If you are concerned about protecting the value of your quilts, have them appraised, and use a fine arts rider on your homeowner’s insurance rather than buying the shipper’s insurance. If you can’t use your homeowner’s insurance, shipping insurance is fine as long as you have an appraisal.
The reason for this is simple—major carriers (UPS, FedEx, etc.) will gladly allow you to place any value on your shipment and charge you accordingly. However, if your shipment becomes damaged or is lost, things get a little complicated.
Example: Jane Doe ships her quilt across four states using one of the major carriers. Somewhere in transit the package suddenly falls off the map. Tracking shows it got halfway there, and then nothing has happened for several days. Jane promptly contacts the carrier and has a trace placed on the shipment. The carrier calls in a few days and says the package has been determined to be lost or stolen.
Jane then begins the process of making a claim on the package. The carrier’s first question will be whether the package was insured. Jane breathes a sigh of relief because she had conscientiously placed an insurance value of $2,000 on the package. The carrier then asks Jane if she had an appraisal on the item. Jane responds that she did not. The carrier then tells her that they will only refund her the cost of the materials used to make the quilt. Her time, artistic ability, past quality of work, etc. are all inconsequential without the written appraisal.
This is why it is very important to have a certified appraiser do an appraisal of your quilt. It is a relatively small amount of money to protect your art.
For more information about appraisals, go to www.americanquilter.com, and under the Quilting Community tab, click AQS Appraisers. This information may be reprinted in guild newsletters with the following credit line: Used with permission, American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, Kentucky.