How Technology Is Transforming Art Insurance (Recording + Highlights)


This week on ArtEvolve we were joined by Simon Craig, a fine art Loss Adjuster and Risk Surveyor, and Founder of Untitled (1960), who consult for insurance companies and underwriters such as Lloyd’s. We talked art insurance, and how technology is transforming insurance processes for museums, galleries, and other key players in the art world.


Current events, such as global conflict and the climate crisis, bring with them uncertainty and risk. If insurers become more cautious, we see this reflected in policies. In areas becoming more impacted by natural disasters, for example, we’ll likely see higher premiums and deductibles, and limitations on coverage, or no coverage at all. Museums and galleries may also be required to have disaster management plans in place to quality for policies. How can technology be used to bring more stability to art organizations in these changing times?


How is art tech developing and how can it help insurers and insurees?


GPS trackers – are increasingly being used to monitor artworks and high value goods. Trackers can be configured to notify parties of unauthorized movement, extreme temperatures, humidity, etc. As well as giving context to the condition of artworks, this data can be crucial in safeguarding art in storage, recovering stolen artwork, and even apprehending thieves.


Blockchain – information about artworks is incredibly valuable, if it can be leveraged in a secure and meaningful way. Evidence of acquisition, proposal forms, policy questions, claims documentation, condition reports, and more stored on the blockchain could provide useful context to art world professionals throughout the life of an artwork. Our webinar ‘AIS: Do We Need An ISBN For Art?’ looked at this topic in more detail.


Digital condition reports – insurers are constantly looking for ways to better manage risks. Simon talked about his work as a loss adjuster, dealing with claims in which underwriters were not aware of pre-existing defects or damage. Condition information can provide the context underwriters need to decide how best to provide coverage, it can protect them against claims in which objects were already damaged, and improve relations between all parties, due to improved documentation and communication.

Having a standardized system also means data can be collected by staff physically in the same location as the artwork, saving time and money compared sending a specialized conservator or loss adjuster. If needed, a specialist can look at the digital audit trail remotely and assess next steps.


Video reporting – using video to record condition gives deeper insight into an object and allows key players to communicate about insurance claims, damage assessments, and condition more effectively.


Sea Freight – shipping by sea has a 95% lower carbon footprint than shipping by air but hasn’t been widely adopted, in part because of concerns about increased risk. AXA XL has created new guidelines to help reduce the risk of accidental damage and Articheck has incorporated these guidelines into Virtual Courier so that organizations can follow the guidelines, reduce risk, and demonstrate compliance on one platform. (Watch our ‘Making Art Fair Shipping Sustainable’ webinar to find out more).


Thank you to our guest, Simon Craig of Untitled (1960), for joining us and sharing his expertise!