An insurance policy is a contract taken for the indemnification of any financial loss. In the context of art, the most invaluable possession of a human being, most collectors forget to protect themselves against the various damages that an artwork might incur. Art insurance is an absolute essential if you are a private art collector. Physical losses due to fire, burglary and scratches are few of the common risks posed to the artworks. Art insurance provides coverage and protection for various such incidents that could occur to the art collection.

Table of contents:
● What does ‘Art Insurance’ mean?
● What is covered?
● How do you claim damage?
● What are the exclusions?
● Why get art insurance?
● FAQs

What is Art Insurance?

Art insurance policies give comprehensive cover for artistic valuables which include paintings and sculptures from various uncertainties like physical damage, theft or accident. It works by providing a fixed compensation to the policyholder in the case of physical loss, damage or any other clause covered by the specific contract.

What is the extent of an art Insurance cover?

Art insurance covers a whole range of collectables that includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, stamps, prints, coins, books and watches. These assets or artworks can be insured under an art insurance policy in India. This coverage is provided for unforeseen physical and property during transit.

How can you be eligible for art insurance?

You need to own antique furniture or fine art. Even musical instruments and sculptures can be insured for under the cover. It is used to protect any important collectables against unforeseen damage and loss as long as it is a possession of considerable value.

What is the process to claim the insurance amount?

There are certain procedures used by every insurance company in order to settle claims that arise out of the loss or damage to a work of art.

The owner must on the damage of the article immediately notify the insurance company by writing to them or calling up their customer service number

The insurance company will then appoint a surveyor to inspect the validity of the claim. During this process, the insured must fully cooperate with the authority with respect to the provision of required documents. 

Various private insurance companies in India claim to acknowledge the reported loss on the same day the report regarding the same reaches the insurance company from the insured.

The insurance company provides considerable compensation based on the agreement that is agreed upon during the signing of the contract. This is done by way of monetary losses, repairs with similar processes being employed to restore the artwork

Documents that are required for the Claim Process
It is pertinent for the insured to possess and present the following documents in the case of initiating a claim: 

01. Claim Form
02. A copy of the policy
03. A valid and certified evaluation of the art 
04. Even an FIR might be required but this is restricted to the case of robbery

What are excluded from Art Insurance?

The insurance company will not be liable to pay the claim in the occurrence of the following events:

01. Damage that occurred during repair, restoration, 02.retouching or any similar alteration processes
03.Natural wear and tear and rust is also not considered by the organisation 
04.Damage caused due to some form of nuclear reaction or radioactive contamination
05.Loss arising out of theft occurring due to ut being in an unattended vehicle
06.An unexplained loss of some kind
07.Loss or damage caused due to the poor management of the artwork like exposure to excess humidity, light and extreme temperatures
The loss or damage should be unforeseeable and sufficient precaution should have been taken to prevent the occurrence of such an incident.

Which are the indian companies who offers Art Insurance in India ?

TATA AIG, HDFC Ergo, Future Generali, IFFCO Tokio are companies providing art insurance in India.

What are the advantages of Art Insurance ?

Art Insurance covers any unexpected and physical damage or unprecedented loss to the asset which is insured
Few insurance companies in India cover the transit of the art piece from one place to another within the country. This kind of move is usually very feared by art owners because of the delicate nature of the art
Wall-to-wall coverage is provided for the paintings and other forms of artwork that are displayed or can be displayed on a wall
A few policies also include clauses regarding the storage of the artwork which is subject to geographical and territorial limits for business or professional purposes
Damage or losses occurring due to acts of God, like natural calamities including floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other extreme weather conditions are covered under the policy

Art Insurance FAQs

Who is this policy beneficial to?

Private museums, dealers of antiquities, art exhibitors, art curators, private collectors and dealers are some beneficiaries of this kind of insurance.

How to buy an art insurance policy?

The policyholder must get his collection valued through someone who is an unbiased independent valuer. Following this, the underwriters customise the coverage basis on the net worth of the art and the medium it is on. This is used to calculate the sum insured.

How does this policy work during transit of insured art?

Insurance companies in India employ specialized Transit Experts or Logistics Partners who provide a protected and experience from wall-to-wall. This helps make transit or moving an art piece from a seasonal residence to complete ownership with complete supervision and utmost care

What is the value of the insurance and what is the return?

Insurance is offered on an agreed value basis or in most of the cases on the ‘basis of valuation’. Private collectors with a limited collection that remains the same for a considerable period of time generally choose an ‘Agreed Value’ basis whereas art dealers with changing collection prefer to have an appraised value or uplift which is a percentage added to the value of the art.

It is always better to be protected against unforeseen circumstances but one must be careful when choosing a suitable deal and must carefully read all the provisions of the policy.

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