Cezanne, Bacon, Picasso, Warhol, Monet and Munch, these names are synonymous with fine art all over the world. The exquisite works of the old masters and the modern artists sell for millions of dollars. They form an extremely valuable part of any private or public collection. Each painting has such deep historical as well as cultural significance that they need to be protected. In case of such a thing as fine art, burglar alarms and armed guards are not enough to protect it from the various hazards the paintings are prone to. Fine art insurance is the most sought after insurance product by private collectors and museums worldwide.

Who needs fine art insurance?

Anybody and everybody directly dealing in or with fine art should consider purchasing art insurance. Fine art insurance buyers include artists, private collectors, auction houses, art dealers, museums and galleries. Policies are designed to cover the specific needs of each category.

How does it work?

Fine art is not just for collectors; even pure investors are interested in art simply because it appreciates in value over time. The investors buy fine art not for the purpose of collecting but for the sole purpose of trading it. Insuring artwork is thus rendered a little more complicated by the sheer volume and cost of the property to be insured.

Most art insurers won’t cover art work which is priced anything less than $100,000. Art valued below that amount is covered under regular homeowner’s insurance in case of private collectors and property insurance for museums and galleries. If your art collection is worth anything less than the stated amount, you should appraise it and list it under your homeowners policy.

What is covered?

The most integral area of coverage for any art insurance policy is theft. Given the irreplaceable nature of the insured asset, a replacement cost clause is ineffective. In case of theft, you will be compensated with the price of the painting which you can use to investigate the theft and possibly recover the painting.

General hazards like fire damage, water damage, unnatural deterioration, mildew and pests are covered by the policy. ‘Ageing’ and war are generally excluded from coverage. Some insurers even pay for restoration specialists. Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and hurricanes are also covered by most art insurance policies.

Specialized services provided under art insurance

Art insurers offer a plethora of services designed specifically to serve the fine arts community of collectors, dealers and institutions. ‘All Risk Formulas’ are implemented by insurance companies specifically dealing with fine art. It covers restoration costs and subsequent depreciation of value in case of partial damage to a piece of art. Insurers also give the option of insuring a selection of paintings or the collection as a whole. This enables the insured to cover his collection exactly as required.

Fine art insurance companies have integrated services packaged with the policy which enables the automatic inclusion of any new additions to the collection under the policy. Some policies also appraise and update the value of each insured painting according to prices registered in the international auctions companies’ database.

Fine art insurance coverage provides financial protection for your priceless collection of art. It is tailor made to suit the needs of avid collectors, museum curators and art dealers alike. It provides coverage against a host of natural and artificial hazards which can harm your irreplaceable collection of paintings.

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