Category Archives: Insurance Claim Reporting

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



David Bowie’s Art Collection to be auctioned, how would a collectors policy respond?

Not just David Bowie’s Estate sends work to the art auctions but individual collectors do also.

The most popular conversations I have are collectors looking to insure their work while in transit to an auction house like Christie’s, Sotheby’s, de Pury, and Phillips house.

Many times the auction house will either visit the collection or ask the collector to send the item to be auctioned directly to the house, either to be further evaluated or to be inserted into the auction rotation.

The preferred Collector’s insurance policy I like to sell, include and is not limited to coverage in transit and away from premises, in exhibitions and in storage and does not exclude auction houses.

The evaluation of the Art is based on two different models. Depending on the Art Insurance Company policy wording, One base is on the schedule amounts of the item on file (either with the Insurance company or the Collector) and the other is based on the current market value (onus of proof is on the collector).

In the case of David Bowie, Jim Hendrix or even Robin Williams, the auction house receives these items on consignment and will charge a hefty fee to insure them while on the premises.  I advise my clients to not use auction house insurance because most of the policies I sell have coverage for unnamed locations or broad enough to cover the works given for sale on a stated amount.

One of the downfalls of using the insurance, the auction houses give you, is how their insurance establishes values of the art at claim time.  Usually, it is not based on the artwork consignment agreement but on the lowest estimated value. The cost to you for using their insurance is usually much more expensive than what you are currently paying. The standard auction house’s most common policies have wording to the effect of;

Property of others consigned to you for auction, at the lowest pre-sale estimate” and “Where no consignment receipt exists but the article appears on your records fully described, such property shall be valued at the lowest anticipated pre-sale estimate or the amount for which you are held legally liable, whichever is less”

This may be lower than your schedule or market value to entice attention for a bidding war.

When in doubt, call me to discuss your unique situation.


William G. Fleischer CIC | Principal
T: 212 566-1881 ext.111


Reporting a Art Claim

When a claim arises, “Report the Claim”
If your property has been damaged, take whatever steps are necessary to prevent further damage, and keep receipts for any expenses. Contractors are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Fire and Water Damage Restoration.”

Make a list of all damaged property. Do not throw away any damaged property until an insurance adjuster tells you it is all right to do so. If the claim involves another party, do not admit liability or reveal your limits of insurance coverage.

Most of the insurance companies we represent have 24-hour claim service, and you can report your claim directly to them. (They will contact us automatically.) To go to the directory of companies now, click here.

Timely reporting of claims is a must!

Please remember that when you buy an insurance policy, the agreement with the insurer is that you will let the insurer know whenever you are aware of a situation that might give rise to a claim. Time — and timely notification — is critical, if the insurer is to keep its own part of the agreement…to make you whole for any covered loss you might have. Often, particularly with liability claims where a legal defense is required, the insurer needs to begin gathering information right away. If the insurer is not put on notice until the later stages, an effective legal defense might be impossible, and the carrier might exercise its right to deny the claim on the basis that the policyholder did not provide timely notification. State laws vary, but in general, they support the insurers in their denial of such claims.

Do not wait to see if a problem will “blow over.” As soon as you are aware of circumstances that might give rise to a claim, please review your policy language regarding covered claims and your reporting responsibility. At your request, Bernard Fleischer & Sons, Inc will assist you in dealing with the insurance company in an effort to assure that the claim is properly evaluated and you are treated fairly.