Protect The Things You Love, tips for collectors of fine art.

By: Advocate Brokerage

Summer is here and the heat and humidity it brings could mean trouble for your valuables, especially your fine art collection. Paintings and other works of art expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity. Collectors will want to take steps to protect the fine art they love to collect.

You Need Additional Insurance For Your Art Collection

If you are an art enthusiast who has created an art collection, or if you are an art admirer who has purchased a few valuable pieces, it’s important that your insurance agent is aware of your collection. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may not provide adequate protection, so we recommend that your collection be scheduled on a Collections/Personal Articles policy. This type of policy will cover your collection in the event of fire, theft, and flood.

What Are Some Of The Features Of A Designated Policy For Fine Art?

  • You’ll receive automatic coverage for new purchases worldwide for up to 90 days after it is purchased.
  • In the event of a loss, you’ll receive up to 150% of the amount itemized to account for increases in market value.
  • We’ll work with you to determine an agreed value of your valued art pieces so that when a covered loss occurs, you’ll get 100% of the agreed value.
  • Most of our carriers offer help connecting you to resources that can help you assess your collection’s exposure to risks and provide assistance to ensuring that your collection is being stored properly.

Additional Information From Your Insurance Advocate:

  • Create an ideal environment. If your art is prominently displayed in your home, keep the temperature and humidity as constant as possible. The ideal temperature should be between 65 – 75 °F and the relative humidity should be between 55% – 65%. Additional tips to keep in mind:
    • Don’t turn off the air conditioning before leaving your home, even for a short weekend getaway.
    • Consider the installation of a compact digital thermo-hygrometer so that both temperature and humidity are consistently being monitored.
  • Work to prevent fading and color change by creating a cool and dark environment. You can do this by turning off the lights whenever possible and when a room is not in use, draw the blinds, curtains, or shades. It is also important that you:
    • Put UV filters on windows.
    • Regularly rotate your collection.
  • To minimize outside airflow, hang art in locations that are out of the way of ventilation, doors & windows.
  • Proper storage is also important. Your basement or attic may have the most space, but they may not be the best choice. Both are subject to temperature fluctuations, floods, and/or leaks. Instead, consider a designated space that is kept dry such as a closet with a lock on the door to properly store framed artwork that is not on display.
    • Outfit your art closet with horizontal storage racks.
    • Be sure the artwork is wrapped in archival materials.
    • Store the art face-to-back in a vertical position.
  • Protect your art from the elements, use caution when hanging art in areas beneath ceiling trays, washers, dryers and / or radiators. It is also important to:
    • Install water alert sensors that will inform you if you have a leak.
    • Be sure you have smoke detectors installed within 100 feet of your collection.
    • When hanging painting be sure they are raised 6 – 12” off the floor.
  • Be sure you create a detailed archive of your collection. It will be invaluable if you ever need to file a claim. Your archive should include:
    • Photographs or a video of your art collection, be sure to film from varying angles and in different light.
    • The name of the artist and title of the piece of art.
    • The medium (photograph, painting, sculpture).
    • The dimensions of the work.
    • Detail any marking, inscriptions or other distinguishing features that may identify the piece or indicate its value.
    • The date and place you purchased the artwork, as well as any receipts or proof of purchase.

Protecting the things you love is important to us. After all, for all of us here at Advocate Brokerage, it’s not just about insurance, it’s about you! If you love art and have a collection that needs extra protection, give us a call. We are here to help so put our expertise to work!

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