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Can we provide you with more information with regards Art Handling? Perhaps we can offer an estimate for a specific transport request?

Please contact us using the boxes to the right of the map. If you need an estimate, be sure to include sizes of the object, a brief description and their origin and destination.

If this is a purchase from an auction house, please include the sale date and lot number.

Thank you.

Aiston Fine Art Services
Phone: 212-715-0629
Fax: 718-361-8569

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Comprehensive Fine-Art Handling Solutions
Rules of Thumb
  • Never assume that a shipment is insured. If you have not paid an insurance premium, it is not insured.
  • Seafreight insurance premiums can be high, it makes sense to airfreight very valuable objects.

It is advisable to insure works of art and fragile objects against damage, loss or theft during transit or a period of storage.

When asked the question "do you have insurance", established shipping and packing companies will reply in the affirmative, however this insurance does not cover damage to, or loss of your objects, it merely provides liability protection to the shipping company, its employees or a third party.

In order to provide adequate insurance, "All Risks" coverage must be purchased from the shipper for a premium in addition to the shipping or storage fees. Without this additional coverage, the shipper’s liability is legally limited to 60 cents per pound in weight, or $50.00 per shipment, whichever is the greater. This limit to liability should be printed somewhere on the transport bill of lading or the storage warehouse receipt.

In some cases a good quality home owners policy may provide coverage, however you should check as to the limits of coverage, risks such as "truck roll-over" may not be covered. Storage coverage can frequently be provided by your own insurer, however only if they are advised of the storage location. Frequently, seeking private coverage through one’s own policy will be much cheaper, largely because the liability exposure is smaller, so it is well worth checking.

If All Risks coverage is purchased, the rates may vary from .5% to 2.5% depending on the nature of the object and the mode of transport. Non-fragile items transported by truck or by air domestically are the cheapest to insure, fragile objects shipped internationally by sea tend to be the most expensive. Personal effects shipments may also tend to require a higher premium, due to the varied nature of the commodity.

Should damage or loss occur, the responsible insurance company will assess the loss through a third party or "Loss Adjuster". The adjuster will determine if the damage is repairable at a reasonable cost compared to the value of the object and back to a condition acceptable to all parties. If this is not possible, the object may be deemed a "total loss", whereupon its full value would be paid out, less any deductible and the object would become the property of the insurers for its salvage value.

Special policies, such as "Constructive Total Loss" are also available, whereupon any damage will be deemed a write-off. These policies generally cost more but are appropriate for such things as mirrors with old original mirror plates where damage to the glass substantially reduces the value of the mirror.

In some cases, particularly with ancient or very valuable objects, even after a good quality repair there may be a loss in value or "depreciation". It is again up to the Loss Adjuster to determine that loss in value and how reimbursement might take place.

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