Insurers give specific tips on how to look after insured paintings

Published in Mint on, Dec 11 2012, Written by Kapil Mehta

My father gifted me a painting by M.F. Hussain 20 years ago and it must be very valuable now. How can I insure it?
—Prerna

Art insurance is a standard product. There are three aspects for you to consider: what is the value of the painting? What risks should you cover the painting for? How can you maintain the painting well?
Insurers will help you address all three questions. They will send a valuer to assess your painting and specify the premium. In some cases, the insurer may charge you valuation costs of about Rs.1,000 per art piece valued.
The standard art insurance is an all-risk policy covering fire, accidental damage and burglary. Natural wear and tear is excluded. Most insurers give you specific tips on how to look after your painting. For example, I learnt that in India it is prudent to frame not just watercolours but oils as well. However, the framing technique is different and an air gap needs to be maintained between the canvas and glass.

I have a health insurance policy that also reimburses outpatient (OPD) charges and medicines. I want to know if it will also cover homeopathy or ayurveda treatment. If not, can a special rider be taken for these covers?
—Abhay

Most healthcare policies that reimburse outpatient charges do not really insure you against OPD charges in the true sense. These products are priced in a manner that the additional premium, over standard mediclaim rates, recovered from you is equal to or more than the OPD benefit you get. So you would be better off purchasing a standard mediclaim and incurring OPD and medicine charges on your own.
In general these policies exclude homeopathy, ayurveda and other alternate therapies. A few insurers cover hospitalization costs at certain alternate therapy hospitals. However, I find the conditions and sub-limits associated with such treatment restrictive.
In summary, it’s better to pay your own bills for alternate medicine treatment.

I am buying a new car. What are the types of vehicle insurance available? This is my first car and I am new to driving.
—Piyush Chugh

There are two auto covers—third-party damage and own damage. Third-party damage is mandatory and covers you for damages if your car damages property, injures or kills someone. The premiums and terms are standard across insurers.
Own damage cover is optional. This covers you for damage to your car due to an accident or loss if your car is stolen. Most motor policies bundle the two into one comprehensive package. With a new car you should buy both these covers since repair can be expensive.
A tip on saving cost: motor insurance available with the dealer tends to be expensive. If you shop around a bit, you could save.

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