Art – Shipping

Tips for Shipping Fine Art

When Making Arrangements With Fine Art Packers and Shippers

  • Select a competent Fine Art Shipper.
  • Seek referrals and ask your insurer for recommendations.
  • Provide your shipper as much detail as possible about the piece you are shipping. Give accurate dimensions.
  • Advise your shipper of any inherent issues. Was it recently restored? Is it framed with museum glass? Is the surface varnished or does it consist of thick impasto?
  • Confirm how they will pack and ship in detail. A competent shipper will answer any question you may have about their proposal. Contact your insurer if you need a second opinion.

When you provide accurate information, your Fine Art Shipper is better enabled to pack your art for transit.

Have Contracts In Order Before You Ship

  • If the property is going on loan or consignment, be sure the necessary loan or consignment agreement is in place before the shipment. This way you will firmly establish a value and be certain all parties are in agreement regarding who insures. Review contracts closely before you sign.
  • Whenever possible, request that the other party insure in transit. If the other party is insuring, request Evidence of Insurance naming you as Loss Payee.

Taking time to finalize contracts before shipment can protect you from costs and conflicts arising from damage.

If You Are Insuring In Transit

  • You or your qualified representative should confirm the condition of the fine art when it leaves the premises and upon arrival at the final destination. This is done by taking photos, condition reporting and noting condition on a shipper’s Bill of A shipper can also perform this condition report, but it is best if you or your representative confirm the condition.
  • If a shipper is packing in your presence, be sure to observe the pack and take images of the These photos will assist in confirming the condition of your property and how it was packed. If possible, have them pack under camera surveillance.
  • Before you sign the Bill of Lading provided by the shipper, be sure to note any condition issues and have the shipper do the same. This way you are both agreeing to the condition of the
  • Confirm that the piece count and property are listed correctly on the Bill of Lading.

Documentation and high resolution photographs will be essential in establishing liability for loss or damage.

If A Loss Occurs

  • As appropriate, when your art arrives to its final destination it should be opened in front of the shipper. Note the conditions on the Bill of Landing provided on arrival.
  • Notify your broker and/or insurer of any damage immediately.
  • Properly document the damage by taking photographs. Keep them on file. Pull together any paperwork or images related to the shipment.
  • Keep the packing materials so that your insurer can inspect. This will assist them in determining the cause of damage.

When in doubt, reach out to your Insurance Broker or Berkley Asset Protection for further guidance.

Be proactive! Develop a plan, and execute!