Guide to fine art insurance in Switzerland


What is fine art protection?

Fine art refers to collectible items of high value, primarily paintings, drawings and sculptures.
Fine art is exposed to fluctuating market conditions, is generally fragile and often vulnerable to theft due to its high value. It must be stored or displayed carefully and transported with care. In short, fine art is exposed to multiple risks.
For all of these reasons it should always be protected by Swiss fine art insurance provided by a specialist company that provides all of the below:

  • A fine art insurance expert for a reliable appraisal or estimate of value
  • Advice on security measures
  • Advice on restoration and conservation
  • Advice on transport, shipping and adequate packaging to avoid claims not being paid
  • Access to the international “Art loss register”
  • The liberty to transport collections or pieces from one site to another on a worldwide basis and offer temporary coverage abroad (for at least 12 months)
  • Protection for frames, fronts, pedestals and packaging (for at least CHF 5’000.-)
  • Provisional coverage for new acquisitions (for at least 20% of the existing policy value for 30 days or more)
  • Wall to wall transport protection
  • Protection against the risks of breakage, deterioration, vandalism, destruction, loss and theft.

What amount should I be covered for?

The amount must correspond as precisely as possible to the replacement value of the piece(s) to be protected. This value will then be adapted based on:

  1. The amount paid for the piece(s).
  2. A professional appraisal or the estimate of the company’s expert

Once the final value has been defined it will become the agreed value.

Minimum (for a single piece): CHF 25’000.- (less is possible)
Maximum: No limit

What deductible should I choose?

The fine art insurance deductible is generally imposed upon the policyholder by the insurance company. It can be as high as 10% of the value of the piece to be insured or as low as CHF 0.-

What value or amount is reimbursed in case of a claim?

The amount specified in the Swiss fine art insurance policy as it is a lump sum insurance. Serious fine art policies will also refund lost value, and repair work after breakage and deterioration. Usual wear and tear is never covered. Fine art should never be exposed to direct sun light and displayed or stored in rooms which are damp or have large temperature variations. Avoid displaying valuable pieces close to a fire place, as damage done by heat, smoke and ash will not be covered.