Take The Pain Out Of Insuring Your Collections: Top Tips From Hallett Independent

Image: Courtesy of Derby Museums Trust
Image: Courtesy of Derby Museums Trust

AIM Associate Suppliers and Art and Heritage insurance specialists, Hallett Independent, have kindly written some top tips for AIM members to help take the tedium out of sorting your insurance. If you would like some advice about your insurance or have any questions about the tips raised in the article below, please get in touch with the friendly team by emailing: help@hallettindependent.com

Take the pain out of insuring your collections: top tips from Hallett Independent

Let’s face it, no-one enjoys dealing with insurance – all the regulations, form filling and perplexing technical wordings. We understand that but let’s pause and look at the possibilities…

Let us suppose you are a regional museum with a small dedicated staff. There is no registrar, no security expert and the permanent collection is made up of diverse range of objects; many of which are neither catalogued nor valued.

Your current cover – which may have been put in place years ago – is one of the largest items in your annual budget, but there are certain warranties and conditions that seem very onerous. Your insurance adviser is keen to help but doesn’t really seem very interested in art or heritage and has no knowledge of the museum world. As you understand it, you have ‘a good commercial package with a major insurer’.

This is the sort of scenario that we are come across again and again. So, what can you do about it?

  • First of all, don’t let your broker persuade you that understanding art or history and having no interest in museums doesn’t matter. It does!! If they are to help you arrange the right cover and settle any claims which might for instance, involve restoration and depreciation, it is vital.
  • Make time to review your cover. This means not only validating the sums insured for the permanent collection but also ensuring that loaned items are properly covered, and the relevant agreements are in place and up-to-date.
  • Trustees are an important part of any museum’s structure and can often be actively involved, not only in strategic decision making, but also in day-to-day activities. Ensuring that the right level of Trustee Indemnity cover is in place which accurately reflects their roles should be a priority.
  • Question the scope of the cover in place. Would it be cost effective to limit cover for some parts of the collection and increase cover for key pictures or objects? What would be the premium saving for a higher excess or covering for restoration only? Your broker should be able to discuss these options with you and obtain alternative quotations.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about the broker’s remuneration. They may earn every penny but if all they are doing is sending you renewal documents once a year, you might want to renegotiate.


How can Hallett Independent help you?

  • As AIM supporters and Associate Suppliers, Hallett Independent is committed to the museum sector. We have long experience of acting for museums as specialist art and heritage insurance brokers. Individually, we are friends, patrons and trustees; visiting museums and galleries regularly to see exhibitions and permanent collections and working to provide support via sponsorship and marketing initiatives.
  • Having visited you and reviewed your current arrangement, we work closely with a small number of insurers adapting standard insurance cover to suit individual museums’ needs. We appreciate that one size seldom fits all and with pressure on both time and resources, keeping administration to a minimum is vital. We work to arrange the best possible cover for you, identifying the risks and discussing with you how the collection needs to be protected. We talk about what you would do in the event of a fire, which items define the museum, and which are less relevant. Attempting to insure every item in the collection at a full reinstatement value is very rarely the solution.
  • We also understand requirements around fire and alarm security, Trustee Indemnity, Government Indemnity, exhibition and transit cover, display cases, condition and facility reporting, disaster management and all the other demands on a busy muse-um.
  • Once we have identified your needs and thoroughly reviewed the options available, we are able to negotiate with insurers to achieve a competitive premium within your budget which reflects the current needs of the museum and will respond in the event of a claim. And, if you do have a claim, we will be the first port of call and will be with you every step of the way ensuring that it is dealt with thoroughly and speedily.


About Hallett Independent

Hallett Independent specialise in arranging insurances for museums. We are actively involved in the museums sector as trustees and patrons and so understand the financial pressures and work especially hard to negotiate reduced premiums in what is a highly competitive environment. Our support extends to selected sponsorships, free advice and lectures to museums large and small across the UK. We welcome all enquiries.

Website: Hallett Independent




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