From the Runway to the Closet: Insurance for Luxury Handbags, Couture Clothing

The luxury handbag and couture clothing markets have become a booming industry for collectors and investors. The global market for designer handbags was valued at $72 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $100 billion in 2027, according to Business of Fashion.

The global couture clothing market was estimated at more than $11 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $15 billion in four years.

Distinguished Program’s Private Collection insurance program provides specialty coverage for luxury handbags and haute couture – items highly coveted by collectors and fashion enthusiasts. We can cover items for losses caused by fire, smoke, natural disasters (floods, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes), theft, water damage, and vandalism. We also provide coverage for items damaged in transit.

Our insurance policy for luxury handbags and couture clothing can be written on a scheduled or blanket basis. Scheduled policies allow us to provide coverage on an agreed-value basis, which benefits clients. Clients can review the values and agree to what they will receive in the event of total loss. We accept the purchase price as the value. An appraisal makes more sense if it’s an inherited or vintage collection. Firms specialize in providing appraisals for luxury handbags and couture clothing collections.

Our Private Collection insurance program provides worldwide coverage except where prohibited by law.

Background: The Power of the Purse

Luxury clothing items and accessories can soar in value over the years and are often regarded as collector objects and potential investments. For example, according to Arts & Collections, the first haute couture auction at Sotheby’s Paris raised over 950,000 euros – three times the pre-sale estimate – and included vintage pieces from Balmain, Christian Dior, Yohji Yamamoto, and John Galliano. The highest bid went to a pink Balenciaga dress covered in ostrich feathers, acquired for 56,250 euros against the 6,000 to 8,000 euro estimate.

Luxury handbags signal prestige and wealth. They are more than just an accessory; they are an investment with the potential to increase in value over time. In addition to being functional, these bags are works of art made with high-quality materials, sophisticated designs, and exquisite craftsmanship. The handbags are frequently created in limited quantities, enhancing their exclusivity and boosting their worth over time, underscoring the need for luxury handbag insurance. They are considered a valuable asset with high returns on investment. Brands like Wingham, Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton go for thousands of dollars, with some selling at auction for hundreds of thousands. One Louis Vuitton bag sold for $1 million retail.

The Market Is Ripe for Brokers Ready to Insure These Collectibles

According to a study by Bain & Company, the luxury market’s consumer base will reach 500 million buyers by 2030 – with the world’s youngest consumers making 80% of purchases. That’s Gen Y, Z, and Alpha buyers ready to splurge. They are not only brand collectors but also investors, knowing they can turn a profit. Gen Z and Alpha are also spending more on luxury apparel because of the “post-streetwear” phenomenon, according to Bain.

Older buyers are also filling up their closets with collectibles and luxury brands. The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article on the growth of luxury home closets. “Closets in luxury homes are getting bigger and more expensive, as homeowners look to display increasingly extensive, curated fashion collections,” according to the article, with average budgets for top-of-the-line closets skyrocketing to $200,000 to $300,000, up from $60,000 to $80,000 ten years ago.

Why Distinguished’s Private Collection Insurance Program vs. a Homeowners Policy

While a homeowners policy will cover the luxury items under a client’s contents coverage, a stand-alone policy like ours, specializing in luxury handbag insurance, is more responsive. If there is a total loss, the luxury handbags and couture clothing will be included with other items damaged or lost in the amount of the contents coverage. However, a client may not have enough coverage, as the values of these luxury items climb very quickly. Our policy limit can go up to $100 million.

In addition, our Private Collection program offers broader coverage tailored to the specific needs of the collection than what homeowners insurance provides. There is automatic coverage for newly acquired property and flexible, lower deductibles.

Insuring Collectibles Is What We Do

We specialize in insuring all types of collectibles and are excited about the growing luxury handbag and couture clothing markets. Clients range from experienced, long-time collectors of couture clothing who may purchase a few one-of-a-kind pieces and then store them to pass on to future generations to younger collectors who may also move on to various other collections as their passions expand.

Get Started with Distinguished Today 

To access our insurance program for luxury handbags and couture clothing, just register with us and then fill in and submit an application form. With the application, please try to include a schedule of covered property and any appraisals or invoices that you may have.

If you have specific questions about our policies, please feel free to reach out to our support team or explore our Private Collection Insurance program page for more details. 

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and Liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

‣ Register Your Agency
‣ Learn More
‣ Contact Us

Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance eBook - Distinguished Programs