6 ways the fine art and specie market is changing

Back To Latest News

Fine art and specie is one of the longest established classes of business in the UK, but that doesn’t mean it’s not evolving. In fact, change is accelerating:

#1 – With poor returns on savings because of low interest rates, more and more people are choosing to invest in collectibles and luxury items, particularly art and jewellery. This inevitably will lead to more claims under insurance policies.

#2 – As new collectors come into the market, they will need to be aware of relevant regulations which may affect their purchases. EU Regulations on the import of cultural goods are due to be enforced by 2025 and will require import licences for art, antiques, books, and other artefacts which are more than 250 years old. Whilst the UK decided not to sign up to this earlier this year, there will be ramifications for pieces shipped from or via the EU.

#3 – With most of the world on lockdown in 2020, there has been a surge in online selling and purchasing. This lends itself to increased risks of misselling, cyber threats and undervaluations.

#4 – As the world opens up from lockdowns, national and international travel increases, and art starts moving around more readily, we will see a rise in transit claims.

#5 – The fine art and specie insurance market is hardening, often resulting in changed policy terms. Insurers will need to ensure that policy wordings are tightly drafted to avoid the problems faced with business interruption policies, and policyholders will need to ensure that terms are fully understood.

#6 – With Beeple’s ‘The First 500 Days’ selling for £50m at Christie’s earlier this year, £18m more than Monet’s ‘Nympheas’ sold for in 2014, the popularity of NFTs does not appear to be waning. Buyers will need to make sure that they understand the legal and insurance implications of purchasing digital art.

Now is the time to think about what these changes mean for you. To help you navigate this new climate, our insurance team has recently launched a new partnership with Arbiter Adjusters – who are specialists in the investigation and settlement of claims involving paintings, antiques, collectibles, precious metals and stones, historic and listed buildings, landed property estates and general high net worth property claims.

Whether you need help with an insurance claim, a valuation, policy wordings, or with understanding the latest regulations, we’re here to help.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with Catrin Povey (c.povey@capitallaw.co.uk) or Nick Orringe (nick@arbiteradjusters.com).