Are antique furniture & collectibles covered under my home insurance policy?

Posted On August 24, 2016

Antiques & Collectibles - Home Insurance

Your Home Insurance Policy treats antique furniture just as it would any other article of furniture in your home. You do not need to purchase any riders to insure your antique furniture. However, it is important to understand exactly how a claim would be treated so you can take preventative measures to avoid disappointment should a precious article be destroyed in a fire.

Sentimental Value is not a factor in an insurance claim. Sometimes antiques are extra special to us because they are a family heirloom handed down through generations. Your sentimental value will be lost to you forever – it can’t be replaced and it doesn’t have a price tag.

Your insurance policy will permit you to acquire a similar article of “like, kind, and quality”, if the object is still usable for it’s original purpose. In other words, an antique bureau is still being used by your family as a bureau. A Sofa is still being used as a Sofa. Proving the value in order to acquire a replacement isn’t easy, and that task is yours. We’re glad you’ve asked us about this now. Take lots of photographs and store them away from your home. Home movies, videos, as well as internet pages about the particular articles you own will aid you tremendously if you ever had to prove the financial value of your loss, or prove that the article you wish to purchase resembled your own in value, style, price, quality.
Articles no longer being used except as decorative enhancements to your furnishings cannot be claimed for replacement cost. They can only be claimed for the value they might net if you were to sell them today. An example of this would be your grandmothers hot iron handed down to you, but currently being used as a decorative doorstop.

Many people have antique collectibles such as flower vases, knick knacks, soap dishes, fancy candy dishes, or kitchen utensils. Most of these types are articles are on display in your home for decorative purposes, but they are not likely being used by your family for day to day function. These are the most difficult for claims settlement.

Many of us do not know enough about these types of articles to clearly identify and value them, and frankly no two claims are settled alike with this type of article. I’ve seen cash settlements using the internet to help establish average value.

For example, if you have an antique radio, not working, You don’t know too much about it except that it was your grandfathers, and the wood was in excellent shape and it was decorative enough to display in your home — I could envision a claim handling such an article in several ways:

  1. The purchase of a brand new replica radio (readily available).
  2. If there was a good photograph, perhaps finding three for sale on the internet
    or in local shops and accepting the average value of the three.
  3. Accepting a cash value settlement of the article as a “decorative object” only.

The more you know about your objects, the better equipped you will be in the event of a fire. Most people don’t know — and after a fire has occurred, it’s too late to find out, and so, cash value based on random estimates is all we can offer to you.


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