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Jeff Koons
October 6, 2015

Users share concerns online about art insurance

Sharing opinions online

The acquisition of a work of art is a very personal decision but not exempt from external influences. In fact, the Art market is one of the industries which works with personal relations and opinions of others. The ecosystem of the world of art collectors, investors, artists, curators, critics is nourished by information and it flows both through traditional channels and the means offered by online communication. That said, there are still some gaps regarding information on insurance. Internet has represented a new way of “meeting” artworks and has replaced the physical experience for the virtual experience. Also influencers and users have taken advantage of the online facility and have created new forums in the form of social networking to share their experiences.

Thanks to these social networks, art collectors are becoming more and more open to sharing their collecting habits and users continue to seek their comments.

Posts published by museums in social media platforms ‘ are the most influential when buying art by a particular artist’. According to a recent report (*), new art buyers -both collectors and galleries- openly recognize to be influenced by posts from other art collectors.

 

Concerns about insurance cover when buying online

However when it comes to insurance, art collectors also share their concerns about buying art online. They affirm that there is little clarity about whether the art work is insured against damage or theft whilst in transit. Around 40% of art collectors are concerned that if the work is damaged in storage or transit it may not be covered by insurance.

To reassure those art collectors operating online, we will explain how the coverage of artworks should be, based on a real case recently experienced by our brokerage.

 

A real case of art claim

Recently we had the case of an art gallery insured by us. One of its pieces was broken during the transfer to the house of the customer who had purchased it. The causes of this accident were a defective packaging and an incorrect handling during shipping. In this case, the gallery had contracted an insurance policy that amongst others covered any damage during transport, and the work was paid for in full. As a result, the gallery could commission a new piece without any loss.

Most claims in the art world happen during the shipping: because of using defective packaging and not specialized transport companies.

 

The solution

Why could this incident be resolved so successfully? Because the art gallery had taken out the appropriate insurance coverage. Here we provide some tips on how your art insurance should be for your peace of mind:

  • When insuring your artwork, make sure that you have all risks cover, including loss or damage.
  • Your insurance policy should include payment of the agreed value of the piece or pieces insured in the policy, up to the amount insured.
  • Coverage of loss or physical damage of the art works worldwide, including transport risks.
  • In case of partial damage of the work: your insurer will decide whether to have your work restored and to compensate for the loss of value of the work, or to pay for the total value of the work.
  • Choose an insurance that includes coverage for the breakage of the work that is part of a pair or set.

With insurances that offer appropriate standards of quality such as is required by the art industry, the market will continue to grow and its users will be able to rely upon the best protection for their artworks.

 

(*) THE HISCOX ONLINE ART TRADE REPORT 2015.

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