Category Archives: Art Dealer

Art in Transit: Why we insure.

The reasons for art being shipped varies greatly, a collector may move or place artwork in storage while their home is being renovated, they often sell artwork at popular art fairs and even lend pieces to museums.

A dealer or gallerist may sell artwork to a collector from out of town or even another country, the working artist sends their commissioned works to buyers, galleries, etc. Auction houses frequently send and receive works of art. There are many different reasons for art transit, including shipping art out of harms way in cases of hurricanes and wildfires.

Other than hauling that hidden ‘masterpiece’ in the attic down to the Antiques Roadshow, artwork should be handled with care, shipped by professionals, and most importantly insured.

Transit insurance is extremely important to the safety of your investment. If you have the opportunity to talk with anybody in the insurance world for fine art, most of the losses by frequency — something like 70% — are caused by damage while it’s being handled through transit. Even so, not all insurance policies cover works of art.

Standard homeowners insurance likely won’t extend to cover your art collection, which is why most artists, collectors, dealers, and auction houses purchase a stand-alone policy that often includes protection for new works while they are being shipped to your home or business but it’s important to speak to knowledgeable art insurance professionals like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) and understand what’s covered and what is not.

It is important to know that most transporters limit their liability and folks are often quite surprised at how low their liability is. So, make sure your insurance policy covers the work of art as it’s being shipped.

Whether buying or selling at art fairs be sure that your work or investment has the maximum coverage with minimal headaches by using the Trusted One Stop Art Insurance for the Art Community since 1949, Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. Visit artinsurancenow.com or call 800-921-1008 we can help you with all of your Art Insurance requirements.

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Join us at Tribeca Art + Culture Night!

ArtInsuranceNow.com / Bernard Fleischer & Sons, Inc. is proud to be a sponsor of the TRIBECA ART + CULTURE NIGHT

As leaders in Fine-Art Insurance, we understand the importance of art and that not only should it be protected, but it should be experienced by the public. Cities gain cultural, social and economic value through art. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness in our communities.

It is free and open to the public. The event presents a program of events like a FESTIVAL, showcases venues/organizations like an ART FAIR, unlocks spaces to the public like an OPEN HOUSE, and offers art-walks to showcase exhibitions like an ART NIGHT.

It is also an ART MARATHON. Attendees can choose their own adventure mixing exhibitions with workshops, talks, demonstrations, and performances. In just 3 hours, from 6-9 PM, visitors join together to attend a curator-led tour, learn a new skill in a creative workshop, watch a live dance performance, and discover the unexpected in a contemporary gallery they may have never found otherwise. TAC Night is an adventurous playground showcasing artists, performers, curators, scientists, chefs, wellness experts, musician, designers, authors, thought leaders, and makers.

 

The Art Police

Detective Don Hrycyk , LAPD Art Theft Detail, shows a fake Jim Dine painting, left, and a fake Renoir painting “La Loge (also called Au Theatre)

If you believe Hollywood’s version, the average art thief has many gadgets, scales walls, and dances through laser beam alarm triggers to steal Rembrandts and Renoirs. But when Detective Don Hrycyk of the LAPD Art Theft Detail solves an art crime, the guilty party is usually a trusted friend or business associate of the victim, not Tom Cruise in a catsuit.

The problem isn’t always smart criminals, Many leave themselves vulnerable to opportunists, with state of the art alarm systems that are never turned on, treasures locked away in safes with the combination left in an unlocked drawer nearby. Detective Hrycyk has seen it all.

The Art Theft Detail was formed by the LAPD in 1983 in response to a rash of unsolved High-value art thefts. It was a smart decision as they have recovered $122,999,616 in artwork since 1993. It is the only law enforcement unit in the country dedicated to fighting art crimes full-time.

They investigate by publicizing thefts and staying in constant contact with local galleries, museums, auction houses, and collectors. They tackle everything from phony estate sales stocked with fake antiques to consignment fraud, home burglaries, art-related insurance scams, and occasionally dramatic heists.

Picasso’s 1937 drawing “Faune”, for example, was recovered back in 2001 after a man tried to sell his $100,000 “ugly painting” to Christie’s in Beverly Hills. An alert appraiser checked the LAPD website, saw the stolen work and called the police. Turns out the thief was a chauffeur who had broken into the house of his movie-producer boss.

Sometimes it isn’t a very happy ending though, sculptor Kewal Soni had a break in and lost a $10,000 sculpture that he worked on for a year. The burglar then took it to a metal recycling plant and sold it as scrap for a measly $9.10. Although later the thief was caught and convicted.

The importance of insuring your art cannot be overstated. Art is a passion for most and when you love something it’s natural to want to protect it. Allow us to help by providing easy to understand comprehensive insurance coverage for your artwork.

Already covered? Let us examine your current Artist’s, Collector’s, Dealer’s, Conservator’s, Gallery’s, or Museum’s policy. Maybe you’re overpaying, under protected or have the wrong coverages.

Our policies have diverse coverages to meet the specific requirements of the Art Community. We help clients select adequate coverage and to help mitigate potential exposures, we provide recommended loss control procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

Artwork in Transit; Managing the Risks

The top risks art collectors might face surprisingly doesn’t include theft. In fact, its art that’s on the move that poses the biggest risk. A large proportion of art claims are derived from transit losses. Private collectors enjoy lending, particularly as exhibitions in major institutions can increase value, that’s all very well until something goes wrong.

The movement of art is massive, now art is transported coast to coast, internationally or just to your winter home or local Gallery. When handling artwork, packing for transportation is a top concern for insurance carriers.

Many policies list as a condition, professional packing, meaning it must be packed as someone in the industry would pack it, safe, secure and protective from breaking if possible.

If you use a transportation service, either a fine art mover, a local mover, or common carrier, you must verify if they have or offer Insurance, what are their limits, conditions and the cost of the coverage. Insurance carriers differ and may have restrictions or limitations while your valuables are on the road, on a ship, or in air transit. The most common, efficient and safe way of moving art over long distances, domestically or internationally is by air transport, but it is very common to move the work yourself, so make sure your policy covers self-conveyance.

Some art transporting choices such as those offered by, United Parcel Service (UPS), DHL, Federal Express (FedEx), and other private art handling companies or commercial air freight carriers have limitations on coverages, territory, and deductibles. Keep in mind that while these are services used for fragile and non-fragile fine art, things happen within their control and outside of their control. Looking to your own insurance policy for protection is the right way to limit your financial losses and the quickest way to have the claim settled.

Artists, art dealers, and institutions use these Art transport services regularly, but Insurance, in particular, is the gray area in which most misunderstandings occur. Pay close attention to the bill of lading and understanding the fine print. The standard form limits the exposure of a claim on the art to weight, not value.

Our policies are written either as a schedule or market value less a percentage. Either way, your art will be protected while in transport. Caution, it’s important when securing transit art insurance to add extra days of transport for the unknown delays. Also note the declared value placed in customs forms or the bill of Lading is usually not used when settling a claim but look for wording which would specify to the contrary.

According to FedEx, “shipments (packages or freight) containing all or part of the following items are limited to a maximum declared value of $500: Artwork, including any work created or developed by the application of skill, taste or creative talent for sale, display or collection.

This includes, but is not limited to, items (and their parts) such as paintings, drawings, vases, tapestries, limited-edition prints, fine art, statuary, sculpture, collectors’ items, customized or personalized musical instruments, Film, photographic images, including photographic negatives, photographic chromes and photographic slides.

Any commodity that by its inherent nature is particularly susceptible to damage, or the market value of which is particularly variable or difficult to ascertain.”

According to UPS, articles of “unusual value” are prohibited from being offered for shipment. This definition explicitly includes “works of art.” As the November New York-based auctions ended and Art Basel Miami Beach began, for collectors buying and selling art no doubt demanded lots of their attention, they also should be thinking about keeping their art safe and properly insured as it moves between locations.

With the expansion of the global art market, risks increase. To discover a larger number of buyers, auction houses and art dealers often display art at multiple locations, including a growing number of art fairs around the world like Art Basel. The high volume of art exchanging hands increases the risk of improper handling and accidental damage and therefore increases the number of fine art insurance claims.

You should know where your art will be stored while in the possession of art dealers or auction houses. This is critical. For example, many consigned works were stored in art gallery basements in Chelsea during Hurricane Sandy, leaving many damaged. Art galleries may also store artwork at an off-site storage facility. Being notified before your piece is moved from one location to another is also a precaution and obtaining confirmation on how it will be packed and transported will help to ensure a smooth consignment process.

Don’t presume that the auction house, gallery owner, art dealer, or shipping company with possession of your artwork has insurance for its loss, theft or damage. It’s very important to have your own fine art policy. Collectors should always consult with an insurance agent. The agent can tailor a policy to a specific collector and discover any special provisions in the collector’s fine art policy.
No matter what risks they face, creating an insurance policy for an art collector requires one-on-one consultation since every art collection is unique, no two collectors are alike and no two collections are alike.

Collectors and their advisers would be wise to work with knowledgeable insurance brokers like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.  that can guide you in obtaining the right fine art insurance for your unique requirements. For more info visit www.artinsurancenow.com and live chat with us or call us at 800.921.1008

Displaying & Selling Exhibitions! Owned, Consigned, Renting, Sold!

Does your Art Dealer policy cover you?

Not all Art Dealer policies do. The reality is most art dealer insurance forms exclude or limit coverage important to your business operations.

Those policies either specifically exclude artwork on consignment, off premises, at exhibitions, and in transit. Fortunately ArtInsuranceNow.com | Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. offers coverage with policies designed specifically around the conditions of the Art Dealer.

Unlike typical Dealer Policies, ours are designed specifically to the unique circumstances around your business. We will work with you to help design a policy that fits your budget, exposures, and style.

Our services also include polices for Galleries, Private & Corporate Collections, Museums, Curators, and Artists.

If you have valuable artwork in your possession, you should speak with us about adequate coverage. Fine Art Coverage is unique in nature, we work with many Insurance Companies to help place broader, or special coverages to satisfy your requirements.

Recent news out of the insurance industry suggests rates are moving higher. This makes it a prime opportunity for us to review what you currently have and review your business exposures. Contact us today!

Call us at 800-921-1008 to discuss your particular situation or for a direct quote apply below.

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Artist Studios Need Insurance Too

Many artists neglect to insure their practice because they mistakenly believe they’re already covered by a homeowner or rental policy—which are strictly limited in coverage to assets that aren’t considered part of a business. (Sorry, but at least in this case, your art, if it’s for sale, is considered a business.) Sometimes, insurance riders—essentially add-ons to a general policy—can be purchased to cover works of art or business practices, but an insurance brokerage like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com concentrates in the more complicated policies that art insurance typically requires. Our agency is experienced at navigating provenance and the complicated methods for valuating works of art and a familiarity with insuring studios and art collections.

 

Other artists hesitate with insurance because they’re unsure at what point a work of art is technically finished—at what point it stops being a conglomerate of a couple hundred dollars’ worth of material, and starts becoming a valuable “piece.” Fortunately, in this case, the insurance industry is largely unconcerned with such philosophical questions. Generally speaking, insurance adjustors will use an artist’s past sales to determine valuation. If you sold a similar painting for $1,000 (and can provide legitimate documentation), expect a valuation of about $1,000, unless you’ve started working with precious metals.

 

Certainly, the most tragic losses in the event of a disaster are those of human life. Second to that, for many people in the arts, are cultural artifacts. Therefore, it’s important to insure our cultural legacy. Meanwhile, insurance companies can feel very far removed from the arts—with their talk of “assets”—and scare collectors, gallerists, and, yes, even artists, from maintaining proper insurance coverage.

 

We at Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com speak the language of the arts as well as insurance and can bridge the gap between the art community and the insurance industry to protect the legacies of the collector, gallerist, museum and artist.

Visit us at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more or call us at 800-921-1008 to speak with someone who can help with your particular needs.

Largest Warhol Collector’s Art Damaged in Storage, is it Covered?

Largest Warhol Collector’s Art Damaged.

Renowned Mugrabi family which owns the largest private cache of Andy Warhol pieces says its business has been brought to a standstill by a company that’s holding its entire $100 Million, 1,300-plus-piece art collection “hostage” at a New Jersey storage facility.

 

In a lawsuit filed in New York City, David Mugrabi accused Mana Contemporary of preventing the family from removing any art from its storage facility in Jersey City since last month.

 

Mana Contemporary had agreed in 2014 to store the collection in exchange for the Mugrabis’ recommendations of Mana’s services to their clients, Mana now wants more than $500,000 for storage fees, according to the complaint, and the company has also damaged 11 works of art in its custody — including pieces by Frank Gehry, Richard Prince and Jenny Saville, according to the suit.

 

Would our Collector’s policy cover the damages?

 

YES! Our Collector’s policy covers Art owned by the Collector and covers damages while in storage. The main focus would be the loss settlement. Restorers and appraisers would evaluate the work to determine the “Current Market Value”, the “Loss of Value”, and the value of the art if scheduled.  Once all information is established, then the insurance company would pay the claim.

 

A Total Loss: the company will pay “current market value” of the property at the time of “loss” or damage occurs. The “loss” or damage shall be ascertained or estimated according to such current market or schedule values.

 

A Partial Loss: The company will pay the Collector an amount mutually agreed upon based on the following:

 

(a) The cost to repair the property to its value immediately before the “loss”; or

 

(b) The difference between the value of the property before and after the “loss”; or

 

(c) The cost to restore the property as nearly as possible to its condition immediately before the “loss”. If the restored value is less than the value immediately before the “loss”, the company will pay the difference between the restored value and the value immediately before the “loss”.

 

Having the right policy in place with the right coverages help to rebuild and or restore amazing collections. The purpose of Insurance is to indemnify and restore the Insured to the situation prior to a loss. Sadly, Art is one of those objects which is very difficult to return to its original grandeur.  Nothing lasts forever, but one would hope, through proper insuring of a collection, it could be rebuilt with similar works or genres.

 

Visit www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more, apply here or feel free to contact William Fleischer, CIC at 1.800.921.1008

As Art Basel Miami 2016 approaches, we look at the necessity of a good art insurance policy.

artbasel-miami-beachArt Basel, the international art fair with three shows staged annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. The shows offer parallel programming produced in collaboration with the host city’s local institutions. Art Basel provides a platform for galleries to show and sell their work to collectors, museum directors and curators. The 2015 show in Miami presented 267 leading international galleries from 32 countries. Over five days the show attracted 77,000 visitors including private collectors and directors, curators, trustees and patrons of nearly 200 museum and institution groups. The show hosted first-time collectors from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Romania, Togo and Zimbabwe. That’s a lot of art moving around and collectors Art policies should cover Art, when purchased, on consignment and in transit, it’s about knowing your coverage situation before it’s too late.

art-basel-miamiThe transportation of art is a tricky thing, and as fine art transportation insurance leaders we can tell you exactly what you require to know so that your insurance program will be effective and  cover you properly.  Insurance coverage during transportation, installation and exhibition of irreplaceable works of art, antiquities, and memorabilia isn’t optional and the best way to obtain the finest coverage is to visit artinsurancenow.com or call us at 800.921.1008 to speak with a knowledgeable fine art broker that can advocate for you in seeking the best possible insurance terms.

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5 Things Every Collector Needs to Know about Art Insurance

anFor many of us, amassing a robust collection of works by the artists we love is more a dream than a reality (though startups like Art Money are working to provide interest-free loans that should make buying art more manageable). But for emerging collectors and seasoned vets alike, the actual purchase of a piece is only the beginning of what it means to actually own art. Though not flashy, art insurance is a crucial part of collecting. It ensures that, should an artwork be damaged, it can be repaired or, in the case of a total loss, some kind of remuneration can be provided. So what do you need to know about art insurance? We sat down with Robert Pittinger, senior vice president and director of underwriting at AXA Art Americas Corporation, to get some helpful tips.

Know the Process

When a collector buys specialty art insurance, they’ll work directly with a broker who can assess the collection and determine what policy the collector might need. That broker, in turn, works directly with the insurance companies to find the right fit. A common misunderstanding of the process, Pittinger says, is that “collectors confuse the broker with the insurance company.” It’s helpful to know that “the role of the broker and the art insurer complement one another; however, the roles themselves vary and they are different. A specialized fine art broker is an advocate for the collector in seeking the best possible insurance terms for their clients.” As an insurer, AXA itself works with a select group of fine art brokers.

Keep Documentation

The first step toward getting insurance is—unsurprisingly—to determine what is going to be insured and for how much. To this end, documentation is key. “One of the biggest things is that the collector needs to have all the documentation for their collection before they go to the broker, because the broker has to have a very thorough understanding of the price of the collection,” Pittinger says. When approaching a broker, collectors should have a list of all the works, descriptions, invoices of sale prices, the purchase dates, and subsequent appraisal prices.“The collector’s management of their collection is critical, whether they have an online management system or a spreadsheet or they have manuals with all the documentation and their appraisals—that is a critical part of purchasing the insurance,” Pittinger says.

Assess Your Needs and Options

All this information is important to provide to the broker so they can determine what insurance is best for you. Though most collectors who need insurance already have it, some collectors think they’re covered by everyday, run-of-the-mill homeowners insurance. And they can be. But, as Pittinger notes, “A homeowner package policy generally is an add-on coverage. It doesn’t go into detail.” Homeowners insurance that covers art might have high deductibles, might not cover a collection across multiple houses, or might not cover the work during transit. That last one is a particularly sticky issue because “any time a collector moves their art, there is increased risk of damage,” Pittinger says. “That is the number one cause of loss for the insurance industry that specializes in art insurance.”

All this is why, for collections larger than just a few items, Pittinger recommends specialty art insurance. Even lower-priced works and emerging collections can receive insurance: For pieces priced as low as $2,500, AXA offers a 12-month policy of $75, with a minimum premium. Generally, however, it is hard to say exactly how much art insurance costs—it depends on too many factors. “Art insurance is very reasonably priced compared to other types of insurance,” Pittinger says. “The price range varies depending on the type of works, the size of the collection, security, where it is kept, if it is in a fine art storage warehouse or in their home or in a museum—all those factors go into pricing a fine art collection.”

Stay Up to Date and Be Careful

Broadly, in the event of damage, an insurance policy pays out in one of two ways: Either the policy will pay a set, agreed-upon amount determined by the insurer and the collector in advance, or the policy will pay out based on the work’s current market value. Pittinger says collectors opting for the predetermined payout structure may do so for a number of reasons, including peace of mind so that they “wouldn’t have to worry about substantiating the value of the works” in the case of damage. Agreed value can also move up and down over the life of a policy if the collector decides to get the work reassessed.

Current market value is exactly what it sounds like: The work is insured for its current value if that figure exceeds an agreed value. “But the important thing to remember is there would be a restriction—the company would by no means pay more than the total limit of the policy,” says Pittinger. In other words, if a collection is insured for $10 million total, and one work that has radically increased in value is damaged in excess of $10 million, the insurance would still not pay more than the total cap.

Be a Smart Buyer

One final note: Do your research. Make sure you get a full condition report prior to purchase. “It’s also critical that the collectors be careful with the provenance of the piece to make sure there’s not a gap in the ownership that could come back to haunt them later,” Pittinger says. If there is an issue and the work is seized for, say, having been looted by Nazis, insurance typically won’t cover that turn of events (there are, however, some specialty insurers that would protect against such loss with what is known as title insurance). So when it comes to art insurance, the old adage “buyer beware” certainly still applies.

—Isaac Kaplan

BY ISAAC KAPLAN

 

 

For a quote apply here or call us at 800.921.1008

Iconic Muhammad Ali print stolen from museum.

The Print, which was stolen while the museum was open to the public depicted Ali in a classic boxing pose painted in the brilliantly colored, expressionist style that LeRoy Neiman was known for. Brazen thieves ripped the print from the wall even with security cameras watching, It’s important to understand the value of art insurance and protect yourself by covering your valuable collection.

Although risk extends beyond theft (47 percent of art loss is attributed to damage during transit according to The New York Times) art trafficking is a very real thing and according to statistics ranks third behind drugs and arms.

In a case of  theft, the loss is irreversible. Not only the artwork is irreplaceable itself but also even the reputation of the organization suffers from a mere fact that such situation has occurred. Without having a comprehensive fine art collectors insurance from a trustworthy art insurance broker, the masterpieces are subjected to risk.

Apply for coverage here or call me if you have any questions or to discuss your options.

William G. Fleischer CIC | Principal
T: 212 566-1881 ext.111
E: wfleischer@bfbond.com
W: ArtInsuranceNow.com