Charles Bennardo, insurance expert, speaks on the importance of safeguarding your collection
One of the most important responsibilities that a collector has in maintaining and protecting the works of art he owns is to insure the collection properly. Very astute and marvelous clients of mine in Connecticut work with Charles Bennardo, President of CEB Advisors in New York, an affiliate of The Bullen Insurance Group. I have had the opportunity to speak with him at length, to visit his offices and meet with his boss and colleagues.
The Bullen Group creates unique, customized insurance programs that meet the special personal and business needs of high net worth families and their businesses. They insure individuals who have beautiful residences, great art and other valuable collections that include wine, cars, and other collectibles.
Charles has a great interest and passion for contemporary art and has been exposed to many sensational collections – Impressionist, Old Master, contemporary and cutting-edge – in the course of his work. He is a 24/7 guy who personally micromanages any and all problems that his clients incur – flying one day to Rhode Island to personally inspect the devastation that a fire in a client’s ship galley caused, the next to Florida to be hands-on in the investigation of a theft of property in a client’s residence there.
I am very pleased that Charles has taken the time to meet with me to share his expert knowledge of the art of insuring art with us.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP TO TAKE IN INSURING AN ART COLLECTION?
The first step in insuring an art collection is to have a very specific idea of how much coverage you will need to get started. Maintain an inventory of your artwork which includes photographs, appraisals, sales receipts and other documentation to back up any claims you may file.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE INSURED VALUE?
To ensure accuracy as the market changes so often, it is important to have your fine arts appraised by an experienced art dealer or appraiser. Use the services of an independent established appraiser who will provide you with a statement of value of each piece.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU RECOMMEND AN UPDATE ON THE EVALUATION OF A COLLECTION?
We recommend appraising your collections every three to five years. The art market fluctuates and so does the value of your collection. Review the value of your artwork on a regular basis and adjust the amount of insurance you carry accordingly. Paying for a re-appraisal will pay dividends if your artwork is damaged or stolen.
In our next conversation, Charles will cull from his vast experience as an insurance advisor to prioritize the primary issues and concerns that a collector should consider when insuring works of art. Please contribute any and all questions and concerns of your own. I know Charles will be happy to answer them.
Until then… thanks for reading the blog and your support!