“You only get to see how good an insurer is when you come to claim. So a broker should only ever recommend insurers who have a specialist expert claims management team with a constructive approach to loss settlement.”
“Attitudes towards risk management are paramount – they’re the first thing insurers look at. Diligent clients who have thought about protecting their property, who use the best service providers (such as good quality shippers) and who are careful in every way, are looked on favourably by insurers when risk acceptance and terms are being considered.
“Dealers and collectors should look for insurers that understand them, their passions, operations and motivations. An insurer that shows such understanding at the underwriting stage is far more likely to be able to settle a claim well, should the need arise.”
The trade association
“Professional indemnity insurance has been the big growth area in recent years, especially as auctioneers attract buyers – and to a degree, sellers – from around the world. That won’t change, because if a firm is regulated by RICS and a member of SOFAA and/or NAVA, it already has to have professional indemnity insurance.
“This is especially relevant for those undertaking valuation work abroad, assisted by RICS’ newly updated Red Book, global and UK editions, incorporating International Valuation Standards. All valuations have had to be done to Red Book standard in the past four years and indemnity has to be at a level to cover what is necessary.”
“Much will depend on the type of cover in place. But look to reduce exposure to loss through adequate security, alarms, fire safety, temperature control and so on.
“Try also to reduce exposure to fire or floods and other damage by not storing art in inappropriate conditions, having a conservator inspect and certify the insured works’ satisfactory condition on inception and renewal of a policy. You should use reputable art-handlers in the transportation, installation and upkeep of any works insured under the policy.
“Finally, do read the policy’s terms and conditions before committing to make sure it does what it’s supposed to do.”