Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shipping paintings, etc.

Shipping, Insurance, and Storage

What if you just bought a beautiful painting and need to ship it to your home or to someone as a gift—what do you do?

Paintings are fragile and need to be secured from shocks, damage from being too loosely secured in the packaging, temperature, rain, and other hazards. Although there is a risk of theft, the greater risk actually comes from damage, so good packaging is key.

If the painting has to travel a long distance you might want to hire a company which dedicates itself to shipping and packaging art. For one thing, they are highly aware of weather issues and therefore take more care in the initial packing process to keep your painting undamaged. Temperature is monitored in specially outfitted trucks and the staff is trained to handle art.

Insurance might be needed too. Fees will be determined by the distance traveled and the overall value. Before shelling out extra for this you should check your homeowner’s policy first. Although you can buy insurance from the trucking company, this often is more expensive. Some events are excluded from claims, for example not only when floods or other “acts of nature” occur but also when your packaging breaks apart in transit. You might want to have the trucking company pack instead.

For proof of value you will need: receipts, sales records, and your own photos. Most people insure for the amount of purchase. If you are shipping an older painting you bought years ago, you may need fresh written estimates from professional appraisers. Carefully document the manner in which the painting has been packed and transported.

Just like the regular mail, if you want something done faster, you will have to pay extra for it, so you’ll have to weigh how quickly it needs to be delivered. Rates are higher for rush deliveries.

Is insurance worth it? The liability of transportation companies is limited, so you have to determine whether the extra cost is merited. Rates are normally $5.00 to $7.50 per $1,000.00 of value for full replacement. Most people decide this question based on price: If a painting is over a certain amount, like $10,000.00, or is a family heirloom or has other sentimental value, etc. Whatever criterion makes sense to you. Remember that most claims are for damage, not theft.

What if you get the painting home but can’t hang it right away? Store your painting in a reasonably cool and dry location and keep it shielded from light and you should be fine.

1 comment:

ChurchHill said...

These are some great tips, thanks! Shipping art really can be tough, if you're interested our company recently posted a blog about the Do's and Don'ts of Packing Art on our website: http://www.diplomaframe.com/pages/449_do_s_don_ts_of_packing_art_collectibles.cfm.

Thanks again for the tips!