The Art of Insurance

Franz Ihm, Tectus Insurance

To start with a more unusual question: Why do you think that the subject 'insurance' is often perceived negatively? I think it's to do with the insurance business in general. Everyone associates it with complicated structures, lots of paperwork and a slow service. Tectus has been trying to change that perception and we have been offering 'digital' access for some time now - galleries and dealers have an online account, where they can easily make changes to their policy. You have been in the business for a long time.

What do you still find fascinating about it? I am particularly interested in the potential the insurance world still has to offer. The original idea of insurance is very traditional and of historic importance, which you can still see in such institutions as Lloyds of London. On the other side, there is a new development, which has been accelerated due to the current situation. It will bring positive changes to the insurance industry and a massive step in the direction of digitalisation, less administration and quicker responses. I welcome that prospect very much as I prefer to keep things simple.

That leads nicely into my next question. You said that you are approaching a new direction. What does that look like? Once a year, we discuss with our clients what their plans for the next few months are and we adjust the policy accordingly. This means that we are able to keep admin for the gallery to a minimum and we can ensure that everything is in place as quickly as possible. We are offering the clients a lot more control by giving them access to an online account. You are not just working with galleries, but also with private collectors, foundations and museums. Working with private collectors is very exciting as every collection is so individual and of course extremely important to the collector. The clients often don't just collect classic art but have a range of interests, which we can easily include in the policy we offer. Our product has been created to give the client first of all security while avoiding lengthy administration. The collection is automatically insured worldwide, whether it is in the client's flat in town or the holiday home, and transport and loans are automatically insured. The most important thing is that the collector can enjoy his works of art. Working with museums it is always particularly exciting when we can support an international exhibition and appreciate how relevant it is around the world. Insurance should never stop loan exhibitions, it should simply work in the background.

What is your top recommendation for a collector when it comes to insurance? Enjoy your art collection. Art gives us joy and happiness and often helps us look at things in a new way. We will deal with the rest.

You must know your clients well to be able to work so closely with them? Absolutely. Trust is the most important thing in our industry. Our existing clients often recommend us to new clients and we get to know them personally that way. Client relationships usually continue for a long time and develop further.

It's a bit more difficult to meet in person at the moment... Yes, that's true, but we are all sitting in the same boat. No one has advantages, we all have to get used to new formats. At Tectus we see this crisis as a chance to explore new ideas.