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Clare Pardy of Hallett Independent.

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With rising rents and rates hitting high street shops, many dealers choose to split their time between selling online, at home and at fairs. Insurance is still a crucial part of the business, but often policies cater for the traditional gallery model.

Hallett’s innovation targets traders who work primarily from home.

Under it, private and commercial coverage can be merged, enabling the policyholder to combine all their covers (such as buildings, contents and collection) with their stock insurance.

“We want to support the dealers who are doing things differently,” said Clare Pardy of Hallett Independent. “Many find that it’s difficult to justify owning a gallery. Until now they would have needed a policy for stock at home and separate cover for fairs and storage. This product is a one-stop shop.”

Newer dealers developing their business model are set to benefit from the product. It also recognises those who emphasise academic research, which allows them to make the discoveries and reattributions that can be ultimately more valuable than a day of hard selling in a shop.

The product was devised in consultation with the organisers of Battersea’s Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in response to their concern that many dealers do not have the necessary public liability cover. Though it was created with the type of major yet unconventional businesses that stand at that event, the product is not exclusive to the fair’s participants. It is underwritten by a high net worth and art trade insurer which remains anonymous.