A work of conceptual art can be installed in a collectors house where it sits and is enjoyed for many years. But when it comes time to move and recreate the work, or even sell it, collectors can find that a crucial element might have gotten over looked in time. So insurance brokers Crystal & Company and AIG have developed a way to protect owners of conceptual art from a loss of the all-important certificate of authenticity:
Conceptual art is focused more on the idea being expressed, while the form and material are secondary. A certificate is provided by the artist to authenticate an item and without this, the piece is considered worthless. Therefore, if the certificate was lost or damaged, the item may have lost most of its value, according to Crystal & Company.
Historically, references to lost or damaged certificates of ownership have not been spelled out in fine art insurance policies, which can lead to uncertainty in the event of a claim. The endorsement created by AIG insurers in collaboration with Crystal & Co. specifies where conceptual artwork is covered.
“Since a piece of paper is often the only document essentially giving value to a work of conceptual art, we wanted to find a way to protect our clients’ investments even if something happens to their certificate.” Jonathan Crystal, executive vice president of Crystal & Company.
Ron Fiamma, global head of Private Collections for AIG Private Client Group said the coverage idea is an effective way for the companies to address the concerns of their shared clients.
“Conceptual art collecting has increased in recent years, and as a result we have fielded more questions about policy contract coverage,” he said.