Interview with ARIS Art Title Insurance

Art Market Monitor spoke with Judith Pearson and Lawrence Shindell just before the holidays (click on the player below to listen to the interview):

[audio:|titles=FInal ARIS Interview]

The Economist covered ARIS when the company was sold to Argo in November:

“Theft accounts for only a quarter of title disputes,” says Judith Pearson, a co-founder of ARIS, a small insurance firm that has been selling title insurance since 2006 and which was taken over by Argo Group, a bigger insurer, earlier this month. Three-quarters of squabbles occur in cases of divorce or inheritance when a spouse or other heirs challenge a seller’s right to sell. A work of art may also carry liens after being used as a collateral for a loan. More rarely, two or more artists may collaborate but then disagree about who has authority to flog their co-production.

Does the risk of title disputes warrant the cost of title insurance? ARIS charges a one-off premium of between 1.75% and 6% of the art’s value. In return the company will cover the legal costs in case of a title dispute and compensate for the agreed value of the art if their client loses the ownership dispute. ARIS has so far written about 1,000 policies and has not yet had a claim.

Peace of Mind (Economist)