separate policy and is best suited for those with valuable pieces of art or collections. Generally, a piece of art is considered valuable if it is worth more than $50,000 but can include pieces that are worthless but you would struggle to replace on your own if it was damaged or destroyed. Art insurance is also a good idea if you treat art as an investment or actively collect. These policies tend to offer:

  • Much higher limits, which means proper insurance for the art.
  • Coverage while a piece is:
    • In transit
    • Being loaned
    • Stored
    • Displayed
  • Covers a broader definition of “art.”
  • Protects against more risks, including damage and theft.
  • Newly acquired protection, for when you purchase a new piece.
  • Can include coverage of consignment and commission aspects of collecting.
  • More flexible loss settlement options, including:
    • Agreed value (generally determined by sale receipt or appraisal)
    • Current market value (which may offer additional coverage if the piece of art was valued at an amount higher than it was insured before it was lost or destroyed)
  • Three common types of coverage:
    • Scheduled – individually itemized, where each piece of art has a different value and coverage.
    • Blanket – the whole collection is protected with a per-item maximum.
    • Combination – schedule some pieces and leave the rest under a blanket policy.
  • Better appraisal and claims support.

The type of coverage, loss settlement option and limits you choose will depend on the size and value of your collection as well as the individual pieces within it. You can also opt to extend your coverage to include international exposure and some art insurance companies will offer additional protection.

Often, art insurance cannot replace the artwork – many pieces are one-of-a-kind. It can help repair them if they are damaged or allow you to continue collecting despite the loss.

Art Title Insurance

One thing not generally covered by art insurance is challenges to ownership. Art title protection insurance will help cover legal expenses relating to ownership challenges. It’s usually available as a one-time purchase which will stay in effect so long as the owner (and their heirs) possesses the artwork. Generally, premiums are between 1-3% of the value of the artwork.

Art Insurance Quotes

Getting an art insurance quote can be a bit more complicated than getting a car insurance quote online. However, you can get a rough estimate based on an approximate value of your artwork. However, your art insurance quote may not accurately reflect the final price of your coverage as your insurance options and appraisal value may change the final number.

Appraising Your Art for Insurance

An appraisal of your art is not always required for insurance. It will depend on how much you’d like to insure your piece(s) for and the individual insurance company. However, appraisals are a good idea to ensure the true value of your art is known. Generally, insurers recommend an appraisal to be done every 1-5 years. The frequency depends on the art and if its value is changing on the marketplace.

If you do get an appraisal, it should be done by a qualified appraiser. Generally, these appraisers write to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). They should also belong to the International Society of Appraisers. Rogers Signature Service can provide appraiser recommendations as can your insurance company.

Your chosen appraiser should charge by the hour or with a flat fee. They should not bill based on the value of the object they’re appraising.

Your appraisal should include:

  • The statement of purpose (in this case, an insurance valuation)
  • A sworn statement of the appraiser’s objectivity and qualifications
  • A full description and identification of the artwork(s) being evaluated
  • A description of the condition of the piece(s)
  • Provenance information
  • A statement of value (not a range or an estimate)
  • Discussion about how the appraiser arrived at the value
  • Supporting documentation for all of the above
  • The appraiser’s signature

Once you have your report, you can submit it to the insurance company (or we can do so on your behalf). Always ensure you have copies, including a digital backup of your appraisal report.

Cataloging Your Art

You should always maintain a catalogue or inventory of your artwork. For each piece, this should include:

  • Title of the work
  • Name of the artist
  • Date of birth/death of the artist
  • Description of the piece
  • Dimensions of the work
  • Materials/mediums used
  • A detailed description of how the artwork is displayed, including frames and mounting
  • Condition of the artwork
  • Distinguishing features, marks, or inscriptions
  • Date of purchase
  • Purchase receipt
  • Certificate(s) of authenticity
  • Any paperwork provided by the seller
  • Provenance (the history of ownership of the work, which should include the names and dates of ownership, how the work was transferred such as through inheritance or auction, where the work was located, and authentication that was done)
  • Exhibition history
  • References to the work in books, catalogues, news stories, et cetera
  • Where the work is physically located and conditions of its display or storage
  • Photos from various angles and perspectives

You should also have digital backups of this catalogue, as well. Some insurance companies do not require this level of detail for a blanket art insurance policy; however, it is always good practice to have all of this information collected (or as much as possible).

How much does art insurance cost?

The cost of art insurance depends on a few factors:

  • The artwork itself
  • The value of the individual works and the entire collection
  • How many pieces you’re insuring
  • The conditions of storage or display
  • Security features and alarms around the art
  • If you lend the artwork out or not
  • Your coverage options
  • Your insurance and claims history

An individual piece can be insured for a premium of 1-2% of its value. For example, if you have a piece worth $125,000 your premium may be $1250. However, that price could vary depending on any of the factors listed above.

It’s important to get art insurance quotes from different insurers to see how their prices and coverage measures up. Our art insurance brokers can take care of this research and price shopping for you. We work with a large number of art insurance markets in order to offer you the most competitive quotes and choice of coverage.

[H2] Working with Rogers Signature Service

We understand that your art collection isn’t just financially valuable – it often has sentimental or even cultural heritage value, too. Our experienced art insurance experts are dedicated to helping you protect your collection. We can help you determine your insurance needs, deliver competitive art insurance quotes, advise you and act as your insurance and risk management resource, and advocate for you during a claim.

Rogers Signature Service is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. We believe in a hands-on, human-first approach that puts our customer’s needs front and centre. As an independent insurance brokerage, we work for you – not an insurance company. We have access to a large number of insurance markets so we can offer high-quality coverage at a competitive price. Art insurance doesn’t have to be that complicated – let our brokers help.

Contact us today for more information or to request an art insurance quote.

Need a Quote? One of our signature service brokers will contact you directly when it's best for you. We understand you're busy; if you give us your information, we'll contact you with a specialty insurance quote.
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