’We understand the importance of protecting art, collections and valuable possessions,’ says underwriting director for art and private clients

The majoirty of high net worth (HNW) collectors are demanding more art and collections risk guidance from their insurer or insurance broker, new figures by Ecclesiastical have revealed.

Published yesterday (31 October 2023), the data showed that accidental damage (73%) and theft (72%) were top concerns for wealthy collectors, while damage in transit (69%) was also a key issue for them.

As a result, two thirds (66%) of the HNW collectors surveyed believed they needed to do more to protect their art and collections, with seven in 10 (67%) wanting more risk guidance.

“From an old master painting, to a modern sculpture, bottle of whisky, or wine collection, as a specialist art and private client insurer, we understand the importance of protecting art, collections and valuable possessions,” Dr James Lindow, underwriting director for art and private clients at Ecclesiastical, said.

”Our latest research has found over half of HNW collectors have had their treasured assets impacted by escape of water and damage in transit during the past year.

”Half also reported suffering accidental damage, and malicious damage and vandalism.”


For the research, the insurer surveyed 250 UK HNW individuals who invest in art and other collectibles.

Ecclesiastical also found that one way wealthy individuals were choosing to protect their assets was by purchasing replicas of their original items to thwart theives.

Half (51%) of those surveyed have knowingly purchased replicas, of which four in five (83%) said they used replicas to protect their art and collections.

While this mitigates risk, Ecclesiastical felt brokers also had a key role to play in ensuring HNW individuals were as protected as possible.

”Brokers play an important role in helping high net worth clients understand the risks their art and collections face and in ensuring they have the right cover in place should the worst happen,” Lindow added.