Category Archives: Art Insurance

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

Took home a drunk date, now 2 Warhol’s destroyed, WTF?

Drunk woman pulls on mans tie

First Date Horror Story.

Authorities say an intoxicated Dallas woman who was on a first date with a prominent Houston trial lawyer caused at least $300,000 in damage to his art collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings.

Lindy Lou Layman, 29, was arrested on criminal mischief charges after her date with Anthony Buzbee. She was released on $30,000 bond.

Prosecutors say Buzbee, 49, told investigators that Layman got too intoxicated on their date, so he called her an Uber after they returned to his home. Buzbee said Layman refused to leave and hid inside the home, when he found her and called a second Uber, she got aggressive.

Authorities said she tore down several paintings and poured red wine on some while yelling obscenities. She also allegedly threw two $20,000 sculptures across the room and shattered them.

The damaged Warhol paintings were each valued at $500,000 in court documents.

Buzbee has represented high-profile figures, including former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Then-candidate Donald Trump also visited his home last year when Buzbee held a fundraiser.

 

Collector’s Policy cover these scenarios?

YES! Visit ARTINSURANCENOW.COM because our Collector’s policy covers damages while Art is in the home. How is a loss settled? A restorer or appraiser will evaluate the work to determine the current condition and decide If the art can be repaired or not. If not, payment is based on the schedule amount or the current market price, if it’s a blanket policy

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Visit www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more, apply below or feel free to contact us at 1.800.921.1008

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Art Exhibition Insurance – The Details

As representatives of the top Insurance carriers that insure exhibitions locally, in multi-states and internationally, we know coverages.

Each company has their own distinct forms to insure the unique exposures related to exhibitions. Coverages while in transit, at the exhibition venue, and in storage vary by company.

Below are some highlighted coverages to consider when placing insurance for an exhibition, how to protect the lenders, and what is the right valuation method.

 

About Exhibition Coverage

Most Art Insurance policies not only insure the work on exhibition, but also the didactic and ancillary materials such as vitrines, hardware, technology, and supportive structures.

A typical Policy I use with my insureds exhibition policy includes:

  • Agreed Value: We usually require a schedule prior to binding, but different terms can be negotiated.
  • Worldwide coverage for transit: is important when gathering works from overseas collectors.
  • Named Location: some policy covers only named location and excludes transit
  • Scheduled or Blanket: 
    • The schedule:  Establishes the price of the work to be insured.
    • Blanket: policy usually has a per item cap along with the onus of proof of value is on the insured.
  •  Loss Payee Certificates: These are issued if a lender requires proof of coverage and insures the check will be made to them in case of a loss.

 

  • Additional Important Exhibition Coverages one should verify if covered:
    • Packing crates, catalogs, and brochures included
    • Nail to Nail coverage:Coverage from point of pick up until returned.
    • Goods in transit
    • Art in storage in-between transit

 

  • Broad, all-risk coverage
  • Blanket limits on propertyin your care, custody, and control at scheduled locations and any other unnamed locations. Beware of sub-limits.
  • Domestic and international transit: To/from list of Exhibition Locations
  • No coinsurance clause penalty
  • Valuation clauses: important to know how a loss will be settled. Our policies are designed for the art industry
  • Coverage for jointly-ownedworks of art should be disclosed and understood how a loss will be paid in those instances.
  • Special clauses for “loss buy back” or “pairs and sets”
  • Relaxed appraisal requirements with most companies
  • Based on Consignment value established at time of pick up.

 

About Exhibition Exclusions and Conditions:

These policy forms usually include the standard and not so standard Exhibition polices.

Wear and tear, moth, vermin, and insects.

Damage resulting from any repair, restoration, or retouching process.

Nuclear, radiation, biological or chemical contamination.

War, invasion, an act of foreign enemies, hostilities, military or usurped power.

Confiscated, damaged or destroyed by or order of any government or public or local authority, except if taken at the time of a fire to prevent it’s spread.

In Conclusion: Art insurance has many variables and sections which can be negotiated, if you are a knowledgeable Art Insurance broker.

Caution! Art Claims are Taxable, Read on.

Losing treasured items is traumatic enough, imagine being taxed for replacing them.

In an insightful article by leading tax professional Julian Block, the perils of being taxed on an Insurance claim for art that has appreciated are explained.

Using the received replacement value to purchase works of other types may not qualify you for the IRS’ “complete non-recognition of gain under the involuntary conversion rules”. This means you can be taxed.

Read the incisive article below and visit ArtInsuranceNow.com for comprehensive Fine Art coverages.

*The law authorizes an important tax break for a property owner who collects insurance (or other compensation) for property lost due to fire, theft or condemnation by a governmental authority. Ordinarily, you’re liable for an immediate tax on any excess over the cost basis of your property.

But a special rule permits taxes to be deferred if the proceeds are reinvested in similar property within the deadlines imposed by the IRS for replacement. For the “involuntary conversion” rules to apply, Code Section 1033 mandates that the replacement property has to be “similar or related in service or use” to the property replaced.

Understandably, words like “similar” lend themselves to different interpretations. Also understandable is that the IRS sometimes takes a hard-nosed approach.

Consider, for example, Letter Ruling 8127089. It held that oil paintings aren’t “similar” to lithographs so as to be eligible for involuntary conversion deferral.

The ruling dealt with a request for advice from someone I’ll call Irene Holmes. A fire in her home destroyed an art collection that included about 3,000 lithographs and a small number (about 1 percent of the entire collection) of oil paintings, pencil drawings, and wood carvings. A prudent Irene had insured the collection for its full current value. As current value exceeds her cost basis, a portion of the insurance proceeds represents gain.

Irene explained that she intends to use the proceeds from the insurance to purchase the replacement property. The replacements will consist of a mix of media — approximately 63 percent lithographs and 37 percent art works in other artistic media, such as oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures or other graphic forms of art — rather than reflect the composition of the lost artwork.

With that set of facts, the IRS “will not consider as property similar or related in service or use, art work in one medium, destroyed in whole or in part, replaced with art work in another medium. Therefore, in order to qualify for complete non-recognition of gain under the involuntary conversion rules,” the IRS spelled out what Irene has to do.

She “must purchase the same percentage of lithographs as were destroyed in whole or in part and the same percentage of art works in other artistic media as were destroyed in whole or in part.”

What happens if Irene decides to reinvest as proposed (63 percent in lithographs and 37 percent in other media? She’s going to be liable for taxes on the 37 percent of the proceeds that she reinvests in “other artistic media.”

Additional articles. A reminder for accountants who would welcome advice on how to alert clients to tactics that trim taxes for this year and even give a head start for next year: Delve into the archive of my articles (more than 225 and counting).

*Reprinted with permission from a Feb 20th, 2018 article by Julian Block.

About Julian Block

Attorney and author Julian Block is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times), an “accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal), and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning magazine). More information about his books can be found at julianblocktaxexpert.com.

Risk exposures such as natural disasters and unexpected events like fire, flood, earthquakes, and storms, can cause extreme damage. Protect your art investments by obtaining an art insurance policy by Art Insurance Now / Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.

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

Fire & Water, Devastates Artist’s Studio.

Commissioned Princeton University Artist’s studio destroyed by firemen’s overspray. Did her Artist studio policy cover her? No! and this is why.

She never bought one. If she did, all of her artwork in racks, stands, files, and on walls, is covered.  Her materials and tools are covered.  Even the reference library is covered.

I feel for artists that see financial hardship when there is a loss similar to this.

For $1,000 per year, your art is covered up to $100,000, not just in the studio but also in transit, at exhibitions and in storage, everywhere worldwide.

Follow our link at the bottom of this article and purchase an Artist studio policy today.

Art studios give artists the space they need to create as well as a way to store their completed works of art and sell art from the studio. Due to the nature of the work in an art studio, art studio insurance is essential. Risk exposures such as natural disasters and unexpected events like fire, flood, earthquakes, and storms, can cause extreme damage to the building and contents. Protect these risks by obtaining an artist insurance policy offered by Art Insurance Now / Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.

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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.

Estate Planning And Affluent Art Collectors

Art collectors, are you properly estate planning? We can help. visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com

Affluent art collectors are passionate about art. While they tend to expect their acquisitions to appreciate in value, they buy for personal and aesthetic reasons. Affluent art collectors are inclined to be extremely focused on acquiring and not very interested in disposing of art. This often means that at death they have amassed significant collections. What is surprisingly common is that many affluent art collectors do a substandard job of addressing their artwork in their estate plans.

Failing to plan for the disposition of collections upon death can prove quite costly to the family, as there is the potential to having to pay higher estate taxes. It can result in the unfair division of the art resulting in family conflict and litigation.

“Art is left to loved ones or other individuals, donated to charity directly, or in trust at the death of the collector. Proper planning means that the artwork is transferred to others very tax efficiently,” explains Frank Seneco, president of the advanced planning boutique Seneco & Associates. “Unfortunately, many times wealthy collectors have adopted the default option of not properly planning. For example, the collector is not sure which family members to leave which pieces to resulting in procrastinating and procrastinating until it’s too late. However, smart planning can often resolve these issues. One approach involves using corporate entities to own the art. This approach can not only address many ownership issues, it can simplify probate as there would not be the need to retitle the art.”

When dealing with meaningful and valuable collections, proper planning is more than constructing an estate plan. According to Evan Jehle, partner of FFO Business Management & Family Office, “Many of the ultra-wealthy have substantial art collections that they have not appropriately included in their estate plans. But, it’s more than just making sure the artwork is addressed in the plan. For example, with our clients we make sure they build files of ownership to make sure no questions arise concerning provenance. These files include certificates of authenticity, bills of sale, insurance records, and the like. A good rule of thumb is that the greater the distance between the collector and the artist and the older the artwork, the more likely there will be questions of provenance.”

Many wealthy individuals from business owners to celebrities do not construct effective estate plans. This is also true of a percentage of affluent art collectors. As in all these situations, by working with qualified professionals, the prosperous are able to ensure their wealth is passed on to whom they choose and done so while mitigating taxes.

Originally published Jan 08 2018, Forbes.com

Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com or contact William Fleischer CIC at 212-566-1881 Ext 111

Murals – can they be Insured for Vandalism?

I must receive at least 20 calls a year asking if they can insure a mural painted on walls, inside, outside, on buildings, fences, and anywhere else you can think of. Street-level placement Murals will invite graffiti vandals to leave their mark. As a contracted job to produce the Mural, there is an insurable value from the start to the finish of the work.

Since usually these art installations are designed and planned in advance with the cooperation of the building owner, coverage can be found to cover the installation process; a claim is paid based on the percentage of completion.

There is a possibility Insurance may be obtained when the Mural is completed. This will depend on exactly where it has been placed and the safeguards. Regardless almost all insurers would exclude coverage for:

  • Vandalism and Mysterious Mischief
  • Wear and tear, any quality in the product which causes it to damage or destroy itself, gradual deterioration
  • Insects, vermin, or rodents
  • Changes in or extremes of dampness or dryness of atmosphere or temperature

But theft?…

I develop programs exclusively for the Art World, covering, Museums, Collectors, Curators, Gallerists, Artists, and related Art businesses. My policies include Art owned or loaned, in Storage, in Transit, at Auction Houses or Dealers.

I can help with all Art related insurance requirements. Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to apply or Contact me at 800.921.1008 to discuss your unique situation.

William G. Fleischer CIC

Art Insurance for Collectors; Schedule vs. Blanket

The Art of Collecting Art.

There’s a big difference between buying art and collecting art. Buying art is more of a random activity based on likes, preferences or attractions at any given moment while collecting art is more of a purposeful directed long-term commitment. An important step in good collecting is not the most delightful one to talk about, but it is among the most necessary, and that is to plan for the unforeseen.

As an art insurance broker, I readily come across collections that are an intricate part of retirement and inheritance planning.  It’s a great asset to pass down.  Baby boomers bought artwork for the love of the art.  Art as an investment vehicle was a small part of the decision-making, not like today which is the main focus.

In the past 15 years as the art market sales and demand took off, Art purchased 40, 30 or even 10 years ago is worth a lot.  Hence, I am seeing collector’s policy limits rise into the millions. I will explain some key differences in the type of policy offered in today’s marketplace. Art Insurance and collectible insurance demands are a new focus with some insurers. Beware, like the art world, no two are the same, read the exclusions, conditions and valuation clauses in a policy.

Understand what schedule means and its limitations, some say the maximum they will pay is what is on the schedule or schedule plus 125% or 150% and then some added or market value whichever is less.  A popular coverage is Blanket Insurance; usually, this is for the collection under $300,000. The advantage is that you are not required to supply the companies with appraisals, bill of sale or any other documentation when you bind the coverage.

Only at the time of loss, the onus of proof of value is on the collector.  This is not a lengthy process; either go back to your paperwork and ask for a current valuation from a dealer or show your work to a dealer and put the value in a letter. Both methods of either scheduling the art or using the blanket limit are tools I use when working with my clients.  Each person looks at insurance in different ways and has different requirements. Let me work with you and answer all your questions to present a program which is satisfactory to all those involved.

Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to apply or Contact me at 800.921.1008 to discuss your unique situation.

William G. Fleischer CIC

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