Collectors, It's Hurricane Season Again - Timely Advice From AXA Art Insurance on How to Protect Art and Collectibles

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With the 2006 hurricane season on the way, AXA Art has made available a special newsletter on its web site which catalogues a series of steps and measures to assist collectors and to emphasize the relevance of loss prevention planning.

According to industry reports, 2005 was the costly year on record with insured and total catastrophe losses at $58.7 billion*. The 2006 hurricane season officially began On June 1st , and the National Hurricane Center forecasts up to 16 named storms with 8 to 10 reaching hurricane strength and four to six reaching Category 3 strength or higher. While this prediction is unsettling, a simple plan can help prepare one for the worst and save valued possessions and important symbols of cultural heritage.

AXA Art, the world’s leading insurer of fine art and collectibles, supports proactive planning as a critical component of collection management. The company has made available a special newsletter on its web site (http://www.axa-art.com) which catalogues a series of steps and measures to assist collectors and to emphasize the relevance of loss prevention planning.

"At the onset of a storm, preparing your home and ensuring the personal safety of you and your loved ones are paramount”, said Christiane Fischer, CEO of AXA Art, “however, proper implementation of a few timely precautions can help protect what sometimes translates into millions of dollars in aesthetic investments”, Fisher concluded.

The mitigation of hurricane damage to art and collectible investments, not unlike general property protection, includes doing everything possible to alleviate total destruction and being prepared to take immediate action should damage occur. Maintaining a preemptive plan is critical to protecting any collection in an emergency situation.

Leveraging past experiences from Katrina and Rita and armed with information gathered from conservators and its worldwide team of experts, AXA Art assembled a checklist with key elements in hurricane catastrophe planning to aid collectors:

1. Fine art inventory: maintain a list of valuable artworks with descriptions, values and gallery receipts, prepared well in advance. Include emergency telephone numbers of your insurance agents/brokers, insurance company (note your policy number), conservators, art storage facility and local freeze dry facilities. Keep an extra copy with your insurance agent.

2. Protection of documents: secure important documents in water and fire proof safes or storage boxes. Keep additional copies at a separate secure location.

3. Art storage: plan in advance to make arrangements for art transportation to an arts storage facility or create art storage crates for your home.

4. Reinforced home: protective shutters and roof hurricane clips in place, outside furniture securely bolted, tied down, or stored indoors.

5. Emergency supplies: such as flashlights, fans, dehumidifiers, hurricane lamps and oil, matches and coolers. If you have an emergency generator, please make sure it is above possible high water levels.

6. Cameras: such as waterproof instant cameras, to take pictures of damage.

But what do you do if your Rodin bronze is standing ankle-deep in water or your favorite Rosenquist print got scratched? Damage control is a matter of foresight and more than often swift, smart action.

Putting wet art works on paper into a freezer until professional help arrives is only one of many relevant tips provided by AXA's specialists who strongly recommend preparing a list of conservators specializing in the respective collection focus (whether works on paper, Asian sculpture or textiles) with telephone numbers.

The expanded checklist with key elements of steps to take as hurricane warnings begin, before disaster strikes and after a storm is posted in the company’s hurricane newsletter on http://www.axa-art-usa.com.

About AXA Art Insurance

AXA Art is the leading fine art and collectibles insurance specialist worldwide. The company insures objects in every active area of serious collecting including paintings, drawings, sculpture, rare stamps, antique furnishings and vintage vehicles. AXA Art serves a wide range of clients, from first-time purchasers to the world's most respected collectors, as well as museums, galleries, corporations and public exhibitions. The company’s 50 full-time art historians around the world are augmented by an extensive network of renowned curators, appraisers, conservators, shippers and handlers, and tax consultants. AXA Art Insurance maintains presence in New York (headquarters), Atlanta Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New England, and sister offices in Brussels, Cologne, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich. For more information visit http://www.axa-art.com

Media Contact:

Rosalind Joseph

Tel. (718) 710 5181

  • Insurance Information Institute - Insured Losses, U.S. Catastrophes 1996-2005

AXA Art Insurance Corporation

Passionate about art, professional about insurance

A member of the global AXA Group, world leader in financial protection

4 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

Tel: (212) 415-8400 Fax: (212) 415-8420

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Rosalind Joseph