In recent times, an owner’s greatest fear for their onboard artwork might be the threat of sticky fingerprints left by younger guests, general stains, moisture damage or even theft. Today, those wanting to equip their master suite or saloon with antique furniture or oil paintings face a new set of complications and concerns, brought about by the Covid pandemic.

Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, the transfer of artworks between the shore and the superyacht is a complex process, with a painstaking multitude of technical restrictions, tax and legal issues to adhere to, as well as consideration for the physical safety of the piece itself. With this in mind, the superyacht insurance experts at Pantaenius Yacht Insurance advise that it’s vital captains, yacht managers and owners understand exactly what insurance cover they have in place. This also applies to insurance covering transport of the art piece to the yacht – the shipping procedure for a high-value work of art is fraught with insurance pitfalls and often requires a specialised fine art insurance policy.

The difficulties brought about by Covid, begin with import logistics. Tilman Kriesel of TKA Art Advisors and YAM Yacht Art Management tells us that delivery teams transporting pieces have found themselves unable to cross country borders, and have required a secondary team from the importing country to take over stewardship and onward transportation – meaning that delivery times are impossible to accurately schedule and any third-party involvement poses additional risk of loss.

The second impact of Covid comes with consideration as to how the piece, be it a painting, piece of antique furniture, high value china/crystal or even jewellery, can be adequately disinfected. In preventing the spread of Covid between individuals and countries, and limiting risk to both the contractor and the recipient or owner, every precaution must be taken.

Sensitive surfaces only allow for professional treatment, and the use of UV light to disinfect surfaces can lead to irreparable damage to colour. A climatic box, which allows for an artwork to be safely quarantined for 72 hours, is one solution: Understandably however, how and where this is done and with the necessary assurances to the security of the piece, must be discussed with the insurer.

“It’s important to engage a qualified advisor for the yacht’s art management and handling at an early stage.  Before any prestigious artwork is moved or shipped, the process should be certified by a professional, checking all tax and legal implications, as well as security risks.  A secure and safe art handling procedure will protect your artwork, and your insurance policy.” – Tilman Kriesel

With these hurdles overcome, one’s attention is next turned to the matter of curation and installation. Many insurers will stipulate that only experienced and approved art handlers can do this, as damage most frequently occurs in the last few moments and metres before the work is installed in its intended position. In the climate of the Covid pandemic however, Kriesel highlights that much stricter, additional regulations are in place with selected personnel only permitted aboard in tightly controlled scenarios and for very limited periods of time.

In this video Anna Schroeder, Marketing Director of Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, discusses the details with Tilman Kriesel.
At every stage of the process, adequate insurance protection is vital. Many owners may not be aware what is insured and what is excluded in their policy, or whether individual pieces and values are specified, or even if the art is simply considered part of the vessel. It can be a monochromatic area of grey to say the least.

Kriesel advises to talk to your insurance provider in the first instance, and work with your art advisor to draw up a plan that adheres to all the necessary requirements before any action is undertaken. Most superyacht insurance policies will include loss or damage from an external cause but not humidity damage for example; only specialised fine art insurance would consider cover for even the more common risks to art pieces.

With every Pantaenius superyacht policy, fine art is typically insured up to a limit of €200,000, with individual artworks specified not to exceed a maximum insured value of €20,000. Of course, higher insurance values can be included in the policy and in these cases, a detailed inventory established. Whether you want to include your existing collection in your policy or are planning to equip your yacht with fine art objects in the future, the Pantaenius account managers will be happy to help you determine your coverage needs or recommend consultants to help you handle artwork on board.

In our private lives, as well as in business, works of art manage to put a situation in perspective. However, very few works of art by great painters and sculptors were ever created with the intention they would travel the world’s oceans on a yacht!

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