Valuable Articles Insurance is a necessity if you own a significant amount of jewelry, art, antiques and/or collectibles whose values exceed the coverage included in a standard homeowners policy. Valuable Articles insurance allows for the scheduling of specific items at higher amounts for full replacement value, “all-risk” coverage (which, unlike standard homeowners insurance, covers loss or misplacement), and no deductible or depreciation of value if there is a total loss.
Many owners of valuables learn too late that their standard homeowners insurance does not adequately cover the loss or damage of their valuables, when they are left to fill in the gaps (sometimes quite substantial) between what the homeowners insurance will pay and the market value of their high- end luxury or antique items.
Some of the risks of relying solely on your standard homeowners policy include:
- Misplaced or lost items may not be covered, and coverage for breakage can be very limited
- You may only receive payment for the depreciated value, not full replacement value, of older pieces
- Coverage is usually limited to between $1,000 and $5,000 !
- You may have to pay a deductible to fix or replace the item
There are many benefits to having Valuable Articles coverage; contact DDIG at (856) 424-7960 to learn more.
- Art, Antiques & Collectibles
Valuable Articles insurance to cover your high-end jewelry doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult:
- For the jewelry you wear regularly and keep at home, the annual cost is about 1 to 2 percent of its appraised value. Keeping jewelry in a bank vault brings your rate down even further – the higher rate only applies when you take it out to wear it. With full replacement value guaranteed and coverage of most types of loss or breakage included, Valuable Articles insurance will save you time, money and aggravation should loss or damage occur.
- No need to secure appraisals for every item! Under Valuable Articles insurance requirements, appraisals are usually only required for jewelry items valued at $50,000 or more. Most often, all that you need to provide to your insurer is a description, photograph and estimated value of the item. Plus, any jewelry purchased while you have a current Valuable Articles policy will automatically be covered (certain conditions apply).
Here are some tips for preventing jewelry loss or damage:
- Replace broken, chipped or scratched crystals or stones immediately.
- Use mild detergents when cleaning gemstones and settings.
- For watches, check your watch clasp on a regular basis and repair immediately if needed.
- Check prongs and mountings annually to avoid loose stones falling out.
- Have pearls cleaned and restrung regularly and wash with mild soap and water only. Store separately to avoid scratches from other jewelry items.
Finally, make sure you have your fine jewelry appraised every 2 to 4 years to check for changes in fair market value and adjust your insurance on each item accordingly. Store appraisal information (descriptions, photographs, etc.) outside of your home, preferably in a bank or safe deposit box.
II. Art, Antiques & Collectibles
A Valuable Articles policy can help insure your fine art, antiques or collectibles
and provide you peace-of-mind in a number of important ways:
- Coverage for Breakage of Fragile Items: While the breakage of fragile items is generally excluded on a standard homeowners policy, a Valuable Articles policy covers breakage.
- Disappearance or Misplacement Coverage: Sometimes referred to as “mysterious disappearance”, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover misplaced or lost items (only stolen). A Valuable Articles policy covers all 3 types potential losses.
- Newly Acquired Item Coverage: If you already have jewelry or fine art on your Valuable Articles policy and you add a new item to your collection, your policy provides automatic coverage for newly acquired items for 90 days – up to $50,000 for jewelry and up to 25 percent of the policy limit for art.
- Inflation Protection: A Valuable Articles policy can up to 150 percent of the itemized amount on your policy (certain restrictions apply).
Here are some suggestions to help you care for and maintain the value of your fine art, antique or other high-value collectibles:
Keep a current inventory of these items – either saved online, stored on a CD or USB drive, or written down on paper. Make sure to include photographs and detailed descriptions, including any changes that have taken place since last appraised or valued for insurance purposes. Maintain a copy of this inventory offsite.
Keep fine art away from direct sunlight and sources of heat or flame (such as fireplaces). For rooms receiving a lot of sunlight during most of the day, UV filtering film can be installed on the windows to protect against harsh UV rays. Likewise, smoke and heat can damage artwork, and ash from a fireplace can accumulate on prized possessions, causing long-term harm.
Your home alarm system should include fire and smoke detectors in addition to interior, exterior, and perimeter burglar alarms. Rooms where valuables are stored should contain a smoke detector (not a heat detector).
To avoid water damage and the effects of dramatic temperature changes, do not store valuable items in basements or attics. Likewise, maintain a home temperature of 75°F and a humidity level of 55%.
For fine art, you may want to hire a Professional Art Handler and a museum quality framer to ensure that artwork is hung, framed and prepared for transport properly to avoid damage.