Art Auction Primer

Shipping and Insurance - 2


Preparing art for shipment is not brain surgery, but it is still a task that should be left to experts. If your shipper offers packing services, which most do, then they probably should prepare the packing. This avoids the contention that the piece was mispacked if there is damage during shipment. Also, the shipper can pack the piece to match their shipping vehicles and containers.

Certain items require a crate to be built. This applies primarily to three-dimensional art and other fragile work. Most paintings do not require a crate to be shipped. A well packed corrugated box may offer as much protection as a wood crate, and will cost much less to prepare and to ship.


Insurance can be a major cost. Shipping insurance for an $100,000 painting might run $,2000 for insurance. And with no guarantees that the piece will sell could cost another $2000 in return shipment.

In many cases, transportation damage is covered by most dedicated art insurance, but not by most home insurance policies. However regardless of your insurance, you should always contact your insurance company when considering shipping art. And even in those cases, where the art is not covered under your current policy, they may have options that extend your coverage to include shipping. A year of art insurance coverage in you home, may cost less than shipping it.

If you must purchase your own shipping insurance, you should get quotes from several companies including the company that handles insurance for your shipping company.

Even for the most expertly packed and shipped art, there is a danger of loss or damage. Hence, the need to secure insurance for it. But the good news is that most artwork that is professionally packed and shipped reach their destination on time and in one piece.


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