Monday, February 22, 2010

"Is title insurance a solution in search of a problem?"

At the Huffington Post, Daniel Grant takes a look at how art title insurance is faring. He points out that, when it first came on the market, "lawyers and those in the art trade heartily endorsed the concept" (well, not all of them), but now, "several years later, the opportunity to purchase artwork headache-free does not appear to have been picked up by many art collectors or dealers." He notes that the "policies are not inexpensive, costing between one and three percent of the value of the object, and the price is paid up-front, rather than in installments over the course of the policy." And he gets the following quote from Chubb's fine art manager: "the only people who want title insurance are the people who have an impediment to the title of something in their possession, and they are looking to transfer the risk to someone else."

I remain a skeptic.