${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

When fine art and insurance collide

For most artists, their work is deeply personal. Even after they sell a piece to a collector, in a sense the work still belongs to the artist; certainly, it represents an expression of the way the artist perceives the world, and will always be associated with him or her.

The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) recognizes the unique relationship between art and artist. Under the federal statute, after selling a sculpture, painting or other piece of visual art, the artist still retains the right to “prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification” that would affect the artist’s “honor or reputation.” Artists retain this right for life.

Owners of particularly valuable works of art are likely to take out an insurance policy on their collection. So what happens when an artist successfully pursues a VARA claim against the owner of one of his or her works?

Such cases often involved a restoration or repair of a work without the artist’s input. If the restoration goes against the artist’s wishes, he or she could decide to sue the owner under VARA. As Lexology notes, a successful claim could lead the insurance company to reevaluate the art as worthless. In turn, this could open the door to claims that the insurance company acted in bad faith, in order to avoid paying future claims against the piece of art.

Whenever we purchase an insurance policy, we rely on the insurer to treat us fairly if we ever need to make a claim. But that does not always happen. Insurance companies sometimes make bad-faith denials in order to save money. To fight back, you need a skilled attorney representing you.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Sedona Office
25 Schnebly Hill Road
Sedona, AZ 86336

Toll Free: 800-598-5017
Phone: 623-208-6490
Sedona Law Office Map

San Diego Office
501 W. Broadway
Suite 807
San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego Law Office Map

Review Us
San Diego: 619-354-1652
Toll Free: 800-598-5017
Phoenix: 623-208-6490
Toll Free: 800-598-5017
San Diego: 619-354-1652