Philippe Bouchet Senior Underwriter & Art Expert, AXA Art

Where Passion Meets Reason : The role of the art expert in insurance

ALL NEWS  |  Life at AXA
Mar 8, 2018

If being a professional art expert is a rarefied career choice, pursuing that career in the world of insurance is more rare and individual still. At AXA ART, we are distinguished by the fact that we employ our own experts, and so can claim to have a unique dual competence in both insurance and art history. Each of our global regions across three continents can count within its teams a number of highly qualified specialists, whose role it is to provide expert advice to both insurance distributors and end clients.

"We believe in a personal approach"

In our dealings with the art lovers and collectors who are our valued clients, we are singularly qualified to provide individual advice on prevention and protection measures; not only against theft, but also natural hazards such as water damage and fire. We can additionally provide guidance on art preservation, or put clients in touch with restoration, transportation or storage professionals as required. In some cases, we can also assist clients with updating their artwork inventories and knowledge.

We believe in a personal approach: in face-to-face meetings, dual competence becomes an invaluable asset. As opposed to being an abstract commodity, the artwork itself, its nature and sensitivity, becomes the tangible centre of the discussion. Naturally, different art requires different, equally expert, appreciation: the knowledge and sensibility required to evaluate a collection of old masters is very different from that demanded by contemporary installations, arts premiers or archaeology. In this respect, our specialist knowledge and track record across many different situations equip us with the experience to offer the very best individual advice.

Putting prevention at the center

When it comes to prevention, we are unlike any traditional insurance company. We pride ourselves on having the flexibility to adapt to the specifics of any situation, no matter how extraordinary. In each instance, our insurance capacity and underwriting power enable us to offer the most appropriate insurance solution with immediate effect. Ultimately, this begins with our art expert's ability to share their expert knowledge and critical judgement, which is fundamental to building a trust-based relationship with our clients.

While being a subsidiary of the world-leading AXA insurance group, AXA ART is in truth very much recognized as an art and lifestyle specialist within the private collectors' circle and museum arena. In every country in which we operate, we foster close relations with clients, distributors and intermediaries by building human-scale teams geared to providing a personal service, right from contract underwriting through to claims payment. When collectors have the reassurance of a single contact (via either broker or agent), they also gain the trust factor of guaranteed confidentiality, a vital ingredient in our business.

Read AXA Art's full study

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