People collect art for a number of reasons, from enjoying the artistry to purchasing pieces as future investments. Although, if you’re planning to start your own art business from your home or a gallery, business columnist Nicole Long strongly advises that before you kick off your business, you must first meet state regulations, get an insurance policy, and take necessary business and legal measures that protect both yourself and your art pieces.
Whichever type of art collector you are, your pieces are likely worth a significant amount. And this is precisely why you should get them insured. On top of that, high-value pieces are susceptible to theft since their location is general knowledge; as well as being at the mercy of aging and potential devaluation. A good insurance policy with comprehensive coverage is not recommended, it is necessary.
Safeguarding pieces from everyday threats
For causal art owners it’s easy to become complacent when your art piece is just sitting at home. However, while you may believe that theft is the biggest threat, artwork over the fireplace, over the tub, or by the window could be in a greater peril. Heat and humidity can quickly damage and devalue your art, so it’s important to monitor the air quality in your home. Art collection registrar Susan Sauls urges collectors to keep their art in areas with stable temperatures and good air circulation.
But even if you’re fastidious about monitoring the environment around the artwork, there’s still a laundry list of home accidents waiting to happen, such as a fire or an accidental wine splash. While you still need to take extra care, the right insurance policy will allow you to confidently display and enjoy your collection at home knowing that you have a strong contingency policy.
A Vital Part of an Art Business’ Structure
Artworks are generally priced based on the dealer’s prestige, the artists’ background, and several other nuanced trends—all volatile factors. As such, businesses belonging to the art sector are some of the most heavily insured in the world. Business owners are constantly looking for additional layers of protection, as any mishap or legal issue could end up costing them a lot of money personally.
This is why most galleries ensure that, alongside their insurance, they are also legally protected through their business structure, such as a corporation or LLC. Those who form a corporation in Pennsylvania will not only have the full protection of being a separate business entity, but will also have the funds, through the shareholders, to take out numerous insurance policies.
On the other hand smaller art businesses that form an LLC in New York, the art capital of America, will be able to set up knowing that their insurance and business will protect them. And with galleries in New York getting sued because of the recent pandemic, having this double protection is more vital than ever.
Protecting pieces that are always moving around
One way to increase the value of your pieces is through displaying them in different galleries, which is why you need to take the necessary precautions before handing your items over. The moment the pieces are in transit, they could be exposed to a number of dangers like improper storage or even theft by dishonest workers.
In a previous article for our surety bonding division BFBond.com, we talked about how U.S. businesses lose an average of $1.13 million due to employee theft. With a proper insurance policy—or, possibly, a fidelity bond— you will be protected from property damage, theft, and fraud. So draft up a thorough contract with the galleries you’ll be working with, and get your pieces insured.
Another important consideration to make is working with knowledgeable and experienced art insurance agents. As each piece of fine art is literally one of a kind, a comprehensive insurance policy is the best protection that you can get.
Written exclusively for ArtInsuranceNow.com
by Ana Cooler