You have spent years accumulating fine art, but have you recently reviewed your emergency plan to secure your collection from natural disasters? A comprehensive plan is necessary for your art collection, especially if it is in a catastrophe-prone area. Several precautions can be taken to safeguard your collection.
1. You should first create a comprehensive insurance plan for your art collection with an insurance advisor. A typical home insurance policy has significant limitations for high-value art. Special considerations for your art collection need to be reviewed so that a proper policy can be specifically tailored. A knowledgeable insurance advisor can help design an insurance plan and proactively advise you on protecting your unique art collection. Consider selecting an advisor who can conduct an onsite assessment in order to identify potential threats and minimize future damage. Select one who also offers recommendations on providers for fine art transportation and storage. Carriers that specialize in fine art insurance only work with the foremost insurance advisors who offer specialized services that can make loss-mitigating recommendations before and after an event.
2. Next, have a professional appraiser evaluate your collection every year. While it can be difficult to place a specific value on your art collection due to market fluctuations, current art appraisals are critical in determining adequate insurance coverage. To protect your investment, ask your insurance advisor for coverage that includes an extra percentage over the scheduled amount, in the event its market value is greater at the time of loss than it was at the appraisal. Maintaining an up-to-date appraisal is important, and your advisor should be proactive in helping you obtain one annually.
Having a comprehensive emergency plan in place can help avoid any last-minute problems securing your collection.
3. Once you have an appraisal, create an inventory of your collection, including images and location of each piece. All documentation should be stored away from your home, or use an online collection management system. An online system is easily accessible and can help manage your collection as it grows. Collection management systems can record, track and store a wide variety of information that can be useful for communicating necessary details about each piece to multiple parties.
4. Finally, when a storm approaches it is important to protect your collection from damage. Include in your plan how you will secure each hanging piece or if removal to another location is necessary. Taking each piece to an interior room and elevating it from the floor may be the best option. You can also arrange for artwork to be transported to a specialized fine art storage facility. Be sure to thoroughly document this plan and communicate the specifics to all staff and family members.