Art and private client business director reveals that policy changes are the result of broker feedback

Charity-owned insurer Ecclesiastical has updated its art and private client policy based on broker feedback, making previously optional cyber covers standard, increasing single article limits and simplifying policy schedules and documents.

The revamped policy, which will replace the insurer’s existing art and private client product for new business and renewals from 12 September 2022, now provides cover for cyber damage of home systems, cyber crime and online liability as standard.

When the insurer last updated its long-standing policy back in 2019, only cover for cyber damage of home systems was included within the provision.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Sarah Willoughby, art and private client business director at Ecclesiastical, said: “As you learn more around cyber and how your clients are using their different [technologies] and working from home more as well, we had the optional cover that they could purchase in 2019 – we’ve now made it standard to make sure they’re better protected.

“Individuals don’t really understand about cyber or how people get hacked or how they need to protect themselves, so we recognise [that] to ensure our clients aren’t vulnerable, we’ve put the full cyber cover as standard now. We’re trying to protect the end client as much as we can.

“It’s really important - it’s better protection for the client to have [all cyber cover] as a standard.”

With regards to single article limits, Ecclesiastical has improved its fine art single article limit to £50,000, while for jewellery items, this now stands at £25,000. Willoughby noted that it is important for these figures to reflect prices that have impacted by inflation.

Meanwhile, business and travel insurances are available as optional covers that can be added to the main policy.

Additional mandatory cover does not automatically equal higher premiums, Willoughby confirmed.

This is because the expanded policy will be applied to Ecclesiastical’s entire art and private client book, which “smooths all the granular pricing behind” the policy.

Informed by brokers

For Willoughby, a key driver of the policy changes has been feedback from Ecclesiastical’s broker partners.

The insurer conducted in-person and virtual sessions with brokers when reviewing its policy, to understand “what they’d like, or what their clients would like”, Willoughby explained. Ecclesiastical also accessed broker surveys to gain further feedback.

Willoughby continued: “This is an ever-evolving, enhancing product proposition, so we’re continually looking to see how we can evolve it. We listen to our brokers and obviously gain feedback from them. We work with them.

“We then look at the whole market, see what we can do and then go ‘right, here’s our new, enhanced policy wording’.”

The product update also revitalised policy documentation. “We’ve simplified the policy schedules to make it even easier for brokers and end clients to view it and understand it in line with our policy wording,” Willoughby added.

Willoughby has been at Ecclesiastical for six years now – she said the insurer’s art and private client policy initially launched eight years prior to her starting at the organisation, albeit under a different guise. It has been continually enhanced over the years – the policy’s last update was in 2019.