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Art aboard a superyacht can be a sensitive subject. Many owners may not be sure what is insured and what is excluded; some may not be concerned whether their pieces of art are noted in the insurance policy and consider their fine art collection as part of the vessel. It can be a grey area and therefore it is important to talk to your insurance provider about this issue.

According to the famous French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, art is a way of recognising oneself. Maybe that is why we like to surround ourselves with it. In our private lives, as well as in business, works of art manage to put a situation in perspective. However, very few works of art by great painters and sculptors were created to travel the world's oceans on a yacht. From moisture damage to greasy fingerprints and red wine stains to theft, many potential dangers lurk on board for sensitive works of art. Most superyacht policies will include loss or damage from an external cause but not humidity damage for example; only specialised fine art insurance would consider cover for the more common risks of damage to art.

Those who want to equip their master suite or the saloon with high-quality china, antique furniture or oil paintings should therefore not only attach great importance to damage prevention, but should also take care of adequate insurance protection.

In every Pantaenius Superyacht policy, fine art is usually insured up to a limit of € 200,000, with individual works of art not exceeding a maximum insured value of € 20,000. Of course, higher insurance values can also be included in the policy and in these cases, a detailed inventory of the artwork is necessary. In individual cases, additional valuations may be requested.

Captains, yacht managers and owners should understand exactly what insurance cover they have and how the policy must be adapted to meet their individual needs. This also applies to the question of insurance cover during the transport of the art to the yacht. The shipping and logistics for a high-value work of art are fraught with insurance pitfalls and usually require specialised fine art insurance policies, as the cover would not be included in the regular superyacht policy.

Carelessness and environmental influences are not the only challenges art lovers can face on the high seas. Complications and confiscations occur due to violations of laws, such as the protection of endangered animal species, the preservation of national treasures or other cultural objects. The discovery of ivory or tropical wood in the form of precious works of art by border guards and customs officers has often led to yachts being impounded or halted in their itinerary. Even less obvious things such as ornaments from herringbone or a work of art from butterflies have in the past proved problematic for owners. It should be made clear that these breaches of law would not be covered by any insurance policy and would be the responsibility of the owner of the works of art.

Whether you want to include your existing collection in your policy or are planning to equip your yacht with fine art objects in the future, our Pantaenius account managers will be happy to help you determine your insurance coverage needs or recommend consultants to help you handle artwork on board.


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