How to Protect Your Art Investments

When purchasing art, consider the following related to your purchase. Make sure that you receive a full and detailed receipt, documenting each artwork purchased. Take care to protect your artwork from damage while transporting it to your home or office. What are your plans for the artwork and where will it hang? Is the artwork automatically covered by your insurance or do you need to contact your insurance company? What are your responsibilities as an art owner? We recommend that you keep a pouch or envelope fastened to the back of the framed work holding documentation about the work + that a duplicate set be kept in a safe deposit box or other location with all important financial records. Make sure you have a photo of the work along with your records.

Documentation of your art work

  • Bill of Sale 
  • Letter of Authenticity 
  • Artist Resume & Statement
  • Artwork Details
    Document your artwork fully, be sure to include size, current condition, medium.
    Also, makes notes about any identifying numbers or markings on the artwork and make sure you know the correct title and date of the artwork. How’s it framed and what’s the prominent subject matter of the art?
  • Photographs of Artwork
    Digital camera work well, make sure to photograph from different angles.
  • Artwork Information and Records
    Keep in a safe place like a safe deposit box or in a separate building in case of fire.
    Other documentation to protect include your bill of sale, artist statements, appraisals, articles about the artist, etc. should be together in a safe place.
  • Books about the Artist
    Purchase copies of all publications related to the artist.


Insurance Needs

  • Types of Insurance Coverage Available
    Ask you insurance agent or the gallery you are purchasing from.
  • Homeowners vs Other Types of Coverage
    Homeowners policies frequently cover art but check with your broker, you might have to list your artwork as a separate item.
  • Current Insurance Information
    Keep you insurance company updated with current artwork value.
    This should be done yearly or whenever the value of the artwork changes.
  • What Insurance Companies Pay?
    Are you protected from damage or loss due to an earthquake and water damage?
  • Partial or Total Loss.
    Will you be covered for the full value of the artwork or only a partial value?


Artwork Appraisals

  • Professional Appraisals
    You will need one when selling or donating the work to a museum.
    Where to find
    Professional Art Appraisers
  • Finding price information online
    The Internet will direct you to artist information, search for the artist name on Google or MSN.
    Look for the artist’s website, next check for galleries representing the artist.
  • Auction Price Results
    There are several companies that provide major auction results.
    One of the largest online price resources is:

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