PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN LOSS
Fire and smoke, water, theft are accidental damage. Works of art are potentially vulnerable to all of these but sensible precautions can often prevent or minimize damage and preserve them for the owner and future generations.
Insuring your artwork for all of these possible effects is one of the best ways to help protect your fine arts in the event of a loss, but there are several preventative and maintenance steps you can take to properly care for your collection:
Make a video and/or photo book documenting your artwork. In the event that a disaster occurs, and artwork is damaged, a helpful resource for your insurance provider is visual evidence of the artwork you own.
- While taping, record each piece slowly and thoroughly in good lighting, including the front and back of each piece. Have three copies of this video - one in your home, one in a safety deposit box or other safe-keeping, and another with your insurance provider.
- Creating a photo book entails pictures of each artwork (front and back), a copy of the bill of sale (receipt of where you purchased the work), and a synopsis of the provenance and any other personal information related to the purchase or acquisition of the work.
- In both records, make note of any special feature, and include any notes about existing damage, as well as the condition of the frames and bases.
Have your art collection professionally appraised at least every five years. The art market fluctuates and so does the value of your collection, and it is good to have record of what your artwork is worth for insurance purposes in case it is damaged or destroyed. Make sure the appraiser is well qualified because most insurance companies will check the certification of the appraiser. Much of what you will get after a loss will be determined by the qualifications of an appraiser.
Understand your Homeowners Policy and recognize you may need a separate fine art policy provided by a specialist to complement or enhance your homeowners policy.
Understand that the values may change each year--fine art insurance protects your assets and must be updated each year.