We are delighted to be able to feature this guest blog by Eleanor Moore, Director of Private Clients, at a partner organisation – Broadway Insurance Brokers.
Here Eleanor talks about the art of insurance to ensure that you and your cultural keepsakes are covered.
One of the foremost French artists of the 19th-century, Gustave Courbet, once remarked that fine art is “knowledge made visible”.
That may indeed be true of the skill and vision feeding the process by which the works that we see in museums and galleries at home and abroad are created.
Nevertheless, although we may even have strong preferences about the kind of art we either like or don’t like, we don’t necessarily need a great deal of specialist knowledge to appreciate them.
Some individuals, including a growing number of younger and more affluent businessmen and women with whom we deal, become so interested in art that they decide to become collectors themselves.
Although few of us have the means to acquire works by an Old Master or one of the leading lights of the Impressionist movement, that doesn’t mean we can turn a dream of owning art which appreciates in value into reality.
After all two-thirds of all artworks sold by dealers or auction houses during 2021 did so for less than £4,000 ($5,000).
Furthermore, not so long ago Banksy was relatively unknown, yet last year he ranked just behind Vincent van Gogh in terms of the leading artists by auction value, racking up £169 million ($205.85 million) in sales.
Anyone buying any kind of artwork naturally wants to make sure that it’s protected in the event of loss, damage or theft.
As with every other kind of asset, that involves including it in an insurance policy. Perhaps unlike many other valuables, though, art insurance has certain rules all of its own.
There are important distinctions which collectors – regardless of their particular degree of enthusiasm – really need to observe in order to avoid being left out of pocket.
The value of fine art specified in high net worth insurance policies is settled on an agreed value basis. In other words, the amount for which it is insured is what policyholders will receive should they have to make a claim.
Certain assets, such as buildings or more routine contents, are assigned a notional index-linked increase in value.
Art, of course, can experience dramatic differences in value as a result of the artists becoming popular as a result of auction sales, major exhibitions or their being the subject of a movie.
Items which may have been bought relatively inexpensively some years before and have hung unobstrusively on a wall ever since could make them of appeal to collectors – and, therefore, to those individuals whose interests are more criminal than cultural.
It is up to the collector to stay abreast of any fluctuations in value and not their broker or insurer. Failure to do so can result in there being insufficient cover in place.
Whether you are a serious collector or someone who invests in works which are simply easy on the eye, it literally pays to keep an eye on the art market.
For more information on Broadway Insurance Brokers go to: www.broadwayinsurance.co.uk
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