Post-Sandy, Insurers May Rethink the Art World’s Coverage

(Courtesy Getty Images)
(Courtesy Getty Images)

Over at ArtNews, Michelle Falkenstein revisits some art insurers post-Hurricane Sandy and finds that many plan to change their policies after the storm, which lost the industry a good amount of money.

From the piece:

The total insured losses from Hurricane Sandy are estimated at around $35 billion, and approximately $200 million to $300 million consisted of losses to art—a huge hit for art insurers, who had already seen their worst year for catastrophic losses on record in 2011. “There’s been an uptick in the frequency and severity of weather-related catastrophes,” says Joe Dunn, president and CEO of Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency, which covers works of art, artifacts, and scientific specimens. With the cost of art insurance being low—or soft, as they say in the industry—some companies took a big hit.

Christiane Fischer, president and CEO of AXA Art Insurance, says that insurers are adjusting their underwriting in consideration of a redrawn flood map for New York. AXA will no longer insure art that is kept in basements in Chelsea in order to discourage galleries from using subterranean spaces for storage. “Sandy was a wake-up call,” she says. “People are much more aware of how much New York is in the path of hurricanes.” She calculates that AXA’s claims from the storm will probably end up being between $36 million and $38 million.

Thanks to Art Market Monitor for pointing us to this story.

Post-Sandy, Insurers May Rethink the Art World’s Coverage