Art Insurance

Dec 11, 2013
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Art Insurance

In our last post, we asked the question:

According to the 2013 Norton Report, what has the global cost of cybercrime risen to over the past year? 

Answer: In the past year, cybercrime?€?s global cost has risen to $113 billion, or just under $300 per victim. That?€?s a lot of money disappearing from a lot of people!

How close was your guess?

Now for this post?€?s question!

Where and when did the biggest art heist in Canadian history take place?

We?€?ll reveal the answer in our next post!

Art exhibits. Who doesn?€?t enjoy a well thought out art exhibit? Whether it?€?s historic or contemporary art or artefacts, most people simply see the end result of the exhibition process, which is the exhibit itself?€?but what about the work that goes into moving the art and setting it up?

The process of relocating works of art from one place to another is, well?€? a fine art in and of itself! From packing and moving, to installation, to repacking and transportation, there?€?s much more going on behind the scenes than you might think.

Now, if you?€?re an artist, you might find the following information valuable in terms of providing some insight on what to consider as you plan out your next (or first!) art installation or tour.  If you?€?re a business owner, museum worker, or municipal employee pondering the best way to add some artwork or a new exhibit to your facility, this may provide some necessary insight as you work toward making the best decision for the enrichment of your guests.

When Art Goes on Vacation

Before you go on a trip, what steps do you take to prepare? You probably get any necessary shots, maybe get certain health concerns checked out, and make sure you have any critical paperwork up to date and in-hand before stepping on that airplane.

It might surprise you to learn that something similar happens to artwork before it leaves “home.?€? Standard procedure is to take a condition report of each piece of art before packing it up (this will also be done once it arrives on location, prior to installation, after take-down, and once it gets back home?€? and you thought your doctor poked and prodded you a lot!), to catch any potential damage en route.

And just like you buying travel insurance before a vacation, artwork should be insured before it ever leaves its place of origin. Prior to leaving, an insurer will typically ask for a facility report that gives details of everything from floor plans to accreditations, to staff and contractor listings, to maintenance, shipping / receiving details, storage environment, temperature control, security details, exhibit plans, and then some. If you thought your vacation planning was detailed, it?€?s nothing compared to the planning that goes into insuring and moving artwork?€?and this is before it?€?s even packed up!

Hitting the Road

Transporting art is a tricky business, which is why the packing and transportation should only be done by a curator or other expert in art transportation. Museums and artists can hire transportation companies that specialize in art, rare items, and delicate item transportation, to ensure everything goes exactly as planned. It?€?s also typical for an insurer to require that whoever is handling the exhibit pieces already has extensive experience in this area.

When it comes to insurance for artwork, it?€?s critical to take into account that each piece should be specifically insured with transit coverage, and not just insured for its destination. Loading and unloading can be particularly precarious parts of the journey, so be aware that there may be additional or extended coverage required for these critical moments.

The Installation is the Destination

Once the artwork reaches its temporary destination, there are a whole slew of tasks to complete before it can sit back and relax. The artwork needs to unload (there?€?s that transportation expert again!), check in (who?€?s receiving the artwork at the destination?), and get settled before enjoying its lengthy vacation stay.

While you might expect that the artist or the exhibitor would be in charge of setup and installation, that typically isn?€?t the case. There may be a curator on hand to do the installation, or the exhibit?€?s display may be placed in the hands of another expert?€?in which case, their plans and profile will have be part of the insurance process too.

And just like any good resort, the artwork?€?s destination often requires 24-hour security, though of course this will vary depending on the value of what?€?s being displayed. This kind of security tends to take the form of video surveillance with locked and alarmed cabinets, or special motion-sensitive tags that set off alarms should the item be touched or moved prior to disarming the system.

Whether the art comes from Hollywood, China, or the Louvre?€?or anywhere in between!?€?the amount of steps involved to transport art from one place to another, securely and safely, can be overwhelming?€? but not impossible! With experienced professionals and the right insurance coverage working together, art can move around the globe each and every day, for everyone to enjoy! And that?€?sa vacation worth taking. 

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