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tgtaylor
9-Sep-2014, 08:10
With the recent uptick in earthquakes here in California, I finally decided to get a homeowners/renters insurance policy with earthquake coverage. Assigning a value to most items is pretty straight forward but what about your personal photography that you have on the walls? I have an even dozen framed prints that I personally made and 7 of those are salted-paper prints which in my mind are worth more than the silver gelatin even though the latter are toned in gold and/or selenium. In the event of loss, how would you declare their value for insurance purposes?

Thomas

Vaughn
9-Sep-2014, 08:57
More than likely it is the cost of materials only for our own work, unfortunately. Someone else's work on the walls you should be able to get full value if you can prove that value (purchase price w/ receipt or officially appraised value).

Daniel Stone
9-Sep-2014, 09:00
Whatever you feel their "worth" is to you is what I'd insure them for. Of course, you might need to put an extra "rider" on your plan, simply to cover your artwork, in case your insurance company doesn't allow for certain items to be worth more than a "set"(by them) amount...
If you're selling prints to others similar to the ones you're referring to, maybe using those sales figures/amounts will help assure your insurer that they're worth that much. Hopefully.

You might want to do some shopping, it's not illegal to have multiple policies, even if one policy might only be for your artwork/photography, with itemized items individually covered.

-Dan

EDIT: When I had a renters policy on a former apartment, I specifically asked my insurance agent about my stuff. He said that they would insure my stuff for whatever I felt it was worth. I had a "total loss" policy, where things were covered in the event of fire, smoke, water/flood, earthquake, etc... Basically "covered"... All items were individually mentioned, and photographed(my photography/darkroom equipment and personal items, like stereo and computer equipment were all photographed and documented, and I sent them a pdf file of everything w/ serial numbers).

Never had a claim, but for the $450/yr or so it cost me, I felt it was worth it just in case.

BrianShaw
9-Sep-2014, 09:24
My understanding of insurance (based on experience that does not include artwork) is that art is valued at "value of materials", or "comparable identical item value established in the marketplace", or an appraisal by independent appraiser, with the third being most definitive. Self-appraisal or "cost to buy" has never seemed to be acceptable. Insurance companies just love to claim all stuff at depreciated value rather than replacement value, unless your policy specifically states "replacement value". As you already know, you should ask your specific insurer since they have most likely have a clause on this buried somewhere in your policy's declaration page (or attachments, or ...). What I don't know without looking is if artwork fits within the normal bounds of household goods or not.

Vaughn
9-Sep-2014, 10:08
If one's business is photography and one claims to have an inventory of 100 signed, ready to sell prints worth $500 each ($50,000 worth) for insurance purposes, then beware of inventory tax! Probably not really a problem, but possible.

But when donating one's own prints for tax reasons, one can only claim material cost (not even one's time!) But if a friend buys your print for $500, he/she can donate it and claim the full $500. I am pretty sure the USPS works the same way if you insure a mailed print -- no matter how much the receiver paid for it.

bob carnie
9-Sep-2014, 10:11
Replacement value to remake and frame... if you start putting a high price , your insurance rate will reflect that high price.
For my Studio/Gallery I have both replacement and in some cases higher values... In extreme cases, we have had Kentriges, and as well a series of Penn' s in the hundred of thousand range, when that happens we phone up our insurance agent and put a rider on the art as its here and the client pays the premium.


With the recent uptick in earthquakes here in California, I finally decided to get a homeowners/renters insurance policy with earthquake coverage. Assigning a value to most items is pretty straight forward but what about your personal photography that you have on the walls? I have an even dozen framed prints that I personally made and 7 of those are salted-paper prints which in my mind are worth more than the silver gelatin even though the latter are toned in gold and/or selenium. In the event of loss, how would you declare their value for insurance purposes?

Thomas

Jerry Bodine
9-Sep-2014, 14:14
A couple years ago, I opted to inquire to Sotheby's to try to obtain their view on the worth of my two AA prints for insurance purposes. Bottom line to their reply is that they estimated a RANGE of value for each print. Here are responses from two different people there (just for additional info):

#1 - ...I have attached to this email several past auction records for other prints of each image which should give you a good sense of where these images have sold in the past. Please note that all prices include Buyer’s Premium, which is payable by the buyer to the auction house (not the consignor) on top of the hammer price (the buyer’s premium is structured as follows: 25% on the hammer price up to $50,000; 20% on the hammer price from $50,001 to $1,000,000; 12% on the hammer price above $1,000,001).

#2 - Sotheby’s Appraisals department can arrange for a formal insurance appraisal document for your Ansel Adams photographs, but it’s expensive. You may be better served by contacting one of the photographs appraisers on the attached list. An insurance appraisal is for retail replacement value. If you need auction estimates, I am happy to provide those. Auction estimates are related to fair market value, which is what the IRS uses for estates and donations. These values are less than retail replacement values (insurance).

HMG
9-Sep-2014, 15:38
I believe the appropriate term here is "declared value". You specify the value and that's what insurance covers. And your premium is based on that. May or may not be allowed with your own work.

lenser
9-Sep-2014, 16:30
The one actual experience I had was in the 80's when about forty-five stored display prints were ruined by a burst condensate line from an air conditioner that wasn't discovered until after the emulsion was actually dissolving. My agent said full coverage of the retail value, He was totally shot down by the adjuster and the company itself who declared only replacement value of the cost of reprinting each one.

I suspect that nothing has changed in that unless you can get the prints appraised now by a formal, recognized art appraiser, or two, or three and filed as a rider with your insurance company or as a separate "inland marine" type of specialty policy; you will be stuck like my experience.

Iluvmyviewcam
9-Sep-2014, 17:27
I only insure prints that I ship to museums for loss. If I put a lot of work in my prints maybe I'd think like you. I have some old silver prints from the 70's. My current work is all inkjet, so as long as the electric is on and I have a digital master I can turn them out like pancakes.

jp
9-Sep-2014, 17:51
Framing can be pretty expensive, if you feel it's worthwhile to insure it, there must be framing shops that would charge some sort of valuable replacement value.
Unless I were selling prints and the walls were covered with my inventory, I wouldn't bother to insure, and would find some sort of earthquake proof method of displaying things.

Vaughn
9-Sep-2014, 21:55
I had two or three boxes of 16x20 prints dry-mounted/window matted 20x24 invaded by ants and used as nests. When I finally discovered it, I laid all the prints on the driveway to let the ants leave and to see if any were undamaged. Then it started to rain. All went into a dumpster. Did not even think about filing a claim -- but I guess I should have. There was the equivilent of 50 or so full sheets of 4 ply white rag board there. Depends on what the deductable was at that time...can't remember.

On the bright side, for many years I matted 16x20 prints 20x24, because I could cut two 20x24's out of a full sheet, so I could afford it. Just too small of a mat...always bugged me (I now would do 24x28). So I don't have to store all those not-quite-rightly matted prints that took up a lot of space -- and for most of them I have a second and sometimes third print of each ready to mat someday. Which is good because a lot of them are on Portriga Rapid III and the old Ilford Gallerie. The former is not replaceable, the latter no problem to reprint if I had to.

tgtaylor
10-Sep-2014, 09:00
So then I take it that whether or not they are “inventory” awaiting sale or personal decorative art, if I were to suffer a loss then all I could claim would be the actual cost of replacing the frame, glass, board, dry-matt sheet, backer-board, etc., which in the case of the 8x10’s come to ~$55 each. If the negatives survived, they could be reprinted but the time to reprint each salt print in about 2 hours from the time the coated and dried sheet is first exposed to the sun to when it is hanging to dry.

Thomas

bob carnie
10-Sep-2014, 10:10
Unless you want to place a much higher value and pay your insurance broker the extra fee to accomodate this.. Everything is possible, do you feel the cost of insurance would be worth it.

In my enviournment I have to have a rider to cover ART prints , which are always being recorded with my broker.. my monthly fee can fluctuate depending on whats in the shop at any given time.


So then I take it that whether or not they are “inventory” awaiting sale or personal decorative art, if I were to suffer a loss then all I could claim would be the actual cost of replacing the frame, glass, board, dry-matt sheet, backer-board, etc., which in the case of the 8x10’s come to ~$55 each. If the negatives survived, they could be reprinted but the time to reprint each salt print in about 2 hours from the time the coated and dried sheet is first exposed to the sun to when it is hanging to dry.

Thomas

Drew Wiley
23-Oct-2014, 09:05
Unless you have an established track record of being "collectible" it is all arbitrary - it's whatever you decide you WANT to insure it for, along with whatever
insurance premium you're willing to pay. It might make more sense just to not bother, and see what the coverage limit of your "personal belongings" already is.
Do you already have earthquake insurance per se? It's pretty damn expensive, with giant deductibles. I'd rather put that money into structural upgrades to the
property that make it more resistant to quakes in the first place, because any shaker that would do enough damage to the building to overcome the deductible
would probably be so large overall that it would bankrupt the insurance company itself, or cause it to defacto default in any major urban area. I live just a few
blocks from the infamous Hayward fault, but bought a lot underlain by granite rather than mudstone. That makes a massive difference. One more thing - once
you have put something on paper with an "official" value, just remember that the IRS can use that on your heirs, and force them to come up with cash for the
alleged value. It happens.

Frank_E
23-Oct-2014, 09:51
I believe the appropriate term here is "declared value". You specify the value and that's what insurance covers. And your premium is based on that. May or may not be allowed with your own work.

this will not work for you in my opinion. Without question you will be paying the higher premium on the value you declared, but don't expect to get that amount of money back if you have a loss. We also went through a similar situation when getting our home owners policy. We have numerous paintings done by my wife's mother. She studied under one of Canada's "group of seven" and while alive sold a number of her paintings in the $1000 to $2000 range each. We of course no longer have those records of her sales. So we were told, as others have told you above, that we would only get a nominal amount in case of a loss. To get the appropriated "market value" for the art work there has to be a record of a number of independent (i.e. third party) sales, such as through a gallery of that artists work in order for the insurance company to pay out the higher amount. And even then I suspect you would still have a hard time. Insurance companies don't like to pay out….

Drew Wiley
23-Oct-2014, 13:15
I was highly involved in supplying the construction trade after the giant Oakland Hills fire here a number of years back. Ironically, I had supplied the house directly adjacent to where that fire began with a lot of stuff in the first place. All that dead eucalyptus from the previous winter's freeze made my hair stand on end, but that's a different aspect of the story. But this couple had many millions of dollars worth of privately commissioned paintings and sculpture by a particular world-famous artist literally bolted down all over the place (to discourage theft). Insured for full value of course. But with a fire that catastrophic and expensive, lots of homeowner's didn't see a dime of insurance compensation for up to a five year rate, unless they agreed to a ridiculously unrealistic level of compensation based on Midwestern labor rates and tract-home style reconstruction. It depended on the carrier of course, but a couple of major ones largely
defaulted up till the point they were criminally convicted - but it was either stall to rebuild capital or they would have simply declared bankruptcy. And Fed emergency bailout is just a low-interest loan kind of thing to get you on your feet a bit faster. But the short version of the story is, these guys were screwed as far as the artwork was concerned, and they owned a law firm! The insurance carrier was deliberately employing convicted criminals to handle claims, just to
bog down the whole process. That's one of the reasons that I personally wouldn't even bother with anything beyond a basic policy rider covering household items, and if there is spare time, documenting your "stuff" (including particularly valued prints) with a digital camera or whatever.