Insuring Fine Art Exhibits


A crowd of art lovers and collectors in Miami, a city known for its vibrant art scene, was left shaken as a $42,000 Jeff Koons sculpture was accidentally broken at a preview event at Art Wynwood. The contemporary art fair was hosting a VIP event when a patron knocked over the balloon dog sculpture which was on display at the Bel-Air Fine Art booth. Cédric Boero, district manager for France and business development at Bel-Air Fine Art Galleries said that the sculpture’s fragments are being kept in a box while they are being examined by an insurance company. The patron who knocked the art piece over would not be responsible for the damage.  

At Art Wynwood, a visitor accidentally breaks Jeff Koons's "balloon dog" sculpture.  © Image Provided by CNN
At Art Wynwood, a visitor accidentally breaks Jeff Koons's "balloon dog" sculpture.  © Image Provided by CNN

What coverage did the gallery have? 

Inland Marine insurance. 

Coverage for fine art, like the Koons sculpture, is provided by inland marine insurance. It is usually written with a particular valuation provision that covers the items on an agreed value or fair market value basis. 

What is inland marine insurance? 

An inland marine insurance policy, regardless of the term “marine,” normally covers land-based property. Inland marine insurance is a subset of ocean marine insurance. Previously, insurance companies provided “ocean marine” insurance to protect owners from losses of commodities delivered by sea if the ship sank or was captured by pirates.  

Individuals and businesses began sending cargo outside major port cities over time, necessitating protection against commodities losses while in transit across land. Insurance companies began giving protection for products shipped beyond large bodies of water and port cities with the introduction of inland marine insurance. Today, inland maritime insurance covers a wide range of different types of property in transit and on-site, including fine art.  

Want to go deeper into inland marine insurance? 

Sign up for our CIC Commercial Multiline course.  

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