Skip to main content

Home Sense

How to Insure Fine Art

Most of us will never own a Picasso or a Rembrandt. But we may own (or someday own) a pricey piece of art. And that brings up the issue of how to insure fine art.

When you think of separately insuring a pricey item, many people think of engagement rings and other kinds of jewelry. But extra coverage can also come in handy for anything from a valuable stamp collection to an expensive fur to—you guessed it—fine art.

At ERIE, your art coverage is included in your personal property limit on your homeowners policy or renters policy. That should be sufficient for the vast majority of people who own fine art.

Yet maybe you inherited or bought a piece by a real master. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider a separate endorsement for your fine art.

Even if your fine art is covered under your homeowners or renters policy, you may still want to endorse it under your policy. Doing so can let you choose a different deductible for your fine art than the regular policy deductible, modify the coverage or change how a loss would be settled.

Getting your fine art appraised

When it comes to how to insure fine art, one thing you’ll definitely want to do is get it appraised. An appraisal can help ensure that you’d be properly compensated if your art was stolen or damaged.

An appraiser may authenticate your art to make sure it’s not forged. There are several ways to check a painting’s authenticity:

  • Examine the signature
  • Check the artistic style and ability
  • Look at the construction and back of the canvas (A forged painting often has irregular or uneven paint on the edge of the canvas and is stark white on the back—forgers typically don’t vary the heaviness of paint used.)
  • Assess the past history of sale (known as the provenance) and any certificate of authenticity

A similar process is used if you own an original, limited edition print. An extra step an appraiser will check is the fraction number at the bottom of the print that indicates how many prints were made.

It’s a good idea to get an appraisal every few years since fine art prices can fluctuate. Make sure to save any appraisal documents with the bill of sale, certificate of authenticity and past history of sale. It’s also a good idea to take some photos of your art and include them in your home inventory.

Have more questions about how to insure fine art? Then contact an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent in your community.

You may not own the most expensive painting ever sold. (That would be a Gauguin for $300 million.) But you may still need extra coverage for your art. /blog/insuring-fine-art Erie Insurance https://www.erieinsurance.com/-/media/images/erieinsurance/erieinsurancelogo.png

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.


The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of February 2016 and may be changed at any time. 


Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 


The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia, New York and Wisconsin.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 


Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.


Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.