Thursday, December 07, 2006

Title Insurance for Art has a piece, in their new "Collectors Guide," on title insurance for art. At the moment, it's available from two companies:

"Hiscox, a syndicate at Lloyd's of London, has for 20 years sold policies that cover everything from paintings to antiquities and require an annual renewal and premium payment. Hiscox prices on a case-by-case basis, with premiums in the 0.5% to 2.5% range, depending on risk. A $10 million policy on a Monet with a troubled provenance, for example, could cost $250,000 a year.

"In June Aris Title Insurance of New York launched a competing policy. ... Its policies cover only visual art and sculpture--not cultural artifacts or antiquities. But unlike Hiscox's, they charge a one-time-only premium, have no deductible and cover a work for as long as the policyholder (or an heir) owns it. If your ownership is challenged, Aris will either pay whatever it takes to successfully defend you or will refund what you paid for the piece. ... Aris reckons its one-time premium will run 5% or so of the value of the artwork, which may be higher or lower depending on risks associated with its provenance."

I previously posted about Aris, and the issue of adverse selection, here.