Antiques Roadshow: Insurance Value ?

The experts often quote a value that is likely to be realized at auction and a significantly higher value for insurance purposes. Why is that?

The cynic in me thinks that they are suggesting you should insure it for as much as can possibly be justified in case you do suffer a loss. Am I correct?

IIRC (they did explain it once on AR) the difference is the dealer’s / shop’s / auctioneer’s markups.

It’s the difference between wholesale and retail, in essence.

What you might pay to buy an item at an auction and what you would have to pay to buy it from an antique dealer are two different prices. Most antique dealers buy their wares at auction, and then mark them up for sale in their shops.

So an “auction estimate” would be an estimate of what an item might fetch at an auction (the wholesale value), while an “insurance estimate” would be the replacement cost in the event your item is destroyed-- with the presumption that you would have to purchase the replacement at retail price from an antiques dealer.