Does my home insurance cover my artwork?

Is My Artwork Covered By Home Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | April 14th, 2020

Your valuable artwork and furniture is covered by your home insurance, but if you have a very fancy valuable collection you may need extra cover. Read on to find out more.

Yes – your artwork is considered content and is therefore covered against insured perils. However, many standard home insurance providers have limits on what you can claim.

Artwork tends to be costly, and replacing it may not always be covered by your premium. If you have a large collection or a particularly valuable piece of art, you may need separate insurance.

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

All in all, if you’re wondering whether you need specialist insurance, you should consult a home insurance broker. Give us a call and we’ll be able to give you some advice.

Artwork and home insurance

Common or garden home insurance policies will cover works of art as standard. They count among your personal possessions, and are assumed not to leave the house. This means they fall under your normal contents cover.

Insurance companies factor in that many people have relatively inexpensive works of art in their home. These pieces may be originals, but they’re not worth much in the grand scheme of things.

Risks to artwork

You don’t have to be the owner of an Old Masters original to be the target of art thieves. Some burglars will grab anything they think is worth something. A few may even know the true monetary value of what they’re looking at. But, art theft is incredibly rare. A bigger threat to your art when a break-in happens is damage to your art or antique furniture.

If a burglar knocks it off the wall, smashes it or otherwise ruins your art, your insurance may be able to help pay for it. Always secure your art to the wall firmly and use solid frames to lessen the risk.

Another big risk to artwork is fire. Most traditional art – canvases, paint, wood, etc – is very flammable. Others (concrete, metal sculptures, for example) can still come to harm via flames or smoke.

Your art won’t be immune to water damage, either. Damp walls, leaks, burst pipes and storm damage can ruin artworks as well. If a window breaks due to a tree branch falling, the flying glass may hit your art. If a leak behind a wall goes unnoticed for a long time, you may have a nasty surprise in store. Your favourite picture could be hiding a nasty black patch of mold, spreading all over the inside of the frame.

Policy limitations

The biggest factor affecting works of art or valuable furniture when it comes to home insurance is how much the piece is worth. This is because many standard home insurance policies come with limits. This means your insurance provider may only pay out so much for one particular item.

For example, Liberty has a single article limit of €1,500 where Axa has a single article limit of €5,000 or 10% of the contents sum insured, whichever is greater. Axa has a single limit of €2,600 or 5% of the contents sum insured.

You’ll need to read your policy carefully, or get your broker to do it, to find out the details of your insurance cover. Another thing you need to watch out for is the maximum amount payable in respect of high value items. Allianz has an inner limit per item of 10% of the contents sum insured but the total value of all high value items is covered for up to 50% of the contents sum insured. The corresponding figure with Aviva is 33%.

Specialist insurance

Concerned about your prized artwork? You can get specialist insurance from certain providers. They will provide you with a bespoke quote, depending on your needs.

Insurers like these will require you get a professional to value your artwork, before they take you on. It’s always a great idea to keep receipts of sale whenever you can for your art.

Specialist art insurance providers aren’t exactly well known: it’s a niche market. This is why it is so useful to use a home insurance broker like QuoteMe.ie. All of our qualified and friendly professionals carry this information in their heads, and can advise you quickly and effectively. Give us a call and we’ll talk you through the different options. There may only be a small difference in premium, but if you have one or two valuable pieces of furniture or art, it is well worth getting the advice and the right cover.

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