seamless cubism purple, blue abstract art Picasso texture watercArt and antique collectors are buying more treasures, but not necessarily increasing their homeowners or renters insurance coverage to accommodate those high-value items, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies concluded in a new survey.

Chubb collected its data from a targeted source: the recent Winter Antiques Show in New York, which ran from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1. Out of 445 survey respondents, Chubb learned that nearly 42 percent increased their spending on art and antiques in 2014. Almost 40 percent said they’d seek out new acquisitions in 2015 at about the same level as they did the previous year.

However, 32 percent said they thought they had enough coverage under existing homeowners or renters policies to handle newly-acquired items. While 34 percent said they would obtain new or additional coverage, 21 percent replied they didn’t know if their coverage covered the acquisitions. About 13 percent said they don’t even insure their art.

“Most concerning is that a large number of art and antiques buyers think they have adequate coverage for their valuables under their existing homeowners or renters insurance policy,” Chubb spokesperson Mark Schussel told Carrier Management via email. “Clearly, this presents an opportunity for independent agents and brokers to educate these buyers.”

Mellisa Lalka, vice president and worldwide fine art manager for Chubb Personal Insurance, noted in prepared remarks that increased buyer activity in the art and antique world, combined with high sales at leading art auction houses, can lead to a major impact on art values.

“Collectors should keep in mind that their art and antiques can become alarmingly underinsured,” Lalka added.

She explained that a standard homeowners policy often provides little coverage for arts and antiques, and recommended that they be itemized or covered by a broader policy that addresses “valuable articles.”

As well, Lalka urged collectors to appraise their collections ever 3 to 5 years, after which agents or brokers should adjust the level of coverage.

Chubb, of course, has a Fine Art Practice, which handles clients with valuable collections. Chubb was also a sponsor of the Winter Antiques Show.

Source: Chubb Group of Insurance Companies