Books, paper-based artwork, and paper records can sometimes be salvaged after being exposed to water, smoke and other extreme conditions during an emergency. Use these tips to evaluate what damaged items can be salvaged, and then to salvage what you can.

Guide to Insurance Claims after an Art Studio Disaster

Umbrella with storm iconIn working with your insurance adjuster, you will need good documentation — photographs and written records of your collections — as s/he will want to know what their pre-event condition was. It’s pretty easy to see whether damage is old or new, so don’t expect to get reimbursed for collections that were previously in poor condition. For example, a print housed for many years in acidic matting materials will most likely have a matburn around the perimeter. If this piece gets wet, you will see water damage, but don’t expect the insurance to pay for removal of the matburn as well.

If you have to put in an insurance claim for treatment, a conservator will have to produce a technical examination and treatment proposal for you to give to your agent. Expect to pay the conservator for producing these documents, as it takes time to examine the artwork carefully and determine what course of action should be taken.


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