Insuring Fine Art, Jewelry and Antiques


Fine art and antiques require a special type of insurance. Many people are very upset when their contents insurance either doesn’t cover these things, or only provides a nominal payout if they’re lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen. The fact Insuring Fine Art, Jewelry and Antiques is that home insurance is a different class of insurance, not intended to cover these very high value pieces.

Home and contents and high value property: The differences

Home and contents insurance is based on a straightforward principle of covering typical household items. This insurance covers a very wide range of different issues, and it’s basically used to deal with common insurance needs for homes. Antiques and fine arts are often worth extremely large amounts of money. Some paintings and antiques are worth millions of dollars, so obviously you can’t use the same type of insurance to cover them.

The insurance needs are also very different. To insure fine art, you need:

  1. Certified valuations of individual pieces of artwork: These valuations have to be provided by experts in the arts business.
  2. An agreed insurance value, based on the certification: This is as tricky as it looks. The value for insurance has to be suitable to cover the amount paid for the artworks.
  3. A special policy, designed to cover either the individual piece of art or a collection: A collection may involve a lot of valuations, all fully documented.

For collectors, who have advisors managing their collections and art dealers able to provide certifications, this type of insurance is a business proposition. For owners of individual pieces, however, it can be a complex process, particularly because this type of insurance is quite different to the usual insurance framework.

What to do if you own uninsured fine art or other valuables

If you own valuable art or antiques, it’s a good idea to do some research on the best way to insure your property. Your home insurance insurer may or may not be able to assist or suggest options if you can’t cover the property through their policies.

The best option to deal with insuring your valuable property, if you can’t get assistance from domestic insurance companies is to consult with professionals in the fine art industry. Fine art consultants, antique dealers and other people in the industry can give you a few leads.

Security and insurance for fine art, antiques and valuables

You’ll also need professional help to certify values and provide assistance or advice regarding onsite security. Security provisions may be issues when getting insurance for your valuable pieces.

Best practice for onsite security includes:

  • Monitored alarms
  • Video surveillance
  • Secure display cases
  • Safes
  • Premises security upgrades

This may seem a little overdone in terms of “home insurance”. But if you bear in mind the art, antiques and jewellery black market is worth billions of dollars per year, you can see why this sort of security is a good idea.

Whatever you do- Get professional assistance with your insurance needs, and make sure you compare insurance options before making financial commitments.


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