Category Archives: Artist Insurance

Artist’s Nightmare at the Museum

Museum in the dark pictureJust imagine, you are an artist without an Artist Insurance Policy and you finally get an exciting call from a museum to tell you that they have chosen your work for an exhibition for several months.  You work extremely hard on creating the exhibit and receive a contract from the museum that says they will insure your artwork while it is on display. A friend from out of town visits and you take them to see the exhibit and notice your prized sculpture in the exhibit is damaged. Immediately, you contact the museum and call for a plan of action; you ask to see the security footage and request more information about submitting the insurance claim. The museum seems uncooperative, explains to you the security cameras aren’t operating, there isn’t any evidence to support your claim the sculpture was damaged while on display and there is no insurance information they can provide for you at this time. You continue to push for an insurance claim, the museum continues to be evasive and you feel like you are getting nowhere. It looks as though the museum is not going to submit a claim on your behalf and the repairs will cost an enormous amount of money and numerous hours of your time.

This is a real-life insurance horror story from cases that the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the arts (PVLA) have heard over the years. Unsurprisingly, insurance disputes are a common occurrence with PVLA arts clients. The underinsurance of artwork presents artists with various problems which are much more commonly associated with their profession than others. Another unique problem with the underinsurance of artwork is with its valuation. Artwork is often not treated with the same financial diligence as other assets because it can be difficult to place a value on it and can cover a broad range of items including paintings, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, digital graphics, ceramics, collage, photography, statuary, textiles, art glass and other decorative items.

Insuring fine art presents challenges that are not encountered with other types of real property; an experienced art insurance broker like Bernard Fleischer & Sons (ArtInsuranceNow.com) can address these problems and provide an art insurance policy with coverage fitting the particular situation. Our artist insurance policy values your art at market value less a percentage. The policy covers your art anywhere in the world, while at exhibitions, galleries, storage and in the studio including transit, materials and tools. Art insurance buyers require the services of knowledgeable insurance professionals because “It’s a different type of insurance”. With most insurance you are just buying a financial promise, any insurer knows how to fix a roof or rebuild a building but with art insurance you are buying knowledge as well. Bernard Fleischer & Sons (ArtInsuranceNow.com) are leaders in appropriately insuring artists, art dealers, collectors, conservators, galleries and museums. For more information visit our website, call 1.800.921.1008 or fill out an application here.

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

 

 

Artist Studio Insurance “The Pitfalls”

Artist’s who work out of their home may think they have coverage with their Homeowner insurance company, but do they?

I get it, most artists have lofts, special rooms or detached structures where they create, show and sell their art.

The Limitation and Exclusion: Business personal property on premises.

Here is the simple 2 question test if the exclusion applies. If you answer yes, an Artist Insurance policy is recommended

  • Continuity of activity
  • Monetary gain (profit motive)

Homeowners Insurance Policies for Owners or Tenants are designed to protect you and your personal property.  These policies contain liability for trip and fall, house parties, lawsuits against you and members of the household for bodily injury or property damage to someone or their stuff.

 

The exclusions/limitations for a business in your home are very limited unless you take some measures to add back coverages.

The Homeowner Insurance Policies are very strict and are looking to avoid anything to do with a business in the home, unless they know about it and add special endorsements.

First, I would like to point out that any art, materials, books or paperwork stored in a detached structure, voids coverage for that structure unless it is added by endorsement to the policy.  If the “Art stuff” is in the home than it will not void the insurance coverage, but the limit for business property is usually $2,500.00 and work you created is not valued at retail price, but just materials.

Secondly, Liability is not covered by the Homeowner’s policy for anything to do with the business, if someone got hurt during a studio visit, the claim would be denied.

To somewhat fix this, add “other structures on the residence’s premises”, if the value exceeds the basic coverage on the current policy.  To protect you from trip and fall claims, add, “Permitted Incidental Occupancies”. Note the situation where you have more than $2,500 of personal property, you should be looking for an Artist carve out policy, like an Artist Studio Policy.

When it comes to the Liability, the homeowners have a few endorsements you could use, “Permitted Incidental Occupancies”, usually costing  $27.00 for $500,000 worth of coverage, but they have limitations, such as premises only, no additional insured’s and no products or completed operation coverage. It’s best to look for a carve-out policy for this too.  I recommend buying a separate Business owner’s policy for just simple fixtures since all the others should be insured in my program.

In conclusion:

Artist’s who create at home are better to have an Artist policy which evaluates the work using retail value, not materials cost.  An artist policy which includes, All works for sale, materials, tools, reference library, transportation, while in storage, at Exhibitions and worldwide; All the coverages loaded into my Artist Policy Program.

For more information visit us at www.artinsurancenow.com to fill out a quick EZ application for a fast, free quote.

To discuss your particular situation contact me,

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

 

Newly Designed Artist Insurance Policy Protecting your Art.

Our new 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.  No more worrying about, Theft, Fire, Water Damage or Vandalism. These coverages and more are covered in our Artist Insurance Policies.

Worldwide coverage: Whether you show in Venice, Hong Kong, Paris or any of the Art Basel locations! Everywhere the USA has a trade agreement. Our policy will cover your Art in Transit, Storage and while at galleries and exhibitions.

Highlights of coverages:

  • Artwork in the studio, up to $300,000.
  • Art is covered While in Transit, At Exhibitions, In Storage and Worldwide.
  • A XIV Rated Insurance Company (by A.M. Best).
  • No Membership, No fees, No Maximum per item, and No Appraisals or Schedules.
  • Very low $1,000 deductible.
  • Best loss settlement valuation. Selling price less 30%. Includes Works in Progress.
  • Supplies, Canvas, Materials, Paints, Frames, Tools and Reference libraries are also Included.
  • Replacement Cost of Studio Tools and Equipment.

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.

 

Use UCC filings when you Cosign your Art to a Dealer.

Recently, while I was discussing art with an attorney, UCC filings came up.   Usually, this is filed when you take out a business or personal loans and the lender to protect its collateral files the UCC with the state.

It’s an inexpensive file, which is used to notify the state you are a lender and have claim to the object corresponding to the UCC.

So I always tell everyone when you lend for sale your Art, to always have an expiration of consignment, in case the other party gets in financial difficulties the asset reverts to you at the end of the consignment date.

But now adding the UCC you attach yourself to the asset so any court can recognize you are in line to be paid if the art is sold.

An interesting layer of protection from an unstable partnership.

 

William

www.artinsurancenow.com

Artist work covered while in the process of making it?

“Damage sustained during any process or while actually being worked upon and resulting therefrom unless caused by fire or explosion.”

As an artist policy, the policy will cover completed works and works that are still in progress. Artists can be working on several projects at once and may complete them at varying times or never finish them at all.

The inspiration may be lacking to finish a project, but we do not want to cover things that do not seem to fit, work, or just do not seem right. So, we do not cover while it is being worked upon whether that process is painting, modeling, carving, cutting or whatever process they use to create the art.

 

Call 212 566-1881 ask for William or visit www.artinsurancenow.com

How to evaluate your own work as an artist

Since my Launch of an Artist’s Insurance website: I have had numerous conversations regarding “How an Insurance Company evaluates Art.”

The policy evaluation is straightforward. Sales price minus 30%.

This is a simple formula if you have a track record of sales.  Where the conversation turns, is when the artist is new to the market.  I say this because I have worked with artists who, at various ages and experience are now, entering group shows and exhibitions.

A seasoned artist knows the consignment agreement or the exhibition agreement requires the artist to place a value of their Artwork in the form, but for the neophyte, this is where the “tire hits the Road” or the “paint hits the canvas” and takes the discussion deeper.

So what are the methods of pricing one’s own work, and will the insurance company accept the sale price of an artist, who never sold?

This is how I approach the question.

First, everything has a value.  Fundamentally;  material, time, education, experience, teachers, demographics, size shape, media, subject, along with time spent, researching and actually producing the work. etc…

Of course, the Artist understands this, but what is the valuation sale price, I tell them to just make up a reasonable sale price using the fundamentals as your guiding denominator. Usually, they are within range and the Insurance does not dispute and pay the claim.

In the policy form, it is up to the Artist to prove what the value of sales, so if they put an unrealistic sale price on the work, the insurance company using similar methods will determine the sale price is way over inflated.  At this juncture, an independent third party will then appraise the work and the valuation will be established, and the claim would be paid out accordingly.

Bottom line, price your work based on the merits of your talent and experience with keeping the ego in check.

New Artist Insurance Program custom designed for the serious Artist.

 

Limits start at $100,000

 

  • Exhibition
  • Transit,
  • Studio
  • Storage
  • Worldwide Coverage
  • Includes Material and commissioned work in progress
  • Visit artinsurancenow.com for all your Art insurance

 

Premiums start at $1000

 

Kindly help me get the word out by passing this along

 

Thank You

 

William

William G. Fleischer, CIC
President
29 Broadway, Suite 1511
New York NY 10006
T. 212 566-1881 ext 111
F. 212 566-1615
C. 917 863-8787
wfleischer@bfbond.com
www.BFbond.com
www.ArtInsuranceNow.com

Exhibition Policy or not?

Email regarding having Artist shows in an Office Environment.

I am an attorney, however, I put an art gallery in my law firm space. The agreement I have with the artists is that they allow me to hang their work for 3 to 4 weeks. I promote their work to my clients and throw a party in the artist’s honor, where the artists agree to be present and talk about art.

We serve some refreshments and invite everyone we see. There is no charge to the artist. I do not pay the artists. I do not sell art. There is no charge to the people who attend. It is a community event intended to bring a little culture to our small town and, admittedly, let people know where my office is without in-your-face law office marketing.

The rules in Iowa are the strictest in the country about regulating attorney advertising. I cannot hand someone a business card and say, “hi. I’m a lawyer. What can I do for you?” But, I can hand someone a party invitation flyer and say, “Hi, please come to my law firm’s gallery party and meet some cool artists, see some great art, listen to some inspiring music, and have a little wine and yummy appetizers. It’s so much fun!” I know. Crazy stupid.

When the party is over, the artists take their work away and three or four new artists bring in work to hang, and we do it all over again. My 4th party is November 14, 2014.

The artists for this party are asking if I have insurance to cover the art in the case of fire, vandalism, or theft. My insurance guy is not helpful. He says I have no insurable interest, so I cannot insure them with the exception that if I trip over them, my liability insurance might cover it. Lame.

The artist could sue me if something were to happen to their paintings while in my control. I do have an insurable interest, at least while they are in my custody and control.

Can you assist me in finding a way to obtain insurance or a bond of some type that will protect me in the case that something unthinkable would happen to these paintings?

Thank you,
Warmest regards,

The Answer… or my Answer.

When I further inquired I found the Artist work was hung without any paperwork. Interesting.

1. If the work was Loan during the show to the office, it may be covered under the office BOP policy, usually, there is $25,000 limit for Fine Art.

2. A dealer art insurance policy could be bought, for $150,000 on location limit, $30,000 Art Transit and $30,000 at unnamed locations.

3. Have the Artist buy their own Artist Insurance policy. $100,000 of Art Insurance while in transit, in the studio and while at Exhibitions for an annual price of $1,000.00.

4. Explain to the Artist,  it’s a business risk and art is a risky business.  The odds are higher of damaged or stolen while in transit, and less than their work in the studio, at lease your office is alarmed or locked 🙂

She explained to me even though a hold harmless could be drawn up and signed, there was still the exposure of a negligence lawsuit by the artist. So here is the question to ponder, buy insurance and not worry or understand it is a business risk you are taking verse the benefit of letting the people know your law office exists.