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Art insurance

You can get art insurance in one of two ways: through contents insurance or as a specialist policy.

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.

Finder survey: What extra features would influence Australians in choosing a home & contents insurance policy?

Response
Temporary accommodation cover46.59%
High-value items cover34.29%
None of the above30.65%
Removal of debris28.68%
Flood cover26.25%
Preventative programs15.33%
Asbestos removal10.62%
Other2.12%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

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
Youi Contents Insurance
Best Rated Brand
Youi Contents Insurance
Limit not mentioned
Limit not mentioned
Optional
Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
Budget Direct Contents Insurance
Up to $5,000 with a limit of $12,000
Up to $2,000
Optional
Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you 15% off your first year. You need to pay extra for flood cover and accidental damage.
QBE Contents Insurance
$20,000
$5,000
Optional
Our verdict: It covers essentials such as fire and theft plus comes with some good perks such as security upgrades after a burglary and up to 10% off your first year.
Honey Contents Insurance
$2,000 per item and $12,000 in total
$2,000
Optional
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates the value of your contents. It was also a finalist for the comprehensive category in the Finder Awards.
Australia Post Contents Insurance
$20,000
$5,000
Optional
Our verdict: Covers common claims such as fire, storms and water damage. Like most contents policies, you need to pay extra for accidental damage cover.
Kogan Contents Insurance
$20,000
$5,000
Optional
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get a 10% discount off your first year plus $10 ongoing monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Qantas Contents Insurance
Up to $10,000 with a limit of $25,000
Up to $2,000
Optional
Our verdict: Earn up to 40K Qantas Points for joining by 2 July. Plus save 30% on your 1st year's premium for purchasing a combined policy online. T&Cs apply.
Huddle Comprehensive Contents Insurance
$1,000 per item and up to $5,000
$1,000 per item and up to $5,000
Westpac Contents Insurance
Up to $7,500
Up to $7,500
Optional
Our verdict: Provided by Allianz, one of the biggest insurers in Australia. Cover for fire, theft, storm, cyclones and more.
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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.
Everyday Insurance$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.

Why you can trust Finder's home insurance experts

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Frequently asked questions

Picture: Getty Images

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