Fine Arts are termed as rare skill and the country has many individuals who have securely kept the antiques, statues, and sculptures for ages as their asset or after being inherited by their ancestors. Some elite class also buys such collectibles through bidding and acquires such mementos after paying heavy money. People buy such arts either as a hobby or they feel to have some moral obligation to own such pieces as part of their family traditions etc. It becomes the responsibility of the owner of such art piece to ensure it is protected from thieves, climate, and breakage etc. However, to keep these expensive pieces of arts in a secured environment is very challenging for its owners.
What is Art Insurance?
The owners of such assets of Fine Arts like Corporate Collectors, Individual Collectors, and Fine Art Dealers etc. need comprehensive protection of the assets from uncertainties and also when these assets are being transported from one place to another within India. Hence, many insurance companies in India have understood the importance of coming up with an insurance policy that can help people from this fraternity to safeguard their assets. Museums, Antique Dealers, and Art Exhibitors, Individual Collectors, and Art Dealers are some of the beneficiaries of such an insurance policy. Now, with the help of covering their assets with Art Insurance Policy, the owners of such assets do not have to go through the sleepless nights and they can enjoy the benefits from tailor-made solutions offered to them by insurance companies in India. Let’s quickly go through some of the important information related to Art Insurance in the following sections of this article.
Key Features of Art Insurance
Below are some of the key features of Art Insurance:
- Art Insurance Policy helps the owners of art assets to provide the most required and necessary protection against various uncertainties and risks and such policies can be tailor-made also for Indian customers.
- Indian insurance companies in the private sector are competing with International standards and offering some world-class solutions in art insurance to meet the requirements of their customers.
- Agreed Value Basis and Basis of Valuation are generally two ways to reach to the sum insured for the asset that needs to be protected through an insurance policy.
- Drawings, Paintings, Prints, Sculptures, stamps, coins, watches, and books are some of the assets or forms of art that can be insured under such art insurance policies in India.
- Generally, any damage or loss due to natural calamities, scratches, stains, impacts, and theft etc. are covered under Title Insurance and Asset Insurance under the Art Insurance Policy.
- Losses or damages due to natural ageing, acts of terrorism, or nuclear risks are not covered.
- Loss from unattended parked vehicles is generally excluded from such policies.
- Mechanical and electrical breakdowns that may damage or result in the loss of the article might also be excluded from this policy.
- Any amount paid in the form of compensation by any insurance company in India is deductible for the Sum Assured for the remainder of the risk period defined in the individual art insurance policy chosen by the customer.
Benefits of Art Insurance
Since the Art Insurance Policy has lots of advantages, let’s understand some of the major benefits that are provided under such policies in India:
- The coverage under Art Insurance includes any unexpected and sudden physical damage or loss to the asset insured from a list of causes that are covered under the policy.
- Some insurance companies in India also cover transportation of the art piece from one place to another in India or while in transit to some exhibition, art gallery etc.
- Some comprehensive art insurance solutions by insurance companies in India provide wall-to-wall coverage for paintings, designs, and other forms of artwork that can be displayed on a wall.
- Certain policies also include the storage of the artwork within the specified geographical or territorial limits for business or professional reasons.
- Various Rider Options are also provided by the insurance companies in India that can be added to the main policy. Such options include a defective title of the artwork, automatic reinstatement, replacement of keys and locks, temporary storage costs that can arise anytime, and coverage during exhibitions etc.
- A fair market value for the artwork is reached and a Valuation Certificate is also provided to the insured from a subject matter professional from the valuation of such items.
- Damages or losses due to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, cyclone, and other extreme weather conditions are also covered under the benefits.
- Corporate Art Collectors, Individual Art Collectors, Art Dealers, Museums, and Exhibitors etc. are some of the beneficiaries from an art insurance policy in India.
Exclusions under Art Insurance
Below are some points in general exclusion from an art insurance policy provided by various insurance companies in India:
- Consequential loss of any kind is also excluded from such policies provided by Indian insurance companies.
- War, invasion, other allied perils, and damages following the government actions are also excluded from an art insurance policy.
- Any willful or malicious act by the insured alone or with other people that may result in damage or loss of the artwork is excluded by generally all art insurance policies in India.
- Loss or damage due to natural wear and tear of the artwork, rust or oxidation, moths, and inherent defect in the artwork are excluded from the policy.
- Loss or damage from retouching of the artwork, or any kind of repair, and any similar processes are excluded from the policy which are done at the owner’s risk.
- Loss or damage resulting from nuclear risks, chemical or biological hazards, and acts of terrorism are generally excluded from an art insurance policy.
There are so many private insurance companies that are currently operating in India which provide Art Insurance Policy. Every company will have its own internal procedure to settle claims arising out of the loss or damage to any artwork. However, below are some of the steps that generally any insurance company would take to settle claims for their customers:
- In the event of any damage or loss to the article is observed, immediately notify the insurance company on the telephone number provided, from where one has bought an individual art insurance policy.
- Based on the first information report over the toll-free or telephone number of the insurance company to report any event of loss or damage to an article of artwork, one must inform the personal Insurance Relationship Executive assigned to an individual locally in writing also.
- The Insurance Company then appoints a Surveyor to an individual case. The insured must cooperate with the surveyor and produce all facts and documents very clearly and with honesty.
- Some insurance companies have a huge network of partners in conservation, restoring, and loss adjustments that are at disposition to the policyholder under art insurance policy. Their support is taken in settling any claims and hence Surveyor Report is carefully studied by the insurance company before appointing any network partner to the case.
- All other documents related to the policy like Valuation Certificate, Individual Identity Proofs, and any other legal documents related to the unfortunate event with the artwork are produced at all times whenever requested by the insurance company during the claim process.
- Some private insurance companies in India boast to acknowledge the loss reported on the same day when the incident is reported by the insured to the insurance company.
- For any claims related to support to an individual art insurance policy, one should have an acknowledgment of the incident reported to be collected from any suitable and authentic customer support channels like a branch office, customer support e-mail, and toll-free number etc. that are provided to the policyholder.
- Based on the mutually agreed resolution in line with the policy documents, the insurance company provides compensation in terms of monetary losses, repairs, or any other similar processes to restore the artwork, the sum assured is approved by the insurance company.
- The amount if any applicable in the form loss or damage reinstatement or sum assured to the work for restoration is either credited to the policyholder or the network partner whatever applicable.
- Some insurance companies may also provide any general instructions to be followed for protecting an individual’s artwork after the restoration process is closed and the claim is settled.
Q1. What are various types of claim professionals that any insurance company partners with regards to the claim settlement for artwork under the Art Insurance Policy?
Certified Valuation Experts, Surveyors, repair partners like masons, carpenters etc., and Transit Supervision Experts are generally appointed as network partners by the insurance companies in India.
Q2. Will, an individual, association or any other formal body gets any support from the insurance companies with tips to better the retention of art pieces or articles to be preserved?
Yes, some private companies may offer vulnerability assessments to the artwork and suggest tips or guidelines to restore the article in a better way.
Q3. How any insurance company can help policyholders to provide assistance during the transit of the insured art item from one place to another?
Some insurance companies in India may appoint specialized Transit Experts or Logistics Partners who can provide wall-to-wall transit solutions or moving an art piece to a seasonal residence under complete ownership and supervision.