So you have bought your first piece of art or you have a growing collection. First question that should come to your mind is: Art insurance. With the right insurance policy, you can protect yourself from a long list of hazards. At Mearto we focus on creating solutions for art collectors and we have put together a 10-step easy guide to art insurance.
1. Talk to an art insurance expert even before you purchase the art work.
This is the step that will make the rest of the process so much easier and safer.
2. No, your home owner insurance does not cover your art collection.
Most people think they are covered but unless you have a separate policy, art works are not covered under other general insurance policies. Homeowners insurance only covers your valuables subject to your deductible and coverage limits.
3. Insure your art as soon as you buy it, with an art insurance specialist.
And be aware of your policy’s coverage. Some policies cover only when the artwork is installed in its place while some policies include transportation and handling. One of the leading art insurance specialists, AXA Art has a policy for private collectors that covers temporary locations around the world. They cover against accidental damage. Their policy is based on an agreed value basis so you don’t have to be concerned on a value determination in case of a claim. Most importantly, an art insurance specialist company will give you the care and attention, and understand your needs as an art collector.
4.Get all the necessary documents for your new piece from the auction house or gallery you buy from.
When insuring your art collection, the first step is defining the “provenance” by putting together all the necessary documentation to prove ownership and value. These documents include the bill of sale, proof you own it, provenance, a replacement estimate, photographs and the most recent appraisal.
5. Pay attention to what kind of packaging the art piece will need.
In our day, where online art market is booming, most auction houses and galleries are able to package even the most delicate objects in a way they won’t get damaged. But still, be aware of the process and notify your insurance correspondent.
6. Make sure your commodity is insured fully for shipping and handling.
The auction houses we work with at Mearto use logistics companies that are experienced in handling art. The shipping and handling insurance is usually something you will have to decide between yourself and the transportation company. For example, Nagel Auctions recommend their clients MBE Global, which offers insurance for the asked price. They have an uninsured shipment service as well.
7. Prepare the location you want to install your art piece.
Here, collectors need to take into account factors like security, protection from flood, and more obvious things like not placing your art over the fireplace. Art works need to be installed in a sturdy way, safe from heat, humidity smoke etc., preferably by professionals. And most important is security. Most art insurance policies make sure you install an alarm system and even video surveillance. With the right insurance policy, you can protect yourself from a long list of hazards. AXA Art offers a free risk inspection survey may be offered on a case by case basis.
8. Be aware what your policy covers in case of damage.
We do not even want to think about it but if your art work gets damaged somehow, you want to know what you can claim and what your policy covers. Some policies exclude restoration, which means you have to cover the costs if you have to send it to an art conservator. This could reduce the value of the piece, so make sure you are covered against the value decrease in the art market, for whatever reason.
9. If you buy more items, get them added to your art insurance policy.
If you have art insurance, one call to your insurance representative and informing them of your purchase is enough. You will then have to provide the necessary documentation regarding the value and ownership of the work.
10. Every 2-3 years, get your collection revalued and update your policy according to the new value.
Art is essentially an investment even if the collector buys solely for passion. So make sure you increase the value of your policy according to the value of your collection.