Fine arts include paintings, collages, installations, and sculptures, among other forms, and are different from applied arts because they are created for purposes of conveying beauty or an idea, rather than for a practical, or applied, purpose. Collectors of fine arts pieces know this and appreciate the value of having a painting, model, print, or photograph, which may be of significant value sentimentally, historically, and financially. Whether they run a gallery, operate a museum, or have a private collection in their home, they need fine art insurance. Whether their collection consists of hundreds of sketches and paintings, or a single, very expensive sculpture, an independent insurance agent can help them make sure that their art is adequately covered under their home insurance, or through an endorsement to their business insurance policy.
Most people appreciate the aesthetic of a Rembrandt painting, a Warhol collage, or an original Adams negative, but they may not know the importance of making sure that these items of fine art are covered by insurance. Some home insurance policies cover art up to a certain amount, but an additional art insurance policy may be necessary to increase policy limits for more expensive, or expansive collections owned by an individual or family. Similarly, some business insurance policies may cover certain kinds of art, or pieces up to a certain value, but as with home insurance, an additional fine arts insurance policy might be required for a museum, or shop to make sure that each piece of art is properly insured.
An experienced independent commercial insurance agent, or an independent home insurance agent, will work with business owners or directors, and homeowners, respectively, to ensure that they find the right fine arts insurance policy for their collection. Most owners of art may have already had their pieces appraised and catalogued, but depending when this was done, an independent agent will probably suggest that they obtain a new appraisal, which can be used in determining the appropriate coverage. Also, if individual or corporate art owners have worked with an professional such as an art historian, restorer, or other expert, an independent insurance agent may suggest that they contact that person for help in assessing their fine arts insurance needs.
An independent insurance agent will probably request photographs of any and all pieces of art to be insured, along with copies of any documents describing or related to each piece. He may inquire about the purchase price of artwork, whether any restoration work has been performed on a piece, and if frames, mounting, or other components are original. Also, an independent insurance agent will probably discuss how, as most collectors know, the value of art can change over time based on current trends in the art industry, new knowledge about a particular artists, or a fresh affinity for a particular style or medium. Because of this, while he will help owners of art select a fine art insurance policy, he will also encourage them to keep in touch annually so that they can reevaluate their coverage needs as they develop and increase, or decrease, over time.
By working with an independent insurance professional, museum and gallery directors, and private art owners can learn more about the components of a fine arts insurance policy, including terms of coverage, rates, and what is usually excluded. In finding out about the provisions of their policy, along with its limitations, they can be better prepared to deal with the claims process if a painting is accidentally torn, smudged, or stolen, or a sculpture is damaged by movers.
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