Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

5 Tips to Protect Your Valuables in Hurricane Season

Garden sculptures from The Estate of Peter Rosenberg. Outdoor sculptures need special protection when a storm is coming.

Outdoor sculptures need special protection when a storm is coming. From left to right: Ram Tomb Guards, sold for $7,995; Kasuga Lantern, sold for $3,998; Pagoda Lantern, sold for $3,690. April 2014, The Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg.

No one likes to think about disaster striking, but it always helps to be prepared. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is about to begin, and could affect any of us living on the East Coast of the United States. The season runs from June through November, and peaks starting in mid-August. In the event of a storm, you’ll want to make sure your fine art and valuables are protected. Even if you’re lucky this year and don’t get any storms in your area, these 5 tips are just good practice for collectors of objects of value.

1. Know what you own

A disaster is a terrible tragedy, and if you lose irreplaceable artwork without a good record of what you lost, there is little the insurance company can do for you. If you don’t yet have written appraisals or records of your fine art and valuables, now is the time to talk to an appraiser.

2. Update your appraisals

Do you already keep good records? Great! Make sure your fine art appraisals are up to date. Find a safe, waterproof place to store receipts, photographs and appraisal documents. It is recommended that insurance appraisals be updated every 3-5 years.

3. Keep a separate list with important numbers

This should include the numbers for your insurance company and your appraiser. Keep this list on your computer, phone, or on paper in a waterproof box. It’s best to store the list in multiple places to make sure you don’t lose it.

4. Find an art or wine storage facility in your area

If a big storm is coming, you might need to move your collection in a hurry. It is a great idea to have a location in mind before you need it. You may need a climate-controlled place to store works on paper or fine wine. Many places now offer seasonal and short-term storage in buildings designed to withstand hurricanes, equipped with generators to maintain temperature and humidity.

5. Don’t forget your art work outside

Do you have garden furniture, jardinières, or sculpture? If these pieces are not secured, make plans to bring them indoors. Some sculptures may be too big to bring indoors and difficult to secure. In this case, lay the piece down so the wind doesn’t knock it over. Once the outdoor pieces are secure, wrap them in a waterproof material to protect against flying debris.

From Florida to New England, the Skinner Appraisal Services team is ready to guide you through the written appraisal process, whether evaluating your collection for the first time or taking care of re-evaluation. To schedule an appointment with an appraiser in Marlborough, MA, call 508-970-3299. For Coral Gables, FL, call 305-503-4423.

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