An overwhelming majority (83%) of 445 respondents to a survey at the recent Winter Antiques Show in New York plan to increase (39%) or keep their spending on arts and antiques the same (44%) in 2015. However, the survey also indicated a lack of awareness regarding insurance for these purchases.
The survey, which was conducted by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, also found that only 7% plan to decrease their spend, and 10% do not intend to make an art or antique purchase this year.
“Buyers’ appetites are clearly not satiated – even after 2014, when 42% of survey respondents increased their spending on art and antiques,” said Melissa Lalka, vice president and worldwide fine art manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.
“Increased buyer activity, coupled with record-setting sales reported by the leading auction houses, can significantly impact art values – and collectors should keep in mind that their art and antiques can become alarmingly underinsured.”
The survey also found that 32% of respondents believe they already have adequate coverage under their current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy for newly acquired works. Thirty-four percent would purchase new or additional coverage, and 21% said that they are unsure about their coverage and would need to check with their agent, broker or insurance company. Thirteen percent said they do not insure their art.
“It’s always a good idea to check with your agent and broker,” advised Lalka. “A standard homeowner’s policy provides relatively little coverage for art and antiques. Depending on the value of your purchases, there’s a good chance they should be itemized on your policy, or that you may need the broader coverage provided by a valuable articles policy.”
Lalka also suggested that collectors appraise their collections at least every three to five years and to have their agents or brokers adjust the level of coverage accordingly. For rapidly appreciating works, she suggested updating appraisals every one to two years to ensure they remain fully covered by insurance in the event of a loss.
The survey also asked collectors why they purchase art and antiques. Fifty-six percent said they do so out of passion, 3% for investment opportunity and 38% for both.
Chubb was the presenting sponsor of the 61st annual Winter Antiques Show, building on its 19-year affiliation with one of the top international fine art and antiques events. The 2015 show ran from January 23 to February 1 and featured 73 exhibitors of fine and decorative art.