Insuring Art to Value Is Essential as Global Sales Hit Record Highs…

Your passion is to collect, ours is to help protect. Given recent record-breaking global art sales, it is now more important than ever to insure your art to proper value.

Since the 1990s, the art market has grown into a $50 billion-plus global industry. Combined 2012 results for Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillip’s spring auctions in New York City totaled an unprecedented $1.4 billion. New York City is a global leader, along with Paris and London, and new “art centers” are emerging around the world.

Major factors driving global art sales

  • Record-breaking New York sales—In May alone, sales in New York reached all-time highs. Sotheby’s May 2nd evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art hit the highest-ever total of $330 million for this category. Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” set a world record for a work of art sold at auction—close to $120 million paid by an unknown telephone bidder. The May 8th Post-War and Contemporary art evening sale at Christie’s reached $388 million—the highest sum for a Contemporary sale. That same night, Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” sold for $ 86.9 million, setting a world auction record for Contemporary art.
  • New wealth in other parts of the world—Emerging economies have new found wealth to spend and offer new markets for serious collectors in China, India, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East. Art fairs have cropped up in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, in addition to more-established fairs in New York, Basel, Maastricht, Miami and London.
  • Fresh, new works on the auction block—A gift from the artist to his neighbor, “The Scream” was privately owned for more than 60 years before it sold in May at the highest price paid for a painting at auction. Other privately owned works from iconic artists such as Picasso, Warhol and Monet also sell high once they hit the auction block.
  • Growing interest in art as an asset class—Poor investment opportunities in other classes during recent economic times make art an attractive, new asset for investors. Many collectors now use art as collateral for bank loans. The liquidity from the loan is used to invest in business or purchase more art, quickly turning a non-liquid asset into a liquid one.

Keep up with the fast-paced art market

  • Appraisals are required (by Chubb)  for works valued at $250,000 and above. High-valued items should be reappraised every 3-5 years.
  • Review the entire art collection on a regular basis with an art appraiser or other art expert to make sure it is insured to value.
  • Use a professional fine art appraiser with accreditation from the Appraisers Association of America, American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers.
  • Obtain an appraisal for insurance replacement purposes, rather than an estate or bank loan appraisal.
  • Appraisal firms that offer inventory services may be more cost-effective than individually appraising a few pieces at a time, since these firms automatically update values on their schedules every year.

How Chubb can help

  • Masterpiece® Valuable Articles insurance includes inflation protection to help ensure that your coverage stays in line with rising art prices. So if the value of a piece increases after it is itemized on a policy, Chubb can pay up to 150% of the original value in a covered loss (up to the total value of the schedule listed on the policy).
  • Our fine art specialists can help document valuable items to serve as a detailed record in the event of a claim.
  • We offer complimentary referrals to pre-qualified fine art appraisers, conservators, warehouses, shippers and advisors. You may call the Masterpiece® Protection Network at 1-877-60CHUBB (1-877-602-4822).

Learn more

Call our office at 513-985-3600 for more information. Check out Chubb Valuable Articles videos on YouTube.

Sources:,,,, Deloitte Luxembourg and ArtTactic Art & Finance Report 2011.

Copyright © 2012 Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
Box 1615, Warren, NJ 07061-1615
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Chubb Personal Insurance (CPI) is the personal lines property and casualty strategic business unit of Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company, as manager and/or agent for the insurers of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

Posted on: June 29th, 2012 at 3:34pm by bwittenbaum. Filed under: Insurance Company News

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