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Art Insurance in Canada

Insurance for the Fine Arts Industry
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Art Insurance Overview

Fine arts def: a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolour, graphics, and architecture. Source: Wikipedia

What’s the First Step in Insuring My Art Collection?

Insurance for the Fine Arts Industry
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Your art collection isn’t just worth a lot of money, but it can also be hard to replicate or repair after any damages. Just like any piece of equipment or property, art collections can get damaged at any time from unexpected events like accidents, floods, and more.

For example, a spilled glass of wine can fly onto a painting, staining and ruining the canvas. If you want compensation or reimbursement after the incident occurs, you won’t receive any settlements unless you had some type of insurance protection.

However, that doesn’t mean you can take steps to protect your valuable art pieces in case you are left with costly damages. Purchasing insurance for your art collection can provide coverage for the lost value of your art piece or reimbursement for restoration costs.

The first step in insuring your art collection is determining which types of insurance you need and the total value of your art collection. Documents like proof of ownership, bill of sale, appraisals, and replacement estimates can help you determine the value of your art collection and the amount that needs to be insured.

Who Needs Art Insurance?

It is very common for businesses to have expensive pieces of art that are owned, rented or leased throughout offices, common areas and/or reception areas. As such it may not be uncommon to find the following on premises;

  • Paintings
  • Pictures
  • Valuable rugs
  • Marbles and bronzes
  • Rare books
  • Manuscripts
  • Rare glass

How to Insure My Art Collection the Right Way?

Once you determine the total value of your art collection and the amount that needs to be insured, you can research the different types of insurance available.

Although it’s possible to insure your art collection through a home insurance policy, there are limits to what homeowners insurance will cover. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate insurance policy for art insurance so you can get more comprehensive coverage for your art collection.

What Does It Cover and How Do I know I have The Right Coverage?

Art insurance coverage is typically added as an extension to an existing property or commercial package insurance policy. Many properties and/or commercial package policies will have minimal art insurance coverage included (e.g. $25,000), therefore potentially leaving you under insured. At the time of a loss repair or replacement to original works of art may be near impossible. Because of this it may be recommended that high valued and/or difficult to replace works of art be insured on a valued basis. What this means is that both the insured and the insurer agree on the value of the property at the time that the policy is issued. Should a loss occur, art pieces insured on a valued basis will have the agreed value paid.

What is Not Covered Under Fine Arts Insurance?

If you insure your art collection under a home insurance policy, there are limits, and your policy won’t cover everything.

For example, certain insurance companies will have homeowners insurance covering perils like fire, flood, and theft but won’t cover breakage of fragile articles or accidental damage to your art collection.

Even insurance policies that claim to cover “all risks” can have restrictions. For example, damage from moths and vermin might not be covered under the policy.

Art collectors should look for insurance that is broad and offers protection to the art pieces from the moment they are placed to the minute they are taken off and transported elsewhere.

How Much Does Art Insurance Cost?

The cost of art insurance depends on various factors, like the total value of your art collection. More expensive art collections will cost more to insure. Other factors include:

  • The current condition of art pieces
  • Security measures in place
  • Whether you lend art pieces out
  • Whether items are displayed or stored

Contacting insurance companies for a quote based on your needs is the best way to get an accurate cost estimation.

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