Art insurance

You can get your art protected two ways, your contents insurance or a specialist options.

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Many insurance providers insure art, but the type of art insurance you'll need will depend on the art's value and the kind of coverage you're looking for. Unless you own fine art, your home and contents insurance may be able to provide the protection you need.

What is art insurance?

Art insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection in the event that a piece of art or an art collection that you own is damaged, lost or stolen. In most cases, there are two different ways that you can insure art.

What are my art insurance options?

  • Contents insurance. Getting contents insurance is a clever way to cover your precious artworks from theft and accidental damage.
  • Home and contents insurance. If you have home and contents insurance, your art may already be covered. Home and contents insurance looks after all of the belongings in your home, as well as the building and property itself. It provides cover for theft, weather events, accidental damage and more. However, most policies usually have a specific limit for how much they'll cover you for individual items. So if you have valuable art — of say, more than $12,000 — you may need to call your insurer and let them know you'd like to increase your cover amount for those items. Most insurers will let you do this, depending on how expensive the art is. In exchange, you'll pay a slightly higher premium.
  • Specialist art insurance. If you have an expensive art collection or fine art, you may want to opt for an insurer that specialises in high-value artworks. This type of coverage is suitable for art dealers, collectors, artists and galleries and can cover you for loss or damage, burglary and theft, including while in transit. These types of companies generally specialise in fine art and so know what kind of protection it needs.

Cover your art with contents insurance

Art can be covered under home contents as long as it's under a certain value. If you have fine art or unique collections, you might want to look into a specialist policy.

Name Product Works of art Collections and memorabilia Home Contents Cover Accidental Damage to Home or Belongings Fire, Storm & Theft Damage Online Discount
Budget Direct Contents Insurance
Up to $5,000 with a limit of $12,000
Up to $2,000
Optional
Get 15% off your first year's premium when you buy a Budget Direct Contents insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.
Virgin Contents Only
Up to $5,000 with a limit of $12,000
Up to $2,000
Optional
Save 15% on your first year’s premium when you buy a new eligible Virgin Contents Insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.
Westpac Contents Insurance
Up to $20,000
Up to $20,000
Get 15% off the first year of your policy when you buy online. Use promocode: COVER. T&Cs apply.
Domain Contents Insurance
Up to $1,000 with a limit of $5,000
Up to $5,000
Get 15% off your first year's premium when you purchase a new Domain Contents Insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.
Seniors Top Contents Insurance
Up to $1,000 with a limit of $5,000
Up to $1,000 with a limit of $5,000
Buy online and save up to 20% on a new contents insurance policy. T&Cs apply.
Real Top Contents Insurance
Up to $5,000
Up to $5,000
Save up to 10% when you purchase cover online.
Qantas Contents Insurance
Up to $10,000 with a limit of $25,000
Up to $2,000
Optional
Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points when you apply. Points awarded will be based on your premium. T&Cs & exclusions apply.
Youi Contents Insurance
Limit not mentioned
Limit not mentioned
Optional
QBE Contents Insurance
Yes
Yes
Optional
Save 10% on your first years’ premium with QBE Contents only Insurance.
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Which home insurance companies cover art?

The table below outlines which home insurance companies on Finder cover art, as well as their specific limits. If you need higher limits for your art, most provide additional cover — you'll just need to pay slightly more for your premiums.

CompanyLimits
Budget Direct LogoUp to $5,000 for any item or set, with a limit of $12,000 in total, unless noted separately as specified contents on your Insurance Certificate.
Youi LogoYou select your sums insured. Where a specific value has not been selected for contents or jewellery, the most it will pay for a single item, pair or set is the lesser of the replacement cost, $15,000 or the lump sum value you select.
Virgin logoUp to $5,000 for any item or set, with a limit of $12,000 in total, unless noted separately as specified contents on your Insurance Certificate.
Woolworths car insurance logo$1,000 per item/collection, with a maximum of $5,000 per group for each event.
Westpac home insuranceUp to $20,000.
St. george logoUp to $20,000.
Domain insure$1,000 per item, $5,000 in total.
Picture not describedAmount not specified.

How much is art insurance?

This depends entirely on how valuable your art or art collection is. Your premiums are based on your art's value, the risk of damage, as well as other factors such as how well protected it is, for example, how easily it could be stolen.

If you don't go with a specialist provider and instead opt for a home and contents insurance policy, you're likely to pay around $200 a month, with your contents valued at $100,000 and building replacement valued $1,000,000. Keep in mind that this covers your entire home and its belongings and can vary a lot depending on the value of your home and its contents.

What does art insurance cover?

If you buy art insurance from a specialist provider, you can usually have the policy tailored to your needs. You can generally get cover for:

  • Fire
  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Accidental damage
  • Damage done at home and during transit
  • Loaning your art, e.g. for display at exhibitions
  • Restoration
  • Replacement
  • Lost value, e.g. if a repair reduces the market value of the artwork
  • Expenses incurred due to defective title

Pros and cons

Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of getting art insurance below:

Pros

  • Peace of mind knowing that your artwork is financially protected.
  • It can cover your art while at home and in transit.
  • A home and contents insurance policy may not be enough to cover the value of your art.

Cons

  • You may already be covered by home and contents insurance.
  • You may never need to make a claim.
  • It can be expensive.

What doesn't art insurance cover?

All insurance policies have exclusions. You may encounter the following exclusions if you buy art insurance:

  • No cover for cleaning, repairing, restoring or reframing the art.
  • No cover for wear and tear, gradual deterioration, rust or corrosion.
  • No cover for deliberate or intentional acts by anyone covered under the policy.
  • No cover for theft or other misappropriation by anyone covered under the policy.

Bottom line

If you've bought art, you need to consider protecting your investment. Depending on its value, a home insurance policy may be the best way to do this. Otherwise, look for specialist cover.

Frequently asked questions

Picture: Getty Images

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