How we helped a gallery owner bounce back from a car crash

We often tell our clients the importance of having the right cover for their art business.

Gallery owners who opt for standard contents insurance intended for a shop or office, can find themselves at risk of financial ruin in the event of any significant damage to their property or the works they are selling.

One such incident happened to one of our clients just last year.

Thankfully, they had taken out a bespoke gallery policy with us at Brownhill.

The incident
At 9.45am on the 28th May 2019, the emergency services were called to the corner of a high street in Whitstable, Kent, following reports that a car had ploughed through the front of a building.

The driver was later reported to have suffered a seizure at the wheel, before losing consciousness – and control of their vehicle.

The building was an art gallery, owned by a client of ours – luckily, they were away at the time of the incident.

While no one other than the driver was physically hurt by the crash, both our client’s property and the valuable artworks inside it were severely damaged.

Taking quick, decisive action
Despite being devastated by the news of this, our client acted fast – as did we.

They contacted a loss adjuster immediately, who went down the gallery the very next day to assess the situation.

In the meantime, partnering with Hiscox Insurance, we were able to ensure our client received an immediate interim payment of £10,000.

This helped to soften some of the initial financial impact created, supporting with the clear up, corrections, and other immediate costs.

We also advised our client on how to work around the damage, remain open for business, and communicate to the public at large that they were still trading, in spite of the tragedy that had occurred.

Compensating the artists
Hiscox investigated whether any of the artworks could be restored, repaired, or even reprinted by the artist, and paid for these processes to be carried out.

But the work of several artists was damaged irreparably, and could not be remade, Meaning our client could no longer sell their works, and therefore owed them a sum equal to the agreed consignment value of their art.

Thanks to the 30% uplift provided by Brownhill’s gallery cover policy – designed to cover the loss of commissions in the event of a crisis – our client was able to fully cover their artists, and settle all outstanding payments to them.

Final thoughts
Had our client had standard contents insurance typical of office or shop cover, their artworks would have only been covered relative to their material value.

This could have left our client’s business in ruins.

On account of Brownhill’s gallery policy however, the full premium of the client’s settlement had been paid – with the gallery open and fully fit for purpose again – within six weeks.

Our client even bought some new artworks to display within, alongside those that had been repaired, reprinted and restored.

Hiscox also managed to claim everything else back through the driver’s insurance, meaning our client got their excess back, and incurred zero financial damage overall.

All outstanding payments to the artists were also covered, meaning no party suffered any financial loss.

Want to ensure your gallery is covered in the event of an accident? Get in touch with us here for an informal discussion.

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