Are Your Valuables Protected by Your Insurance?
Risk analysis and insurance coverage are hardly fun topics to think about. But if you own fine art and antiques, jewelry, silver and/or breakables, it is important to protect your collection. Like many connoisseurs, you’ve spent years collecting “priceless” items.
So if your insurance coverage falls short of offering you proper protection, what do you do?
1) Start With Identifying What You Have
Some people intimately know and understand their collection. Others, in the process of inheriting or acquiring new works, might not know or have forgotten where objects came from or what they cost. The first step to safe-keeping your personal property is creating an inventory. It is always a good idea to know what you own, even if you end up with a blanket insurance policy. Down the line, this inventory will be a valuable resource for asset and estate management. Before you do this on your own, which you can, consult with your certified and accredited appraiser. In addition to providing you with collection management systems, they can give you guidance on exactly how to note characteristics of value.
2) Is Your Coverage Retro? Get an Update
Many people did the work to get their valuables covered…in the 90s. For those with a policy 5 years or older, it is time for an update. For high value or market volatile items, an update may be beneficial even sooner than that. Changes in the market, like the financial crisis of 2008, can drastically alter the value of your collectibles. If you got an insurance appraisal in the past, contact your old appraiser or insurance agent to review it. The process is generally painless if you do so within 5 years of your last appraisal because the appraiser will have your appraisal on file to reference. It is a simple matter to update the document with the appropriate values for current market conditions.
3) Protect Yourself In a Move
Moving is a complicated process. How do you ensure that your personal property does not get damaged or lost when moving from one home to another? With an inventory in place, organizing your packing is far easier. With the help of a professional appraiser, this inventory can be expanded to include a condition report and a risk assessment for your property. The appraiser will anticipate the problems that may arise in the transportation, offer guidance for acquiring necessary moving insurance, and will be prepared to offer further valuation assistance in the event of damages.
Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator