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Artwork and collections serve as the ultimate compliment to a beautiful home. Many collectors spend hours thinking about, researching and purchasing artwork, sculptures and other high-value collectibles including wine and jewelry, but little to no time thinking about how to protect these precious pieces.

A standard homeowners insurance policy generally covers the cost of rebuilding your home and also provides limited coverage for your home’s contents and personal belongings. This coverage is known as Personal Property Coverage, or “Coverage C,” on your homeowners policy. Personal property coverage is typically calculated at around 50% of your coverage’s dwelling limit.

While you are given some coverage with personal property coverage, this coverage is usually subject to a dollar limit, both by category and by individual item. For example, while your policy may indicate your personal property is covered up to $200,000, that coverage is an aggregate and typically will not apply to certain categories such as artwork or jewelry. Depending upon how your policy is structured, your coverage for a single piece of artwork might be limited to $2,500. The actual single-item coverage limit of your policy might be higher, or it might be lower – but that single piece of artwork isn’t covered up to the full $200,000 used in the example.

Since many policies have these limits in place, it’s a good idea to get additional protection for your valuables with scheduled items coverage.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “SCHEDULE” AN ITEM?

When you schedule your items, instead of generic coverage for “artwork,” you obtain specific coverage but each piece is a separate listed item. There are two primary ways to insure your valuables or artwork for their full value.

  1. Add scheduled items directly to your home insurance policy
  2. Obtain a separate, personal articles policy

In addition to ensuring you have adequate insurance protection for your high-value items, there are other benefits to scheduling:

  • Choice of either no deductible or a reduced deductible
  • Worldwide coverage for your valuable items
  • Agreed replacement value, not subject to deductible
  • Coverage for mysterious disappearance, accidental loss
  • Covers increasing value
  • Protect trust assets for the beneficiaries (a responsibility of the trustee)

HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE ITEMS?

It’s relatively simple and cost effective to schedule your high-value items. You typically need to show proof of a recent professional appraisal or – in the case of newly acquired items – the receipts from the purchase. Typically, insurers will ask for an appraisal that was completed within the last 3 years. The appraisal should describe the item in detail and is typically accompanied by photos.

Since artwork often appreciates in value due to market changes – like the death of the artist – its important to keep your appraisal updated to make sure the insurance coverage on your valuables matches what they’re worth. For example, if you have a painting that was worth $5,000 and a sudden demand for work by that artist drives the value up to $15,000, it would be a good idea to get a new appraisal and adjust your coverage amount, to be covered for the new value of $15,000.

RECORD KEEPING

A final, but very important point, is to keep records of your high-value personal belongings, regardless of whether they are scheduled or not. A quick home inventory can be created by snapping photos of your high-value items on your phone.  If you want to go the extra step, for newly acquired items, it can be useful to take a photo of the item with your receipt.

Whether your collection is sizeable and intricate or comprised of just one or two pieces, collections coverage protects your most valuable items. If we can assist, please reach out.  

Dave Nommensen

Vice President | Personal Insurance

Dave is a Vice President in the Personal Insurance division at RogersGray. Living and residing on Cape Cod, Dave serves many of RG’s finest clients in the Upper Cape region and on Martha’s Vineyard. Dave’s approach to working with a new client is simple… he listens.

Dave believes that as a dedicated insurance advisor it is imperative to take the time to listen to client’s concerns and to what is important to them in order to properly safeguard their property and family. Dave resides in Cotuit with his wife and their children. You can connect with Dave on LinkedIn or by email.

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