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Everyone has a passion in life – and for many of us those passions can form the basis of a collection we will treasure for years. Whether it’s fine art, wine, classic cars, cameras or watches, our love of craftsmanship, our appreciation of design and the prestige of ownership can lead to the creation of a treasured legacy we can pass down to our children or use as a long-term investment.  But passion alone may not be enough to protect these possessions; treasured collections cry out to be lavished with care and attention – and some serious thought.

Know your collection

At Chubb, we’ve insured thousands of passion collections. Based on the experience we’ve gained, we recommend that as soon as you begin to establish your collection, you conduct some careful research to ensure you understand how to care for your newly acquired possessions. Fine wine, artworks, classic cars, cameras and watches all have unique transportation, maintenance, storage and display needs that will vary from region to region. For example, an acrylic painting hung in a chateau in the South of France, where there is stronger light and higher humidity, will need to be stored and cared for in a different way to a painting in cooler, wetter Scotland. This is why we employ highly skilled risk consultants to assess your storage and maintenance programme, thus ensuring your assets are safe.

The importance of valuations

In terms of protecting the ongoing value of your collection, we also strongly recommend that each piece in a collection is independently valued by an expert so that, should an insurance claim be necessary, we can replace or restore lost, stolen or damaged items with an absolute minimum of fuss. Chubb will help you appoint and establish a relationship with an independent valuer with the appropriate level of expertise.

Once you have independent valuations, we recommend that you create a detailed inventory listing each piece with supporting documentation. Basically, the rule of thumb is: you can’t document your collection too much. Original sales receipts, certificates of authenticity, valuations and evidence of regular maintenance and servicing along with photographs of each item should all be filed and stored securely.

However, once you have created your inventory and ensured your items are being stored and maintained correctly, it doesn’t stop there. Regular ongoing valuation is also critical for passion collections categories in which prices can be volatile. Art market conditions in particular can flex and, over the past couple of years, we have also seen dramatic increases in the value of fine wines and classic cars. If your collection is overvalued, you will be paying for more insurance cover than you need; if it is undervalued, you won’t have enough cover should disaster strike.

We understand that having to weigh up all these factors might be a bit of a passion-killer, but in the long run, they make absolute sense. After all, as the song tells us, love is blind – in this instance, blind to the risks our collections face. So, by taking a little time to consider the risks, and choosing an insurance provider that shares your passion, you’ve got the perfect recipe for building a collection that will keep you passionate for years to come.

To find out more about our range of personal insurance solutions, please contact us.