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Risk Management from a Quality Insurer

Published: 11/10/2017

Risk Management from a Quality Insurer

Aviva produces a number of private client guides and the following information comes from their latest risk management bulletin. This highlights some of the common areas of risk faced by high net worth homes and offers tips on how you can minimise your exposure to unnecessary worry and peril.

Fine art

An art collection is literally irreplaceable; usually high value and always highly personal. Special care needs to be paid to safeguard such treasured possessions – make sure you are following these risk management tips:

  • Keep paintings and pictures in rooms that can be maintained at a relatively constant temperature of around 21°C.
  • Humidity is the more serious threat to paintings as high levels can result in mould, mildew and surface cracking. Between 45% and 55% relative humidity is considered an acceptable level. 
  • Avoid hanging items over fireplaces or radiators as damage can be caused by heat and smoke.
  • Display items out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.
  • Don’t hang art under bathrooms, water tanks or cylinders in case there’s a water leak.
  • Items should only be cleaned by professional conservators or restorers. A coat of varnish can be applied to oil paintings as a protectant, but only by a professional.
  • If a painting needs surface dusting, you can use a soft brush, such as an artist’s paintbrush made of goat hair – never use a conventional feather duster as it can risk scratching the surface of the painting. 
  • Take care when hanging items and ensure that the fixings are suitable for the weight of the item.
  • Mark items through a forensic marking system, micro-dots or micro-chips.
  • Keep the provenance and photographs of the items safe in a firebox along with receipts and valuations.

Jewellery and watches

From beautiful gems to vintage watches; we know that many of our clients treasure and passionately collect such things – so what’s the best way to look after them? 

  • Install a safe in all your homes, including weekend and holiday homes, for when items aren’t being worn.
  • Safes are categorised by ‘cash ratings’ which indicate how burglar-resistant the safe is. 
  • It’s important that the strength of your safe is appropriate to the items being stored in there.
  • Keep the provenance, such as diamond grading reports, and valuations in a separate safe, deposit box or fire box. 
  • Take photographs of all jewellery and watches, to support valuations and for reference, should creation of a replica be necessary. 
  • For larger collections, consider using a strong room or bank vault.
  • When travelling, keep your jewellery on you and make use of the hotel’s main safe facilities.
  • Have jewellery clasps and settings inspected regularly to make sure they haven’t become worn or damaged.

For further specialist or professional advice on protecting or storing jewellery and art call your Flint Private Clients Account Handler who will be able to help.


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