Insuring and Protecting Your Fine Art

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paintingIn April I attended a Fine Art event hosted by Chubb in their new Boston office at One Federal Street – their new digs are pretty sweet. But that wasn’t why I and a few other DG people attended. Leading Edge Knowledge is one of our core values at Deland, Gibson, so to best serve our clientele we must be well versed in all aspects of protecting assets. We were briefed that the top three most illegally trafficked items are:

1) Drugs
2) Weapons
3) Fine Art!!!

That was an initial statistic that I found interesting and another reason for those with valuable collections to be properly protected.

Laura Doyle was the speaker and she gave about an hour presentation on the current highlights and trends affecting the Fine Arts market. Laura is Chubb’s National Art Specialist and guided the group through conversations on the following topics I will briefly outline below:

First we discussed an overview of Chubb services. It is an impressive list all geared towards protecting your prized collections. High values and unique pieces make properly protecting the items extremely important, below is a list of how Chubb helps:

  • Collection risk assessments
  • Fire and security loss prevention
  • Warehouse inspections to protect stored items
  • Referrals to expert appraisers, conservators, shippers etc.
  • Assistance with inventory management
  • Educational lectures for collectors
  • Homescan – infrared technology to detect potentially harmful environmental conditions
  • Review of loan and consignment agreements

Recent sales highlights: 2014 was a record breaking year for sales. It is important to keep your collection properly valued on your insurance schedule with recent appraisals as the values can fluctuate. You don’t want to be paying too much for insurance or more importantly – not have enough coverage! Chubb and other carriers that are familiar with fine art can act as an advisor to help you determine how often an appraisal is necessary or give opinions on how and if the values are changing.

Buying Trends throughout the recent years have been changing. Collections that were not as popular in the past are gaining popularity thus value. Collections inspired by Mad Men style, mid-century modern, Chinese porcelain, and wearable art all are pieces that made a subtle popularity shift from past years.

Buying trends as far as how art is being purchased is also trending. Art fairs and online buying are very popular and also bring on new risks to deal with. Properly valuing, shipping, storing and consignment are all aspects you need to work with your agent to properly protect your collection.

Valuations were a key part of the conversation as well. There are a few options on how to value your collection from Market Value to Replacement Value. These values differ so it is important to work with your agent on deciding the best way to value your collection. If you have a valuable collection that you want to protect, risk assessments are a key tool in lowering risk. Some of the top ways fine art is damaged are not because of malicious acts but mere carelessness. Examples are environmental factors, like too much light or humidity. Another subtle risk is areas of high foot traffic where a person could spill something or bump into the piece.

In efforts to mitigate potential losses Deland, Gibson and Chubb can help with proactive steps to protect your collection. Other insurance companies are also very competitive in this arena and DG represents a number of other options. Often some companies are a better fit than others so it is important to utilize the best options for you. This is important as Deland, Gibson represents all of the major high net worth insurance markets.

Below is a snapshot on some of the areas where we can help manage your fine art risk:

  • Home scan – infrared scanning for interior water damage
  • Storage, Packing and transit – using specialized and referred companies that have experience with Fine Art
  • Help with contracts and insurance when on consignment
  • Inventory management
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Authenticity procedures

Please inquire with Chip Gibson or Kendra Logie with any questions or to learn more on protecting and insuring your fine art.

Chip Gibson
Deland, Gibson Insurance

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