Antique dealers may sell a variety of antiques, vintage items, and collectibles. Your inventory is often rare and valuable.
Antique dealers typically buy, sell, and trade antiques from their home, online, or at antique shows across the country. Some may also work from a permanent storefront, but the primary sales location for most antique dealers is outside of a retail setting.
Whether you deal antiques online, from an office or storefront, or at exhibits or shows, you need antique dealer business insurance to cover the risks to your valuable inventory wherever it is located. You also need financial backup for any other risks that you have, including protecting your business from lawsuits.
An independent insurance agent who understands your needs can help you find coverage from an insurance company that specializes in antique dealer insurance.
Why Do You Need Antique Dealer Insurance?
Antique dealer insurance reimburses you for your financial losses in the event of some type of physical damage or property loss. Most antique dealers need several insurance policies that cover them for things like fire, burglary, theft, flood, accidental breakage, and natural disasters.
Your risks go well beyond damage to any physical space that you occupy. You probably often take some of your antiques to sell at antique exhibitions, shows, festivals, and fairs. What’s more, you may store and sell items that are on consignment from private owners. The risks to your inventory are immense, and with varying ownership arrangements and items on the move, your insurance coverage must cover a variety of risks and locations.
And if you work out of a permanent location in addition to shows and exhibitions, you need to protect your building and all of its other contents, your customers, and your employees from mishaps, injuries, and property damage that can occur during the normal course of operating a shop or storefront.
If you operate out of your home, it’s important to understand that your homeowners insurance policy will not offer sufficient coverage for your inventory or your liability risks. Homeowners insurance usually limits coverage for personal property (in this case, your valuable inventory) to a percentage of the total value of your home. Homeowners insurance also limits coverage for individual items, and does not cover losses due to floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Antique dealer insurance, as opposed to homeowners insurance, ensures that your items are covered for their replacement cost value. This means that if you have a loss, you’ll be covered for the value of the item at the time of the loss (including appreciation), rather than the value of the item at the time of purchase, which may be significantly less.
What Does Antique Dealer Insurance Cover?
First and foremost, your antique dealer insurance should cover your antique inventory—wherever it is being displayed, sold, or stored—from a variety of physical perils. Some typical situations that you need coverage for include the following.
- Antiques on display in your shop or office space (if applicable)
- Antiques held in offsite storage or at your home
- Antiques traveling to offsite shows, while at the show and while in transit
- Antiques that are being mailed or shipped to customers
- Antiques owned by others being shown on your sales floor or at a show, or being sold on consignment
- Your physical storefront (if applicable) and items like furniture, fixtures, and computers
- Employees, vendors, customers, and any members of the general public visiting your shop (if applicable)
You need tailored coverage for your antique inventory for each item’s full appraised value. Finding this specialized coverage requires the help of an independent insurance agent who can help you find an insurance company that specializes in insuring antique dealers.
You’ll likely need “all risk” coverage that protects your antiques from a variety of perils (not just certain “named perils”). This means you’d be covered for any damage that occurs, regardless of cause, unless specifically excluded from your policy.
It is also essential to learn about “wall-to-wall” coverage that protects your antique inventory (including items on loan from others) while they are in transit or being displayed or stored offsite. Your items need coverage while they are in the possession of freight forwarders, auction houses, storage facilities, or anywhere else they may be moved to or stored. Items in transit must be protected whether they are on a truck, plane, boat, or any other form of transportation traveling to anywhere in the world.
Your antique dealer insurance should also include coverage for any non-owned or partially owned items that are in your care, custody and control, but are on loan from another shop or private collection, or that you have agreed to insure.
What Insurance Policies Do Antique Dealers Need?
In addition to protecting your antique inventory with customized insurance policies, you will also need a variety of more traditional business insurance policies to complete your antique dealer coverage.
Antique dealer insurance should cover your liability risks (claims that you’ve harmed someone or damaged someone else’s property). It should also cover any other commercial property that you have in addition to your inventory. This may include an office space, a permanent store or shop, or an exhibition booth.
Talk to your independent insurance agent to see how the following policies can help protect your business.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: This offers financial protection if a person is injured on your premises or if someone (vendor, delivery person, customer) sustains some type of property damage as a result of your operations. If a customer trips and falls in your shop, or trips over a power cord in your exhibit space and is injured, this policy would cover the medical bills or other expenses related to the accident.
- Commercial property insurance: This helps you rebuild or make repairs to your commercial space when an unexpected event—like a fire, a flood, hail, lightning, or a tornado—causes a loss. If you operate out of an office, warehouse, or various exhibit spaces, you need coverage for all of your property, in addition to your antiques. Commercial property insurance helps you replace, rebuild, or repair computers, cash registers, inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more after a covered event.
- Business interruption coverage: This reimburses you if you sustain a substantial loss of revenue or you must stop operating temporarily after some type of covered loss. If a windstorm blows down part of your roof and you must close for repairs, this coverage pays for lost income, salaries, and other expenses during that time. It may also help to pay for relocation expenses if you must set up a temporary space.
In addition to business property and liability insurance for your business, you might need a variety of additional stand-alone policies or policy endorsements. Your need for these policies depends on the extent of your business activities and where they take place.
Talk with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need these policies.
- Valuable papers coverage: Pays to reproduce valuable papers, such as financial documents, ownership records, and authenticity documentation for your collectibles
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of several other policies you might have, including commercial general liability or employers liability
If you have any employees, you might need these policies.
- Employment practices liability insurance: Covers you if a current of former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job
- Employee crime and dishonesty coverage: Protects your business from the costs of theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees
How Much Does Antique Dealer Insurance Cost?
The cost of antique dealer coverage varies greatly from one dealer to the next. Your costs are based on the value of your inventory, the amount of travel that you do with your inventory, the coverage limits and different policies that you need, and the deductibles that you choose.
If you operate out of a storefront or shop, your insurance costs will vary depending on the size and location of the shop, whether or not you have employees, and even the crime and weather risks in your city.
Talk to an experienced independent insurance agent who can uncover all of your risks and find the policy options that specifically address them.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need to protect your antiques business from a variety of costly problems. Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right antique dealer insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details and options.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get—but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can omit important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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