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Subject: Insurance


From: N. J. Bud Goldstone <as768>
Date: Thursday, June 3, 1999
Dominique Rogers <do [at] pepin__demon__co__uk>

>I am conducting some research for an article on "Insurance and the
>Restorer/Conservator", I would be grateful for good and bad stories
>on this subject from insurers, collectors, curators, dealers and

I consider myself fortunate because I have avoided paying more than
(maybe twice or three times) $80,000 US for insurance in the past 10
years. I am an independent conservation engineer and work alone.
Even had I bought the policy offered me, and if catastrophe had
struck, the outcome would be I would be sued. If I lost the law
suit, my *insurance company would have never paid a penny for my

Wonder why? Well, to get an estimate at all I had to mislead the
insurance agent. My customer demands that all contractors (except
me?) carry professional liability insurance so that they may be
under contract. Each year for ten years I have avoided carrying the
insurance because the cost estimate for insurance becomes
prohibitive as soon as I tell the truth to the insurance company
representatives (and there have been many). I cannot get an estimate
if I tell the truth and neither can you! So I and maybe you get the
insurance by minimizing the extent of unknowns in the work for which
I and you are responsible.

The truth is that I and you work on fragile works of art where it is
not possible to guarantee a satisfactory outcome. So what if I or
you fail? Well the art works are worth millions of dollars and even
Lloyds of London wont handle that amount of liability unless I and
you pay monstrous premiums. So I (and you should) mail in the
estimate from the insurance, ask to have that sum added to the sum
in my (or your) proposed contract agreement, and the need for
insurance goes away! Hell no, they wont pay! If I do help anyone
with this note, I am glad to be of service. If it works, just send
me an email or ten percent of your net savings, whichever is the
lesser sum.

N. J. Bud Goldstone
Conservation Engineer - Watts Towers & Las Pozas
co-author The Los Angeles Watts Towers a Getty Publication

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:94
                   Distributed: Friday, June 4, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-94-008
Received on Thursday, 3 June, 1999

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