Should antiques be insured? Yes and no – It really depends. I found some of the comments from a reader quite interesting. Although much of the information he gave was known to me, what I did not know was that antiques are not all rated the same way. Antiques that can’t be moved or stolen easily like furniture are assessed at a lower rate as compared to things like jewellery.
This calls to mind some of the course content that I deliver to my furniture history students. During the Middle Ages there were two kinds of belongings: portable and non portable. The non portables were pieces of furniture that were so large that it would have been difficult for warring tribes or armies to steal. The portable belongings were gold plates and cups, tapestries and textiles, small pieces of furniture, anything with jewels, and rugs. These items were brought in big trunks and used to create a “homey” atmosphere to the drafty old castles where ever the owner and his personal army traveled. They were also the visible evidence of the man’s wealth. It’s interesting to see how insurance companies still think in those terms.
2 thoughts on “Insuring your Antiques”
I would also like to add regarding insuring antiques…I worked as an insurance adjuster in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and some of my claimants had priceless antiques and heirlooms but few were insured as antiques. According to the wording of insurance policies, if they were not appraised and had written documentation stating the antique value, all I could give them was the replacement value of a like item in today’s market. I could pay for cleaning of the item but not replacement as an antique. This can mean the difference of possibly thousands of dollars and the loss of sentimental items of family value. I tell people to read and understand their insurance policies for coverage of content items.
Thanks Kate – that’s very good advice!