Insuring Quilts

2016-09quiltinsurance14-2

This baby quilt was lost for seven weeks between Wyoming and New Jersey. The quilt was not appraised so quite likely the shipper would have only paid the cost of materials to make it, though producing an appraisal of a similar quilt I made might have increased it to the amount I insured it for. Photo by Barb Gorges. 

How to Help Your Quilt Live to 100, Part 14

By Barb Gorges

As quilters, most of us tend to undervalue the quilts we’ve made. But if you purchase something for your home that costs $500 to possibly several thousand dollars, wouldn’t you want your home owner’s insurance to cover it if it were stolen or lost due to fire or flood?

In addition to quilters undervaluing quilts, so do home owner’s insurance companies. They equate them to a purchased bedspread.

To get more appropriate coverage, you must have your quilts appraised (as we discussed in my last column), or at least have a few of the important ones you’ve made appraised to get a sense of the expertise of your work.

If you purchased an antique quilt, the bill of sale will help value it. But family antique quilts will need to be appraised.

No insurance company is going to pay a claim without proof of value. Document all of your quilts: exact size, materials and techniques used, and photos of details and the entire quilt front and back.

Store a copy of your quilt records somewhere safe away from your house—in the digital cloud or your safe deposit box on a flash drive and/or in print.

You need to contact your insurance company to see if they will cover your quilts, perhaps with a rider, as they would art or jewelry. If they will, be sure you get the terms in writing. If not, ask them for a recommendation for another company.

Maria Elkins experienced losing a quilt (and getting it back), which led her to set up the website http://lostquilt.com where information about missing quilts can be posted. She also has more detailed information about insuring quilts.

Maria mentions an insurance agent who writes policies for quilts. It is the same woman a Cheyenne, Wyoming, quilter friend bought a short-term policy from to insure her quilt while it was being shipped to and from and exhibited at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

It will take time to document your quilts if you aren’t in the habit of doing it after completing each one. But in addition to helping with any insurance claims, it will give you a great sense of accomplishment to look back at all your work.

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