One or two pieces of antique furniture will make little difference to a homeowner’s insurance policy, but a large collection of antique art, antique furniture, and heirloom and estate jewelry will need to be noted with special insurance. The precious antiques the homeowner has spent years amassing could not only be lost, but with inadequate insurance, the homeowner’s financial investment could be gone in a puff of smoke. Antique insurance will protect the homeowner’s investment.
- 1 Homeowner’s Insurance Policies
- 2 How to Care for Old and Fragile Items
Homeowner’s Insurance Policies
While most homeowner’s insurance policies do cover personal property, they also have limits to the value of goods they will insure. Homeowners who have collections of valuable goods should read the insurance policy carefully to ensure their antiques are covered. The security of antique insurance will give the collector and homeowner peace of mind.
Most basic homeowner insurance policies will cover $2 k to $3K, but these amounts can vary widely from one insurance company to another.
Insurance Rider for Antiques
If the insurance company has a limit on the value of property they will insure, it is usually possible and certainly advisable to speak to the insurance broker with reference to getting a separate rider on the antiques and other valuables in the home. This is the all-important antique insurance.
Expect to pay more for the insurance rider, but it’s worth the expense and in most cases, it’s not overly expensive. Consider how much is invested in the antiques in the home to understand how important it is to pay a little more for that protection.
Specialty Insurance Companies
Some antique insurance bought through specialty insurance companies have this coverage built into the policy. These companies are geared to those homeowners who have as much, or almost as much value in the goods inside their homes as the home itself.
There are many insurance companies specializing in policies for homeowners with valuable antiques. Most major cities will have at least one. It’s advisable to get insurance quotes from several insurance companies, especially if the rate seems too high.
If the antiques and other valuables in the home are roughly valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, the homeowner will need to hire an antique appraiser to validate the value of the items and offer documentation for the insurance company.
This documentation will ensure the homeowner gets the full value of the goods if they are destroyed by fire or other losses covered in the policy.
It is also important to keep all invoices and receipts when purchasing antique items. This and the appraisal is added security when it comes to making a claim. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the antique items in the home – one copy for the insurance broker’s file and the other in a safety deposit box.
Read the Fine Print in the Insurance Policy
Always read the fine print in the insurance policy and ask the broker for clarification on things not easily understood. Most insurance policies will cover goods against any loss. But a standard insurance policy may deliberately exclude antiques. And this is why a special rider is so important. Antique lovers need insurance that will cover the full value of their collections, and they should keep their insurance brokers up to date on any new “old” additions to the home.
How to Care for Old and Fragile Items
Antique quilts are special treasures from the past. Most of these beautiful works of art were carefully handmade using scraps of fabric and while we treasure them today, these quilts were once a necessity. Collecting handmade quilts is a popular hobby for many. There are collectors that buy, sell, and trade these pieces as a hobby and as business. Whether you collect antique quilts because of the love of the art and tradition, or you have inherited a few family heirlooms, caring for them properly is extremely important.
When you own an antique quilt you should know that it is both very valuable and very fragile. You have to learn how to clean, store and display your special treasure. If you do not care for the quilt properly it can not only decrease the value of the piece, but it can also cause irreversible damage.
Storing Antique Quilts on a Bed
One of the first things you will want to consider when you collect antique quilts is how to store them properly. Of course, you will want to keep the quilts stored in a temperature controlled environment and away from extreme temperatures and moisture. The attic, basement and the storage building behind your house is certainly not the place to store these valuable collector items.
Many people love the idea of placing an heirloom quilt on the bed. While this is certainly beautiful, it may not be the best way to store the quilt. If you use the bed, then it is recommended not to store the quilt on the bed, even though that was the original purpose of the item. This is because you do not want to handle the quilt on a daily basis, as this can cause staining and weakening of the fibers. The best thing to do is to place it on a bed that is rarely used, such as in a guest bedroom. You will also want to avoid placing heavy objects on top of the quilt. When you do choose to place the quilt on an unused bed, it is best to rotate the quilt with another quilt every few months.
Hanging Antique Quilts
Another popular way to display and store quilts is by hanging the quilts. This can be a good idea if you do it properly. Remember that old quilts that are filled with cotton are heavy. If you hang the quilt for a long period of time, it can pull the quilt and cause it to take on a strange shape. For this reason, you should never leave a quilt hanging for more than a few months at a time. Some experts recommend sewing a sleeve on quilts to hang them from, however, it is also recommended to let a professional handle this. One thing is certain. You never want to use nails or tacks through your quilt as this will cause permanent damage.
Other Things to Consider
Lighting is another concern. Never leave a quilt in a place where it gets sunlight or light from a bulb for long periods of time. This will cause fading that can never be reversed. Low lighting is always the best options for displaying fiber pieces.
Of course, if you have lots of antique quitls, you may need to store them away in a box or in your closet. Make sure you get a special bag or box that is made especially for quilts and fabric. Never use plastic because your quilt needs to breath.
With proper care, your heirloom quilt can be passed on and admired by future generations. A quilt truly tells a story about the era it came from, and this is a special way to relate history to others.