Artistic loss adjustment for a damaged painting


While the painting was being packed for transportation, the lid of the box being used to move it fell on the painting.  

As soon as an incident is reported, Stelliant Loss Adjusting mobilises a team of specialist loss adjusters. Boasting all of the necessary technical expertise and excellent interpersonal skills, their job is to identify what can be claimed and to demonstrate empathy while supporting the policyholder throughout the whole process, until their piece is, if possible, restored.  

How Stelliant proceeded

A Stelliant loss adjuster specialising in fine art travelled to the scene to make the observations required when carrying out loss adjustment for a work of art. Drawing on examination of the damaged painting and the technical documentation, they conducted a genuine investigation to check the accuracy of the claim: the cause of the incident, the scale of the damage, the authenticity and value of the piece itself… Thanks to their specialist knowledge of the art market and their education in the history of art, the fine art loss adjuster accurately determined which damage was caused by the incident and which was dated earlier. This was a vital step in assessing the exact value of the damage, while taking care to explain findings to the policyholder, in a state of distress, as they were made.  

The Stelliant loss adjuster then set about assessing whether it would be possible to restore the canvas. The damage to the pictorial layer would require major restoration work. Suffering a horizontal and vertical tear, the canvas would need to be darned, thread by thread, on the reverse side, with a patch to reinforce it. But once the damage had been analysed, the loss adjuster could inform the policyholder that restoration was indeed possible, much to their relief. They then turned to their network of Museum-calibre restorers and sourced the most suitable restoration professional for the job. The value of compensation was limited strictly to the damage caused by this incident, discounting any costs incurred by complete restoration to enhance the longevity of the piece.   

To manage these kinds of claims involving a number of different specialisms (transport, fine art), Stelliant Loss Adjusting offers a turnkey fine art loss adjusting solution, delivered in project mode. Our fine art loss adjuster is able draw on all of the expertise they need in-house to manage every aspect of the claim. While they remained the sole point of contact for the insurer and the policyholder, they also called in a transport loss adjuster. 

The transport loss adjuster examined the circumstances of the incident to identify what could be claimed, according to who was found liable. Their investigations revealed that the incident was due to human error on the part of a handling agent while packing the painting, due to a poor risk assessment. The wooden lid of the box used to transport the painting was left resting partially against something at an angle, in close proximity to the work of art. When the lid accidentally fell, impact with the painting could not be avoided as the handling employee was holding the painting with both hands. Given the results of the loss adjustment, the company tasked with packing the painting could be found liable.