Insuring Your Quilts

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Realize that your quilts are valuable

I tend to under-value my work, but contemporary and antique quilts, especially if they are high quality or unique, are very valuable.

Your quilts may not automatically be covered by your homeowners insurance

Contact your insurance agent to determine if your quilt is covered under your current homeowners insurance policy.

Make sure that your insurance policy specifically says it will cover your quilts

Don’t rely on verbal assurances from your insurance agent. Get it in writing.

Ask if you need a fine arts floater or an inland marine rider

This additional insurance will typically require you to submit a written appraisal. Your insurance agent may be able to tailor fit this type of policy to fit your unique needs.

Ask if the policy is for full value or only replacement value

Be clear about what the terms used in your policy actually means and what it actually covers. Does it cover total replacement cost? Does it cover only a percentage of the value? Is your quilt only covered when it is in your home? Typically, a homeowners policy does not cover your quilt while it is being shipped or while it is at a show but it may cover your quilt while it is in your car. Be sure you know what the limitations are.

Have a current appraisal

Your insurance agent will probably want a appraisal to establish the value of your quilt. Keep your appraisals current by having the quilt appraised every three years.

Good record keeping helps validate the value of your quilt

This could include several photographs, receipts for fabric and material, estimated time spent making the quilt, size of the quilt, pattern, fabric samples, any shows the quilt was displayed in and awards it may have won.

If you display your quilt in a show, check to see if it will be insured by the show coordinators during the show

Be sure to ask questions first. Larger quilt shows may provide insurance, but your quilt may be covered for only a nominal amount unless you give them a copy of your appraisal. If they provide insurance, coverage begins when their representative takes possession of your quilt and ends when the quilt is turned over to the shipping company after the show. It does not cover your quilt during shipment to and from the show and typically your homeowners insurance does not either. You need to purchase separate insurance from the shipper. Some shipping companies limit the amount you can insure a piece of fine art for, so check what their limitations are too.

If you are a professional quilter or quilt teacher, you may need a different kind of insurance

Check with your insurance agent to see if you need a commercial insurance policy.

You can get a comprehensive policy specialized for quilters

Chris Johnston offers a comprehensive policy that will insure your quilts, quilt making supplies, sewing machines, etc. This policy will cover your quilts while they are in your home, while they are being shipped, and while they are at a show provided it is within the US or Canada. It insures your quilts against theft, fire, and mysterious disappearances. It does not cover wear, tear or deterioration. For more information, contact Chris at 800-688-7472, extension 4282, or (I have no affiliation with Chris Johnston, I just think she offers a unique service for quilters.)

Think twice before you decide you don’t need to go through the trouble of getting additional insurance for your quilts

The heartache over the loss of a quilt is very real and very traumatic. Repeatedly, I hear quilters compare it to the loss of a loved one or a child. Take steps now so you don’t regret the unseen later.


Insuring Your Quilts — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Maria,
    I have a question re: insurance. I am sending my quilt to Quilt Expo in Wisc. They require $18 to ship it back after the show. How would I handle insuring the quilt on its way home? I will call my homeowner’s insurance agent and see about adding insurance for the quilt but it sounds like even this will not cover during shipping. I called Quilt Expo and they said it would be covered by homeowners while shipping. I’m thinking she was not correct in saying that. How have you handled this aspect?
    Thanks. Linda

  2. I imagine their might be some homeowner’s insurance policies that might cover your quilt under these conditions, but you definitely want to double check before assuming they will. I have a separate policy with a company that specifically covers my quilts wherever they are. There is a $500 deductible, so when I ship a quilt, I insure it through the shipping company for $500, no matter how valuable the quilt actually is. That way my deductible is covered through the shipping company and the rest is covered through my quilt insurance company. When a quilt is returning from a show, I request them to do the same.

  3. I have a “Crazy Quilt” dated 1916- how would I go about finding the value to insure this.

    Thank you,