I have a lot of valuable artwork. Is it covered by my homeowners insurance?
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Asked April 22, 2014
The best way to protect your personal property under a homeowner's policy is to provide the insurance company with what is known as a home inventory. If the policy was taken out while your husband was still with you, it may have been included in the home insurance policy. However, since the artwork has a high value, insuring it separately may be a better choice, because most homeowner's policies are stretched to the limit without adding expensive items to the list.
In the past, a home inventory was basically a list of items and the receipts that showed their worth. Today, the home inventory has evolved and is typically a video depicting all of your possessions along with their receipts. This is more accurate and protects the property owner as well as the insurance company. When you have to file a claim, the insurance company can refer to the video to see exactly what was lost.
The personal property portion of a homeowner's policy is limited to a percentage of the total policy value. Most homeowners discover that they have more personal property than the policy will effectively cover, leaving them with large losses or out of pocket expense when a major claim is filed. Remember, personal property includes everything you own, from your appliances to your wardrobe.
For this reason, insuring expensive items is best done by purchasing one or more separate personal property policies. By insuring your artwork separately, you can more effectively protect it, and you will have the added benefit of being able to sell or trade pieces of the collection without having to rewrite your home insurance policy. You can either buy a single personal property policy for all of your expensive items, or even look into picking up individual policies for the most expensive pieces and grouping the lesser ones together.
Answered April 22, 2014 by Anonymous