Insuring Art in the UK: Insights from an Art Insurance Expert

Insuring Art in the UK: Insights from an Art Insurance Expert
Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The world of art is an intricate blend of passion, history, and financial implications. For art owners and collectors, the spectre of damage, loss, or depreciation often looms large. To shed light on the intricate nuances of art insurance, we turned to a leading expert in the field, Bob Andrews, the Managing Director at Assetsure.

Understanding 'Art' from an Insurance Perspective

Art, in the insurance realm, isn't just about aesthetics; it's about value—both monetary and historical. This value might be vested in traditional forms such as paintings and sculptures or in unconventional items like textiles, decorative arts, and collectibles.

A critical part of insuring art involves a thorough appraisal. Not only does this ascertain the current market value, but it also establishes the piece's authenticity, a factor that's indispensable when making future claims.

Art Insurance: Navigating the Essentials and the Extras

For many, the decision to insure an art piece isn't merely about its price tag. The emotional and historical significance, as well as the risks associated with its display and storage, play pivotal roles.

When opting for insurance, art aficionados have two principal avenues: integrating it under a home insurance policy or choosing a standalone specialist policy tailored specifically for art. While the former usually offers foundational protection against accidental damage, fire, and theft, the latter provides a more comprehensive protection that is generally not normally available under a standard home policy. It’s always important to check with any insurance provider as to the exact scope of their cover, especially when dealing with valuable items.

Delving deeper into specialist policies, we find elements that cater to the unique needs of art pieces: Typical covers you might expect to see under a standalone art policy include:

Pairs and Sets: Art isn't always about individual pieces. Often, the value of a piece is amplified when part of a set. In the unfortunate event of damage to one part, a policy ensures that the value of the entire set is recognized and compensated.

Depreciation: Even the most expertly repaired art might lose some of its value post-restoration. Recognizing this, Depreciation covers are standard, ensuring that any reduction in value post a claim is addressed.

Death of the Artist: Art values can fluctuate with the artist's circumstances. In the event of an artist's death, some policies automatically increase the insured value of the associated artworks by up to 100%.

Defective Title: Art's journey from creator to collector isn't always straightforward. There are instances when, despite rigorous checks, ownership disputes arise post-purchase. The Defective Title cover acts as a safety net, indemnifying the purchaser against such claims up to a set maximum (typically £25,000).

Safeguarding Art in Transit

The challenges of protecting art don't end within the confines of a gallery or home. When art pieces are on the move, be it for exhibitions, sales, or relocation, the risks multiply. It's imperative to clarify who bears the insurance responsibility during transit. While many policies offer transit coverage, there are specific exclusions and considerations, making prior communication with the insurer crucial. Additionally, if entrusting art to professional shippers, it's wise to review their insurance provisions thoroughly.


In the ever-evolving realm of art, protection against unforeseen circumstances is paramount. With insights from industry stalwarts and comprehensive insurance policies, art enthusiasts can enjoy their prized possessions with greater peace of mind.

If you are interested in more information or looking for a quote, kindly click on the banner below where you will be directed to Assetsure.

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