3 Tips for Insuring Museum Collections

Museums, like any other organizations, have risks associated with their operations. Property of a fine art nature, as well as other works of rarity, historical value or artistic merit is often extremely costly to repair and nearly impossible replace if damaged or lost. For many museums, their collection is the most valuable asset of their organization. Without their collections, there would be no reason to function as a museum. The valuing and insuring of museum collection items can be a daunting task but securing an expensive and irreplaceable collection of items is well worth it.

When it comes to insuring museum collections, there are a few steps to take to decide which coverage types and how much coverage is appropriate for the organization in question. Below are the steps agents should take when insuring museum collections for their clients.

1. Adopt a risk management approach to assessing the collection.

A well researched and carefully implemented risk management plan can help to identify, reduce and mitigate the inherent risks of a collection, before insurance enters the equation, so that the cost of insurance does not outweigh the risk of remaining uninsured. The museum may want to work with their insurance agent, or with another third party risk management professional, to examine the possible risks of a collection, secure valuable items as well as possible and reduce the amount of risk that will need to be passed on to the insurance company.

2. Gather updated valuations and any paperwork for all collection items.

The most current valuations of collection items are necessary for obtaining an accurate quote for clients and potential clients, as well as for filing claims in the future. For some items, especially those that are more of historical nature and too rare to be replaced, establishing an accurate financial value may be difficult or impossible. In these types of scenarios, you can encourage clients to consider the costs of repairing these items as a valuation.

Clients will also need to provide any corresponding paperwork for all collection items, such as documentation of ownership, provenance (if the item in question has passed through several owners over time), receipt of purchase and any photographs. The more official documentation they can provide, the more accurate the quote will be and the more efficient claim filing will be in the future.

3. Review the different coverage options.

There are two types of coverage that are best suited for museum collections:

  • Collections Coverage: Basic coverage for high-value items. Typically covers physical loss or damage to collection items, including items that are entrusted to others by the insured, resulting from certain named risks.
  • Inland Marine Coverage: All-risk coverage that can be adapted to cover any type of high-value items. Generally covers replacement or repair of items against any major potential causes of loss other than any explicitly excluded in the policy. Also offers the insured comprehensive protection for assets that are moveable or mobile, in transit or in storage where specialization is needed or where unique exposures exists.

Partnering with an insurance provider that has an extensive portfolio of specialty items such as the coverage types above can help insurance agents ensure that their museum clients have the best possible coverage for their collections.

About AmSuisse

Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (800) 485-0229 to speak with one of our representatives.