If you have home insurance, then your collections—be they aged liquors, first-edition books, or art—should be covered against theft, fire, weather, and accidental damage. But if your collection is worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, then additional insurance may help you, but beware of exorbitant premiums and deductibles. And what’s the use of investing for the future, if all of your potential profits end up in the pockets of insurers?
There is another way. Some insurance companies deal specifically with fine art, as well as other high-valued collections, and offer more reasonable premiums. These insurers are a little easier to deal with, both during the signup process and in the event that anything happens to your collection, and are better suited to safeguard your investment.
Insuring Fine Art
A fine art insurer should offer coverage based on a previous valuation, or based on their custom valuation. They should also offer some form of appreciation coverage and transit coverage, while offering to restore any art that has been damaged. These are some of the leading companies in the field:
This Bermuda-based insurer is one of the biggest in the United Kingdom, and also offers policies to international clients. They are best known for their home contents insurance, which also covers paintings and sculptures. However, the premiums begin to rise considerably if those valuables are worth more than £15,000 each.
Their fine art insurance is the better option for sizable collections and is available through Hiscox brokers. They have been offering this product for over 40 years and even collect art themselves. This is one of the highest-rated insurers in this market, offering all of the following: coverage against loss or damage with agreed value paid, the option to repurchase stolen property, payment to restore paintings after damage, and coverage for the loss of value during restoration.
Insuring Fine Art and Antiques
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG)
Founded in the 1920s by Arthur J. Gallagher, AJG is an insurance broker that provides services to clients in 140 countries, with the bulk of them in the United States. Their art coverage is bespoke, tailored to suit your collection and your needs. It is a service that has long been offered to art dealers and museums, as well as private collectors.
This is one of the biggest insurers in the world, and one that deals with everything from classic cars to jewelry, antiques, wine, and more. Aon also happens to be one of the biggest providers of fine art insurance. Available through their “Global Fine Art Practice,” their insurance provides complete coverage for your priceless paintings and sculptures. This coverage includes personalized service, including: custom security, complete risk assessment, natural disaster emergency response plans, and obtainability for customers worldwide.
Chelsea provides comprehensive coverage for theft, loss, and damage. Available to UK customers, their policies will also cover your collections during transit and there is no excess (similar to a deductible).
This is a specialist art insurer dealing with museums, collectors, and dealers in Switzerland (out of their Zurich headquarters) and across Europe (from a base in Liechtenstein).
They promise a “tailor-made” solution that covers all potential risks. As an independent provider, they deal with clients on a case-by-case basis and should be contacted directly by anyone seeking fine art insurance.
Insuring Vintage/Classic Cars
If you’re getting traditional car insurance for a classic car, your best bet is to use comparison-shopping-engine websites like Confused.com or MoneySupermarket.com. Many of these have specialist sections that cover classic cars.
If you have a collection to insure, you’ll be better off with one of the following insurers:
Trusted by countless collectors all over the world, Chubb is one of the best options for anyone with a sizable car collection. They have policies that are aimed at cars with a value greater than €30,000, as well as policies that cover valuable collections.
Chubb is also the go-to provider for insuring art, jewelry, and more, and is said to cover more than half of the world’s biggest collections. This is in part thanks to their sponsorship of TEFAF Maastricht, one of the world’s most prestigious art fairs.
A fine art insurer should be able to offer cover based on a previous valuation or on their own valuation.
A trusted name in the industry, Lancaster has provided classic car insurance for more than three decades. They sponsor their own Classic Motor Show and offer a discount to members of classic car clubs. You can also get a discount if you rarely take your vehicles out of the garage (mileage of fewer than 1,500 miles per year).
Lancaster can cover modified cars, classic cars, and car collections against loss, theft, and damage. They don’t cover every single car and you’ll have to check the manufacturer against the list on their website. However, this is not an extensive list and they cater to most collectors.
There are also policies provided by the following companies: Adrian Flux, Footman James, and Heritage Classic Car Insurance.
Other Collector’s Insurance
There are many insurers providing coverage for collectibles, from household names to companies that cater to the specialized fine art, aged wine, or other markets. These include:
AXA: One of the biggest names in insurance, AXA has a “Private Collectors Policy” that can cover your investments.
Greenfields: As well as fine art, a Greenfields policy will also cover you for antiques, ceramics, glassware, and other ornamental items.
Towergate: A specialized broker with a range of features for anyone seeking fine art insurance, including worldwide coverage for loss or damage.
XL Catlin: Specialized policies that include fine art coverage for private and commercial owners.
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group: Through their “Heritage Residential” policy, Ecclesiastical customers are covered for fine art loss and damage.
Highworth: Individually tailored fine art insurance that offers a number of services for private collectors.
Macbeth: Extensive fine art insurer promising to cover “all risks” while providing policies to customers worldwide.
Insuring Aged Liquors and Wines
Many insurers offering coverage for wine and collectible spirits do so under specialty policies that also cover fine art. Such is the case with AIG Private Client Group policies. They provide coverage for all “liquid assets.” For example, covering spoilage that is the result of mechanical issues, such as a refrigeration system failing. You will also be covered while transporting your collection.
Specialist wine insurers include La Playa. They will help with everything from flood damage that compromises bottles, to loss and accidental damage. They can do this as part of a home insurance policy, or as an individual policy.
You can also get wine and spirit insurance from the following companies: Insure Your Wine, AssetSure, Macbeth, and Hiscox.