Home Insurance

Home insurance coverage you need for jewelry and art

By: Joel Kranc on February 11, 2021
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Most of us purchase insurance to protect our cars, our homes, our health, and even our loved ones in case of an untimely demise.

But some of us, if and when we have disposable income, look to spend our money on expensive items — art, jewelry, family heirlooms, perhaps a rare bottle of wine, and more. And if we’re keen on protecting these assets, surely we should want to insure the safety (and value) of luxury items that came with a significant price tag.

Does my home insurance policy cover art?

Art can be, but is not necessarily, covered by home insurance, especially fine art that is very expensive. Home insurance is meant to cover some valuables subject to your deductibles and coverage limits. In some cases insurance companies will pay out a per-item amount for insured valuables, which can range from approximately $2,000 to $6,000. If your art falls within that range (or the range decided by your particular insurance company), you would be covered. If you have art valued beyond the range limits, however, you would need to purchase extra protection.

When assessing the art you want extra coverage for, it’s important to document the provenance of the piece and compile all documentation that proves the art is yours – along with as up to date an appraisal as possible. Many insurance companies will give you the option to purchase a special “floater” or “rider” that allows you to protect your art collection through your home insurance. This will provide an extension on the per-item limit of your basic home insurance policy.

For collections that are even more valuable, consider working with a separate fine art insurance company. Why? Art insurance brokers have the experience, knowledge and specialized policies that better protect you should you need to make a claim. This is distinctly different from a home insurance company who will look at the claim in more general terms as just part of your home’s contents.

Some policies will go beyond the “basic” claims and provide coverage for restoration, theft, or damage. There are usually three common types of coverage:

  • Scheduled – individually itemized, where each piece of art has a different value and coverage limit
  • Blanket – the whole art collection is protected with a per-item maximum
  • Combination – schedule some pieces and leave the rest under a blanket policy

Does my home insurance policy cover jewelry?

Much like art, jewelry also requires special coverage under your home insurance policy. Appraisals and documentation of ownership is a good place to start. 

Buying an “endorsement” on your home insurance policy can cost up to 2% of the item’s value. Beyond the limits of your insurance company (similar to art), it is best to look for alternative insurance outside of the home policy. Some people are inclined to insure engagement rings separately, as they may be the most expensive pieces of jewelry they own. Appraisals are best obtained from a member of the Certified Accredited Appraiser Program, according to the Canadian Jewellers Association. Your insurance company will require detailed descriptions and photos of the jewelry in question.

Of course, each situation is different, and your reasons for wanting insurance on expensive items can vary. Once you have the value and appraisals in hand, your broker (even if it is a specialized dealer for art or jewelry) can guide you to the best type of insurance. This may already be part of your home insurance policy, or it may be separate to cover specific items.