A question was asked recently in a LinkedIn group: “Should all art be insured or just some art?” Well, you all must know what comes next…
It Depends. (Didn’t see that comin’ did ya!)
Asked by an artist and gallery owner, I felt such an open ended question deserved an attempt at an answer, or maybe more like a personal opinion from experience. Having been a property adjuster for 19 years the question was not “To be or not to be”, that question was always “Why do I have insurance anyway!” You have insurance to indemnify you in case of a loss, subject to the terms and conditions in your policy…blah…blah…blah. (Couldn’t forget the ever present “out”)
What should you insure…How much can you afford to lose? Insurance is a gamble…for you AND the insurance company. You are paying the insurer a premium in case something happens. Your gamble is…How much premium am I going to pay them before something happens? The problem is two-fold; If you don’t get insurance, are you going to put the equivalent of the premium away in case something happens…
Let’s be realistic…No, you’re not. And if you do, it probably won’t be enough if something catastrophic happens. The insurance company hopes nothing happens, but if it does, they’re in the business to pay out, and most likely the payout will be more than your collective premiums.
Understand that this is an overly simplified explanation and you should always consult an agent or broker experienced in insuring artwork before making any decisions.
I’ll differentiate insuring personal collections from galleries in subsequent blogs.