Art Gallery Insurance
Art galleries typically carry a large number of valuable pieces and are generally under security round the clock. A recent article in the British “The Art Newspaper” details the effects of art theft and how galleries and museums need to up their insurance policies. Art experts estimate that there are up to £2bn worth of stolen art lying in the hands of organised crime. The main reason for this is that art theft is one of the only areas of the black market growing.
Several masterpieces have been stolen and never made their way back into public view. Some, such as Rembrandt’s “Storm On The Sea Of Galilee” and “The Concert”, were recovered, but with great difficulty and expense, and many were never seen again. The US FBI estimates up to £6bn worth of art has been stolen over the last 20 years, with only a tiny fraction ever being recovered.
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What Types of Art Gallery Insurance are There?
Art galleries have many policy options available to them to cover their risks. They can choose from a range of theft policies which can even include “all risks” options, in addition to an array of other insurances. Some galleries have also been known to install hidden cameras to deter crime. If a theft occurs, security footage is essential evidence when the police investigate the crime.
Art galleries in the UK and the US can benefit from the cover tailored to their individual needs during the business. If they have a valuable or irreplaceable collection of art or deal with very costly items, insurance companies will often offer them specialised policies for their high-value products.
The value of art is not always based on its monetary worth, though, and many galleries choose to insure art with particular sentimental value. It may be an original painting or sculpture by a famous artist bought at auction and has been in their family for generations.
Insurers may offer a range of policies for different types of art, but in most cases, the value of the insured artwork will be represented in a range of dollar figures. In a few scattered cases, an insurer has known it to offer cover with an unlimited value, but this can only be expected from a major insurance company with secure financial backing.
Theft cover is a policy in which the gallery owner can insure their entire collection. This is typically an all-risks policy, although the insurer may exclude individual pieces from the policy. In most cases, if a work of art is stolen from a gallery, the insurer will replace the artwork with another work of art, in much the same style and value as the original item. Some insurers will only offer cover for stolen items if they have been purchased from well-known galleries. If this is a requirement that you wish to adhere to, then you must disclose this fact when applying for insurance cover.
Insurance can also protect against loss and damage caused by natural disasters such as fires and floods. In the event of a disaster, the insurer will cover any costs incurred by the gallery due to damage or loss.
How Much Does Art Gallery Insurance Cost?
Insurance for art galleries is generally quite expensive. It can cost many thousand pounds per year for full coverage, and round the year costs will vary significantly depending on the length of time that insurance is taken out. Some insurers offer discounts to customers who take out cover on an annual basis, which can help them to keep costs down. Art galleries are sometimes liable for theft claims even if they are insured. However, it is worth noting that some galleries have been known to cover their theft losses rather than risk paying significant sums of money out of insurance policies which they know are beyond their means to pay.
A fine arts policy covers the gallery owner for art on loan and art on display in their premises. This can include statues and sculptures on display inside their building and paintings and photographs on display in their window. If any of this artwork is damaged or stolen whilst it is in the company of the gallery owner, then they can claim the replacement value of that piece. If it has sentimental value to them, they may also wish to claim for any loss they suffer as a result.
Although this type of cover is not suitable for artworks for sale, it does guarantee protection against theft or damage caused by burglaries or robberies. If you own a collection of valuable artwork which you would like to insure, then contact an insurance specialist to discuss your options.
To protect themselves from theft and various other losses, many galleries carry a variety of insurance policies. These policies often include business property coverage and a liability policy that covers personal injury and advertising injury claims made against the gallery. Damage caused by fire or water is another potential liability for a gallery owner to think about insuring against crime coverages such as employee dishonesty, employee injury and contractors’ errors and omissions.
Read more about what kind of business insurance you need here.
Other useful links about business insurance:
Public Liability Insurance
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