Paintings, precious stones, jewelry, various art collections… have gone from “safe” to “risky” for insurers in just a few years. Why? Heloïse Decrocq-Mosnier, Head of Fine Art at PSPI, explains.


“Fine art insurance has always worked very well, but today it can be dangerous for insurers,” says the specialist from the outset. How can this change be explained?

“A few years ago, the level of risk for this type of asset – paintings, precious stones, jewels, etc. – was considered low, because these goods were usually insured by the insurer. – were considered to be low-risk, as they were mainly kept in safes in secure homes. Insuring them was either an inventory requirement, or an inheritance aspect to demonstrate that the goods had been covered for years.”


But in recent years, the context in which these assets evolve has changed, significantly increasing the level of risk, particularly of deterioration, theft and loss.

“Today, they are also transported from point A to point B, worn by their owner (in the case of jewelry), and also subject to so-called free circulation insurance policies, which offer coverage regardless of the location of the objects within the various properties of the holders… some of which are more or less secure…”

Added to this are other contextual aspects, such as the deterioration of goods by activists (eco-vandalism), the war in Ukraine, which poses a greater risk to the transport of works of art, not to mention the dematerialization of art with the arrival of digital works of art. “The search for specific insurance cover for works or objects related to Fine Art is also intensifying in the face of the emergence of new risks, such as those linked to NFTs.


And whereas a few years ago, the trend was to open up insurance portfolios to Fine Art objects, with these ever-increasing risks, insurers are now becoming more cautious. All the more so since, in addition to the challenge of risk, the value of the objects to be insured is very difficult to establish.

“Paintings, more or less antique jewelry, precious stones – all these special assets have fluctuating values that require constant updating. At PSPI, we do just that, and offer our customers direct access to their inventory via a specialized application. Because it’s only by establishing the real value that, in the event of damage, it can be financially compensated in a ‘fair’ way” concludes the expert.