How the latest tech is protecting art and driving down premiums

How the latest tech is protecting art and driving down premiums | Insurance Business America

How the latest tech is protecting art and driving down premiums
Art purchases are increasingly gaining regard as investments which can be resold for a profit or used as collateral for a loan, especially as they appreciate in value.

Caitlin Kelly, assistant vice president of Frenkel & Co. International Insurance Brokers for its fine art and connoisseur program, told Insurance Business in an email exchange that “it goes without saying that it is essential that the collector invest in the protection of that artwork.”

“This includes hiring fine art trained shippers, and handlers of the artwork, and installing fire and security protections in the location where the artwork will be installed,” she added.

Kelly also said that clients who take active steps to protect their collections are “signalling to the insurers that (they) are an attentive, responsible collector who (have) a vested interest in the preservation of (their collection.”

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Taking proactive steps, such as using fire and burglar alarms, as well as emerging technologies to ensure that their collections are protected also “will likely affect how the collector’s policy is rated.”

A technology that has emerged over the past year in art protection is magnetic asset protection (MAP), which protects stationary objects using a tiny rare-earth magnet that attaches to the art object in lieu of the conventional sensor.

Bill Anderson, founder and partner of Art Guard, a company that provides such technology, said that MAP systems help preserve the integrity of the artwork because they can be adhered with inert museum wax or wheat or rice paste.

The magnet corresponds with a sensor that stands in proximity to the artwork and detects movement of the magnet. This sensor is then networked with a variety of security system panels.

The sensors are programmed to send alarms to the collector, the police or other onsite or off site response services when unusual activity is detected. It operates on either the internet, cellular or encrypted Wi-Fi networks.

However, Anderson noted that “the only downside (is) the dependence on one technology to do it all.”

“Security should be properly layered or blended to have separate points of failure,” Anderson emphasized.

In the future, he added, he expects more solutions to refine object specific protection will emerge.

“One in particular is (global positioning system) or a similar means of tracking an object once it is successfully removed from a facility. This requires a dramatically more micro-sized battery,” he predicted.

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