Art gallery owners should procure insurance cautiously to ensure artwork is covered properly. Proper business coverage may be impossible after an occurred loss.
Online PR News – 23-July-2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Art galleries, natural history exhibitions, museums, and virtually any commercial establishment that displays artwork for public viewing purchase insurance to protect pieces while on display; however, many of these establishments are underinsured and even more are not properly insured.
Most standard business owner policies come with some combination of coverage for inventory, business income, liability and other accessorial coverage options that vary by company. Although this may seem to cover most gallery owner exposures, many times this is not the case because of restrictions and policy wording contained in many policies. More specifically, many standard business owner policies have specific restrictions on inventory that is high value in nature. One might think that having Business Personal Property Coverage will cover their art work inventory but with many carriers they are really only offering coverage for non-high value business personal property such as computers, desks and everything else except for the inventory. As a result, many are not properly insured. In some cases the business owner policy will cover the actual artwork but even then, there are pitfalls to be aware of including how the policy values pieces and what types of losses there is coverage for. For example, will a standard business owner policy take into consideration a sudden and unforeseen change in valuation due to, let’s say, death of an artist? What do these policies say about using conservators and properly packaging artwork for shipments? The answer to this question is simple: they do not address the unique concerns and risks faced by gallery owners.
As a result of these shortcomings, a gallery owner should seek a second art insurance policy to complement the business owner policies in place. While the business owner policy will cover the non-valuable contents, liability and many other risks faced by the average business owner, the art insurance policy will specifically address and cover the most important risk which is the actual artwork. Art Gallery policies in California address detailed of commonplace scenarios such as property in transit, property while being framed or conserved, ability to take items to personal residences, earthquake coverage and more. Even more important, they address the tricky valuation issues that surface in the world of artwork.
Owner of Jewelers Specialty Insurance Services, Ben Meskin, offers his views on the subject of Art Gallery Coverage in Los Angeles, “Insuring high value inventory requires specialized insurance brokers and specific products; unfortunately, we have found that many business owners are sold coverage by agents who themselves do not realize that their clients are underinsured or sometimes not insured at all. Owners need to know if their policies address the common exposures they are faced with. Is liquor liability coverage included for the events they have? How is damaged artwork valued if it is on consignment? If it is owned? Is earthquake coverage included? Ultimately, artwork really is valued by the purchaser and can be very difficult to determine in event of a loss. These questions and many others need to be addressed in order to properly insure an art gallery and it is unfortunate that too many find out after it is too late.”
The value of art is subjective at times; however, multiple appraisals from professionals help to create a more concrete value for specific pieces. For art purchased in public auctions, certified paperwork helps to determine a value most concretely. Paperwork that has transitioned with the piece through different exhibitions is also important to consider prior to purchasing an art gallery insurance policy. In order to most accurately determine which insurance policy to purchase, it is important to consult an insurance representative, art professional, and appraisal agent.
About Jewelers Specialty Insurance Services (JSIS)
After providing insurance services for years, Los Angeles insurance agency Meslee Insurance Services recognized that its customers’ needs were expanding. In order to satisfy these needs and to continue to be a full service insurance agency in Los Angeles, Meslee created a subdivision called Jewelers Specialty Insurance Services (JSIS) in 1995. This subdivision serves as a commercial insurance brokerage for Fine Art, Jewelry, and Shipping. Among JSIS’ insurance policies are Jewelers Block Insurance, Exhibition Insurance, Prize Insurance, Insured Promotion policies, and Shipping Insurance for land, air, rail, and sea. JSIS offers insurance policies to Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike, including jewelers, store owners, dealers, auctioneers, pawn brokers, art galleries, check cashing establishments, museums, armored car companies, and many others. In addition, JSIS has a highly-secure facility to hold personal collectibles, sports memorabilia, fine art, jewelry, stamps and coin collections, gold bullion, and more. JSIS is located at 611 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 805 Los Angeles, CA 90017, License No. OB86532.