Insuring Antiques

Are you the proud owner of fine antique furniture or collectibles? If you have inherited Aunt Mary’s Chippendale chairs, or some Tiffany lamps, you must insure them as antique in order to be fully compensated if they are destroyed or stolen.

Antiques are generally insured through a fine arts floater. This is a “rider” that provides additional coverage to your homeowners policy. You will need a professional appraisal of the objects you wish to cover. Without a fine arts floater, your homeowners policy is only required to compensate you for the Chippendale chairs as “chairs,” not 200-year-old chairs.

A fine arts rider required no deductibles. If a fire destroys your belongings and your antique chairs are insured for $50,000, you’ll receive a check from your insurance company for the full $50,000.

It’s a good idea to visually document your antiques — along with all your personal belongings — through photographs or a videotape, even if your insurer does not require you to do so. A visual record serves serveral purposes: it can serve to remind you of all you own, to help verify the condition of your property, and to assist you in replacing particular items.

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