Ensuring your own objects, loans and other objects left in your care have appropriate cover against damage or loss.

Working out your insurance needs can be complex, and may need specialist advice from valuation experts, security advisors and conservators, as well as your insurance providers. The risks you insure against, and how much cover you need, will depend on related procedures including Valuation and Emergency planning for collections. Items of low financial worth but great significance may need enough insurance to cover swift emergency treatment after a disaster, followed by years of remedial conservation work.

Your insurer may require high-value objects such as fine and decorative arts to be catalogued (and photographed) in enough detail to help later recovery if they are stolen. The ObjectID standard is used internationally for this purpose.

Indemnity refers to non-commercial insurance of the kind underwritten by governments, allowing museums to exhibit high-value loans they could not otherwise afford to borrow. In the UK, the Government Indemnity Scheme is managed by Arts Council England.

Insurance and indemnity - the Spectrum standard


You should have a policy on how you insurance or indemnify objects in your care. This could either be a standalone document or part of a wider collections management policy. Either way, in deciding your policy you will most likely need to consider these questions: Is your museum allowed to insure its collections (many national […]

Insurance and indemnity - suggested procedure


You should have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when managing and documenting insurance. This suggested procedure, and the workflow based on it, are useful starting points. However you do it, your own procedure should meet the minimum requirements of the Spectrum standard. To see the workflow as PDF, follow the download […]