Frequently Asked Questions
Why are some people concerned about buying insurance for their art collections?
Some people fear that information relating to their art collection on file with local insurers, could fall into the wrong hands, allowing unauthorised access to information relating to their personal wealth, and subsequently increasing the risk of their becoming a target for theft, not to mention the increased risk to their own personal security.
Many people in consequence choose not to insure their art collection at all. Griffin Underwriting offers a secure solution to what is otherwise a potentially serious exposure to your personal assets.
Why should I insure my art collection?
Unfortunately thieves target wealthy homes all too regularly, and despite the best security systems and other precautions, sometimes they are successful.
The insurance cover protects against loss caused by theft, but also against accidental damage, fire, water damage, vandalism and earthquake.
By having insurance you will be in a position to repair or replace your art work if it is lost or damaged without having to pay the costs yourself.
What items may I insure?
Our typical clients will insure:
Items can be insured if they are unique or rare, have a relatively high value and are collectable. We will require a recent valuation carried out by a firm recognized by us. We can assist in this regard if required. Our policy will only cover items which have this ‘agreed’ value and are listed on the schedule of insured items.
How do I establish the value of my collection for the insurance?
In the event of a loss, settlement will be made by reference to the agreed value of your item as specified in your schedule. It is therefore important to keep valuations as up to date as possible.
If you have a current valuation, we may be able to accept this and incorporate it into your policy. If you do not have a valuation or your existing valuation is out of date, we have access to experts who can value your pieces. These individuals are of the highest reputation and will be affiliated with the major auction houses. Needless to say, the valuations given will be confidential between you and us.
May I insure the collection against damage caused by an Earthquake?
Earthquake exposure is covered by the policy.
The policy covers all losses and damages unless specifically excluded and earthquake risks are therefore covered. So, if you happen to live in an area exposed to earthquake, your insurance will pay for any damage that may occur as a result.
I need to ship some pieces. Can I insure these?
Transit cover would usually be included within your policy up to a pre-agreed limit. If the transit is for works of art valued within this limit, there is no need to inform us of any transits as long as they are within the territorial limits specified in the policy and the insured property is packed for transit by competent professional packers.
One of my pieces needs to be restored. Can I cover the piece at the restorer?
We can include an ‘unnamed location’ limit within your policy if requested. This would give you automatic cover for items away from your main residence.
What is the cost of the insurance?
We will calculate a premium which is unique to your collection and which will be typically based upon:
- The overall value of your collection
- Where your collection is located
- The nature of your collection, i.e. the number and value of fragile versus non-fragile items, old masters versus modern art etc.
We may also take into account security measures in place, frequency and value of transit exposures and whether you have previously experienced a loss.
I acquire art regularly, how can I get cover?
It is an automatic feature of the policy to include new items in the cover. Insurers will include newly acquired pieces up to a value of 10% of the total sum insured under your policy. This means that if for instance you have insured values of USD 100,000 in all, you will automatically be insured for new purchases up to an additional USD 10,000.
You are then required to notify insurers within 60 days of the acquisition date, at which stage an additional premium will be due. Then, once this is done, the automatic feature is reinstated.
What happens if my art is stolen?
Griffin Underwriting would usually appoint a loss adjuster to work with you to settle the claim as quickly as possible. We will pay the agreed value of the piece as stated in the schedule of your policy.
Perhaps more importantly, the loss adjuster will work to recover the stolen item(s) using their extensive contacts to increase the chances of you getting artwork back.
What happens in the event of damage to my collection?
As insurers we will pay for the restoration of damaged pieces.
However, we also understand that the value after restoration is unlikely to be as high as it was before the damage occurred and so we will appoint an independent third party to assess the level of the depreciation in the value of the item and pay the difference to you in addition.
How do I proceed in the event of a claim?
In the event that your belongings are lost or damaged, please notify the relevant authorities (if applicable) and your broker immediately. Your broker will then contact us at Griffin Underwriting and we will handle your claim.
Am I covered if it transpires that someone I employ gave information or otherwise assisted the criminals to commit the crime?
When planning a theft, the criminals will often obtain information about the security systems in place. If they put pressure on staff who know the routines and security measures of the premises to get this information, some people are mistakenly concerned that the policy they have bought will then become invalid.
However upsetting it may be that information has come from so close to home, such people are vulnerable and it does not alter the fact that if a crime has been committed through circumstances beyond your control, the policy is there to indemnify you for the loss.
Why is the appointment of a Loss Adjuster such an important service?
For most people the things that they are insuring are things that they love. They are either gifts or things that have been chosen because they are beautiful and to lose them is the cause of terrific sadness.
The insurance is not just a means to restore your financial position after a loss. The Loss Adjuster provides an important service to you by using his contacts and expertise to try and locate the lost items. If they are found you will be offered them back, and to many people this is an enormously valuable comfort.
What is our Security?
Reinsured 100% with certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s we offer first class security to our clients worldwide.