Bought a new piece of artwork only to find that it has been damaged during transit? We understand how frustrated you are! Unfortunately, these things happen. Here’s what you need to do if your artwork is damaged in transit…

Take Photos And Collect Evidence

Whether you have purchased it from a gallery, exhibition, auction or private seller, the first thing you must do when your artwork is damaged in transit is take photographs.

Take pictures of how the artwork was found and any loose items. You should also take photographs of the packaging and/or shipping box it arrived in.

You should also keep all the packing materials (including bubble wrap, Styrofoam, peanuts and labels) as these may be needed when you make a claim. The label is particularly important as it will have tracking numbers.

If possible, speak to the delivery driver and get their account of what has happened since the artwork has been in their possession.

Contact The Right People

Contact the gallery, exhibition sponsor, private seller or shipping company immediately. If the private seller has used a shipping company of their own, you may want the contact details.

Politely explain that your artwork has arrived damaged and explain the damage. In some circumstances, it may be possible to tell whether the artwork has been damaged during transit or before. Ask about the insurance that has been purchased and about how the claim will be handled.

If you are speaking on the phone, ensure that any information or decisions made are put in writing (in an email) as this may be needed for the insurance company.

Get In Touch With The Insurance Company

In some circumstances, the seller will liaise with the insurance company. However, you may want to contact them directly to get a better idea of what is going to happen with the claim.

Have any contracts, evidence and communication with the seller to hand, as this should ultimate determine who pays for what.

The insurance company will likely send an adjuster to assess the damage before getting in touch with an art appraiser and if possible, a restoration company.

Once the art is restored, the appraiser will assess for loss of value. It is always important to have an appraisal pre and post-restoration. Hopefully, the art can be restored to its former glory. However, if the artwork is past the point of repair, the insurance should pay the full value and acquire the artwork.

image of art in gallery to illustrate blog about art being damaged in transportation

Prevent Your Artwork From Being Damaged In Transit

If your artwork is damaged in transit, it can be costly for all parties involved. Not to mention a frustrating process. To avoid this from happening, it is crucial to choose a quality, experience art transportation company.

Whether you are selling a piece of art, adding a new piece to your collection, or transporting art for an exhibition or even, experienced art movers are key. Preferably, you should choose an art transportation company that can also professionally package your artwork before transporting it.

Aardvark Art Services

At Aardvark Art Services, we have more than 20 years of experience in transporting fine art and antiques. Based in Lancashire, our expert team transports art safely across the UK.

Our team members have extensive training in safely handling fine art and antiques. Plus, our fleet of custom-built vehicles feature satellite tracking and communication features. All our vehicles are discreet, unmarked, safe and secure.

At Aardvark Art Services, we also have secure storage, so your artwork and antiques can be safely stored on our premises if required. Our first-class art transportation service gives our customers peace of mind. Whether they are artists, private collectors, art dealers, auctioneers, museums or galleries. At Aardvark, we also work closely with excellent international shipping companies, including EBISS, so we can help you ship your artwork internationally.

We have Goods in Transit cover, subject to the Road Haulage Association terms and conditions 1998. But our team will also strongly recommend that you insure your fine art before you hand them over to any transportation company. We can even organise the insurance cover for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Get In Touch

If you are planning on transporting art or antiques or if you have any questions about our services, get in touch with our friendly team. You can call us on 01253 794673 or email us at [email protected]. We look forward to helping you with your query.