Category Archives: Artist Insurance

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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Fair Market And Insurance Value For Works Of Art

Fine-Art Insurance valuations aren’t so complicated, as some may think. Here is the breakdown. The IRS defines fair market value as the price that property would sell for on the open market, as agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act and both having a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

Usually, this means the auction market (buyer’s premium included), because auction is the predominant market of open exchange. If the property in question sells predominantly or exclusively at retail (i.e. in a gallery), however, retail is the market used by the appraiser. All IRS appraisals are fair market value appraisals.

Insurance appraisals have a different criterion for valuation. Here the assumption is that the insured item needs to be replaced in a timely manner. Waiting for a similar item to come up for auction could be unreasonable and impractical. So instead of a valuation based on the auction market, retail replacement is the most appropriate valuation.

This is the price that one would expect to pay for the same or similar item in a retail setting at the present time. Oftentimes the insurance value is even a bit higher than retail to accommodate for shipping and other costs related to the purchase.

Also, check out our informative article on Schedule VS. Blanket Coverage for an in-depth look at how policies are written in terms of valuation.

As a knowledgeable Art Insurance broker, I can guide you through the process of navigating the often confusing insurance industry and properly protecting your Art. Give us a call at 800.921.1008 or Live Chat with us at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com you can even get a free quote by following the link below.

 

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

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.

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

Glass Artist Loses ‘Every Single Piece’ in Napa Valley wildfire; Our Exclusive Artist’s Insurance Policy Pays Off.

Napa Valley is typically a peaceful, relaxing place but not for Glass artist Clifford Rainey who lost his home, his studio and most of his work in the Atlas wildfire. The wildfires Fueled by powerful winds have scorched more than 200,000 acres including the beautiful homes of artists and collectors.

 

On Friday morning, Oct. 13, as Rainey surveyed the damage for the first time after his Mount George home and studio burned, said “Every single piece of artwork I own I’ve had since college was lost”.

 

Rainey’s life’s work is far from all lost. His work has exhibited extensively, featured in numerous public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as in the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts & Design, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

 

The emotional value cannot be replaced but having an artist’s policy to cover financial losses prevents having to start from zero. Our Artist Insurance Policy is designed for the active Artist. Your Art is covered while in the Studio, in Transit, while at Exhibitions and when in storage along with Your Materials, tools and reference library.  No more worrying about, Theft, Fire, Water Damage or Vandalism. These coverages and more are covered in our Artist Insurance Policies.

 

For more information or to discuss your particular situation contact me, William G. Fleischer CIC | Principal.  T: 212 566-1881 ext.111 or visit us at www.artinsurancenow.com to fill out a quick EZ application for a fast, free quote.

Tate to Exhibit Ultimate David Hockney Retrospective

We at ArtInsuranceNow.com are excited that Tate Britain is staging the most extensive retrospective of David Hockney’s work to date in February 2017. As his 80th birthday approaches, over six decades of Hockney’s work will be shown at the U.K. institution including painting and drawing, as well as prints, photography and videos.
From his first one-man show when he was 26 in 1963 he most recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Australia (DAVID HOCKNEY: CURRENT). He is credited as being one of the most influential living artists.
Tate Britain’s director Alex Farquharson has said: “David Hockney is without doubt one of Britain’s greatest living artists. His impact on post-war art, and culture more generally, is inestimable, and this is a fantastic opportunity to see the full trajectory of his career to date.”
Hockney is also quite the armchair philosopher and a search of the internet will find many quips and quotes, A book on art conservation which cites an AXA Art Insurance funded research laboratory quotes him as saying “Love will decide what is kept, and science will decide how it is kept”.
AXA Art Insurance is one of our many affiliate partners in bringing you the most comprehensive Art Insurance coverages available; to learn more visit us at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com, fill out an application to receive a fast free quote or call 1.800.921.1008 to protect your art and collectibles. Don’t miss David Hockney, on show at Tate Britain from February 9 until Monday May 29 2017 followed by showings in Paris and New York City.

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