For most things in your home, a regular home or personal property insurance policy will be enough. But there are limitations for certain items – especially for fine art and valuables.
While this might not apply to everyone, if you collect fine art or have particularly valuable items laying around the house, you should look into making sure those items are adequately insured.
What constitutes Fine Art or Valuables?
Fine art is a pretty general term. But it can be paintings, pictures, marbles, sculptures, bronzes, tapestries, books, manuscripts, etc. Really anything that has artistic merit, rarity and/or historical significance can be considered fine art.
Valuables are pretty general as well but clients will usually use this term to mean jewellery or watches. Valuables can be cameras and their accessories, jewellery, furs, gems, silverware, stamps, coins, instruments, golf clubs, etc. If you own anything that is particularly valuable or is subject to special restrictions under your home insurance you can insure it using Valuables insurance.
Rare wines or liquors would fall into these categories as well.
What does my home insurance cover?
Your typical home insurance policy would have some coverage for fine arts or valuables. But the problem is that coverage is not always adequate. There might be limits on the amount of compensation you get for valuable items and the way they calculate the amount of loss for fine art might not capture its actual value.
As a collector, you know that works of art are worth much more than the ink that’s used and the canvas it’s painted on.
How can I make sure I’m properly insured?
The short answer: by purchasing Fine Arts or Valuables insurance. These can usually be added to your policy as an endorsement or purchased as a standalone policy.
What is Fine Arts & Valuables insurance?
Fine Arts & Valuables insurance, although usually sold separately, are very similar. They give you all risks coverage for your items but also add on coverage that takes into account the special characteristics of fine art and valuables.
For example, it might cover: scratching or breakage, smoke damage for fine art, water damage, or losses while being worked on (i.e. if it’s damaged while undergoing repairs or restoration).
But the most important thing is that it gives you valued coverage. The insurance company will compensate you for the appraised value of your item. This takes into account the item’s rarity, antiquity or overall artistic merit.
Coverage is global as well so whether it’s at your home, in transit or on display at a gallery, you’ll be covered.
As a bonus, they’ll even give you automatic coverage for newly acquired items for a limited time. This is important because you will want to have coverage for new purchases.
What are the limitations? What’s the catch?
While terms and exclusions will vary from insurer to insurer, most share some similar characteristics.
They will require up-to-date appraisals before insuring any item or artwork. If the item or artwork is particularly valuable, they might require appraisals on a regular basis.
For artwork being transported, any packing or unpacking must be done by competent packers. There are specialists out there whose job it is to prepare artwork for transport.
And items that are for commercial use (i.e. a violin played at concert or a camera used by a professional photographer) are not automatically covered. You will need to provide details to the insurance company and get their approval first – it will likely cost a little bit more money.
Do I need it?
YES – for all the reasons above, your regular home insurance policy does not provide adequate protection for your fine art or valuable items.
Where can I get it?
You can get protection for your fine art and valuable items by speaking with an insurance advisor at Trusted Union.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution so we work with the top insurers in Hong Kong specializing in fine art and valuables to make sure you get the protection you need for your collection.