In New York City Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for many art enthusiasts to insure their art but there is still a lot of uninsured or underinsured art out there. According to Kathryn Tully in 2012 article for Forbes “the premium value of insured art globally was somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion. If those estimates are right, there’s a lot of uninsured art out there.”
Many people have collections of art, or perhaps just one valuable piece but rarely know exactly what they are worth. It is surprisingly easy for a painting, sculpture or even a more experimental piece of art to be damaged due to some unforeseen event, which is why it is important to be aware of its value. This summer alone there has been a significant amount of flooding in the tri-state area, and this has resulted in thousands of dollars in damages.
To protect your investment obtaining an appraisal of the retail replacement value means that you will be sure you have the right insurance coverage. The majority of standard home-owners insurance policies have limitations in regards to what can be reimbursed in the event of damage or loss to art and antiques. So it is a good idea to look closely at your policy if you are not exactly sure what your insurance covers.
If you are a serious collector you will probably need a more specialized policy tailored specifically to your collection. Insurance companies that are particularly qualified for this are: AXA, Chubb, and AIG. However, it is still important to be aware of your art’s value as the years progress.
The art market is continually fluctuating which is why it is a good idea to update these appraisals every couple of years. The value of your art will probably change with the shifting market. Unlike other luxury goods, such as a Chanel handbag or a BMW, a work of art is unique and difficult to replace. This is why using an appraiser who is USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) certified and a member of the ASA, RICS, or ISA, is essential. An appraisal by a qualified appraiser will be fully researched and legally sound. And always make certain, no matter who the appraiser is, that he or she has the right experience to evaluate the specific piece you own.