Did you know that most standard home insurance policies limit the amount of fine arts, paintings, and similar valuables that may be covered by the personal property limit? Owners of fine art, antique furniture, heirloom or estate jewelry, or collectibles should carefully consider the value of these items for insurance purposes. For example, if you have inherited or purchased Chippendale chairs or Tiffany lamps, you should insure them as antiques in order to be fully compensated if they are damaged or stolen.
Antiques are generally insured through a fine arts floater. This is a policy rider that provides additional coverage to your homeowners policy. Without a fine arts floater, your homeowners insurance is only required to compensate you for the Chippendale chairs as “chairs,” not as 200-year-old antiques. If a fire destroys belongings covered under this rider, the insurance company will cover you for the full amount for which they were insured.
To help ensure that you are correctly reimbursed in the event of a loss, obtain a professional appraisal of the objects you wish to cover. Also, visually document your antiques through high-quality digital photographs or video. A visual record serves several purposes: to provide a complete inventory of your belongings, to verify the condition of your property, and to assist you in replacing particular items. In addition, have a written description of each item, including the price you paid for it, the provenance, and any appraisal information.
The bottom line is that if you have valuable antiques, the proper coverage could prove to be invaluable. Please be sure to contact your insurance professional for more information.