Collections of art, antiques, comic books, and other items give owners emotional satisfaction and a solid investment opportunity. Art collectors in the U.S. represent 43% of the global market, with more than $28 billion in sales in 2021. Insurance coverage protects your valuable art pieces against theft, damage, or destruction.
While insurance companies offer protection for your valuables, they sometimes offer a small payout or deny a claim they should cover. Nessler & Associates can help you get a fair settlement from the insurance company for your art-related claim.
Learn the basics of art insurance for your valuables and how art insurance lawyers can help if your insurer refuses to pay your claim.
What Types of Items Can You Insure?
You can purchase insurance for any of your valuable items or collections. Most people insure items when their value exceeds their standard property insurance coverage.
Drawings, Etchings, Paintings, Stained Glass, and Rubbings
The term fine art conjures images of oil paintings hanging in art galleries or museums. However, in insurance terms, fine art coverage also applies to pictures, etchings, drawings, sketches, rubbings, and stained glass. They can be ancient or modern and created in any style, from primitive to contemporary.
Sculptures and Figurines
Sculptures and figurines are three-dimensional art objects made of different materials. Items made of bronze and other metals are more durable than wood or textiles, so your sculpture’s material might affect your insurance premiums.
Antiques and Books
Antiques can be worth thousands or millions of dollars. They can come from ancient histories, such as Sumerian clay tablets, or more recent history, like craftsman furniture. They include lamps, quilts, fireplace mantels, and turn-of-the-century chairs or desks.
Antique and rare books can also be worth significant amounts. The most expensive book ever sold, the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci, was purchased for $30.8 million by Bill Gates in 1994.
Collections of Stamps, Coins, and Other Items
Some people amass extensive collections of items they find interesting or worthwhile. These collections might include:
- Comic books
- Baseball cards
- Beanie babies
- Hummel figurines
- Vinyl records
- Dolls and toys
- Dishes such as Fiestaware
Insurance companies treat these collections the same as art pieces and offer varying levels of coverage.
Jewelry, Clothing, and Accessories
You can purchase coverage for expensive jewelry, designer clothes, shoes, handbags, and furs. These items can be worth thousands or millions of dollars. For example, Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection sold for more than $137 million at auction in 2011.
Insurance companies require a professional appraisal of most items for insurance purposes. You can find certified appraisers for your jewelry or designer items through the International Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America.
How Do You Get Adequate Coverage of Your Collection?
While your property insurance covers some personal property damage, valuable items may not be fully covered. You have a few options for getting adequate coverage, including:
Know the Limits of Your Property Insurance
Property insurance policies cover damage to or loss of personal property up to a specific limit. For example, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that the average coverage for jewelry under property insurance is just $1,500. If you have expensive art, jewelry, or collections, you will likely need to purchase additional protection.
Additionally, ensure you understand the overall coverage limits. For instance, you may have $1,500 in coverage for one item but an overall limit of $5,000. This limit can affect your payout, so know your individual and total limits.
Purchase a Property Insurance Rider or Personal Property Floater
You can buy a property insurance rider that increases the coverage for specific personal property categories. A personal property floater extends coverage to particular items that you can easily move, while a rider lets you broaden your coverage and increase your limits.
Buy a Policy From a Specialized Company
Specialized insurance companies offer standalone policies that cover art and collectibles. These policies might provide broader protection than a rider or floater from your property insurance company.
Check your policies before loaning pieces for public exhibitions. Some policies from specialty companies cover these items, while riders and floaters typically do not. The museum or gallery typically has insurance for loaned pieces. Discuss the details before signing any loan agreements.
Collections can be a viable investment alternative to real estate or the stock market. Many collections give their owners a great deal of emotional satisfaction. If you need help getting a fair settlement from your insurance company, contact the art insurance lawyers with Nessler & Associates for assistance.
How Does the Law Affect Owners of Art and Collectibles?
Art laws can affect your ownership of works of art and collectibles. The Supreme Court ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 applies retroactively. The court’s decision limits the immunity nations enjoyed before the law’s passage; for example, the determination allowed victims of Nazi theft to reclaim their lost treasures.
This law might affect your ownership if you purchased a piece stolen or looted during wartime. If you have concerns about any of your items, discuss them with an experienced lawyer.
How Can Illinois Art Insurance Lawyers Help You?
An art insurance lawyer with Nessler & Associates can help you recover a fair settlement after damage to your collection. We have considerable experience with commercial litigation and will use that experience to fight aggressively for you.
When the Insurer Offers a Small Settlement
A skilled lawyer understands how insurers work. One of the most commonly used tactics is to push for a small settlement early in the process. The company might claim this is the only opportunity you will have for compensation. Your attorney can counter these methods.
When the Insurer Denies the Claim
Your lawyer can determine whether the policy should cover the damage by examining the policy and claim evidence. Your lawyer can negotiate or take them to court if the company denies a claim it should cover.
When the Insurer Delays the Claim
Some insurance company employees delay the claims process. The longer they keep your premiums without paying out, the more money they make on interest from investments. They also might hope you give up on collecting a settlement or accept a smaller amount if they drag it out.
Work With Nessler & Associates’ Experienced Art Insurance Lawyers
Let one of our art insurance attorneys review your claim to learn how you can get fair coverage for your valuables. Our legal services can prevent you from accepting an unnecessary claim denial or a low coverage offer.
Our lawyers graduated from top law schools before practicing law, and we actively participate in continuing legal education activities. We build our legal careers around fierce advocacy for our clients. Our law firm supports the community through pro bono activities and sponsorships.
Call the award-winning legal team at Nessler & Associates at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free case review. We do not collect fees until we win your case, so you face no financial risk in working with us.