Fine Arts: protect everything from prototypes to Picassos

Sandy brought destruction to the northeast in uncountable and, before the storm, unimaginable ways.

Especially hard hit in value were collectors of fine arts and antiques. Even businesses lost precious antiquities and paintings. Many of these businesses thought fine art floaters were for attaching to homeowners only. Not so. The estimate of uncovered loss in Sandy equaled the covered losses, about half of a billion dollars.

Whether you display Civil War memorabilia, Louis XIII chairs or a stamp collection as points of interest and conversation starters, these dear assets need special consideration for their greater than intrinsic value.

Honus Wagner's hat is not just a baseball cap. Straight property policies view it that way. The fine arts form is required.

Inventory your fine arts: paintings, collections, memorabilia, statues, silver, gold, crystal, sculpture, anything with an art value. Either find receipts for purchase or obtain current appraisals.

Even the historical pieces or company museum should be valued. Do you have an original prototype of a famous invention? How about the original of your companies first stock certificate? Any well known awards or trophies?

Think one-of-a kind, think unique value, think collectible. Now think how you replace this value.

Fine arts coverage is about uniqueness. Some policies agree to an amount of loss up front. Although you will never find that second Mona Lisa, the value can be estimated and paid to you on loss.

If you use the lobby as a museum, certainly you will want to purchase substitute pieces in the event of a loss. Main Street property policies view intrinsic value in either replacement or actual cash value. 

That Louis XIII chair is fully depreciated under actual cash value and its replacement cost might be a few hundred dollars.

Other property categories limit loss to a few hundred or thousand dollars.

Learn from the crowd in New York City who never believed that loss could occur. Take time to inventory and value your treasures. 

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