39th Annual Meeting – CIPP Seminar: Obtaining Work Through The Insurance Industry

Written and Video Review of the 2011 CIPP Seminar – Philadelphia

“Claiming Your Piece of the Insurance Pie”


There was at this seminar an excellent cross section of insurance experts that are intimately associated with the art conservation field: George Schwartz our fearless CIPP leader and Vice Chair last year (our new Chair For 2012) who teaches on this subject; Sylvia Leonard Wolf of Fine Art Appraisers and Consultants, NY, NY; Barbara Chamberlain, Director of the Central Region USA, Art Collection Mgmt for Chartis Insurance from Palm Beach, Fl; Mary L. Sheridan, Assistant Fine Art Manager, Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Co. from NY, NY. Let me also give an honorable mention to Gordon Lewis whose wealth of experience in working with insurance companies in many capacities, his contacts, his coordination of and for this meeting, his input during the meeting is much appreciated.

George’s presentation the first two hours was an excellent primer in understanding how the insurance field works in settling claims. His depth of detail and the valuable information he presented in his PowerPoint we hope will be available online soon. Much or all of his information seemed to be a direct result of working with the insurance industry for decades in the capacity of an art conservator (sorry about the reference to your age George) and being a teacher on the subject.  Perhaps this is not the place to try and summarize his presentation and I won’t try. If you would like to contact George call (561) 912 0030 or george@conservart.com www.ConservArt.net

See his video clip:

Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who teaches her subject at NYU, spoke from her extensive experience as an appraiser and how appraisals impact claims and treatments that conservators perform. She works closely with conservation issues and spoke eloquently and on subject while presenting important issues that conservators must be sensitive to. A couple of key points she made are that conservators should always remember:

*Always get paid for everything you do (bill out at full rate) for your expertise, consultations and services when working on issues for insurance companies.

* If you are looking to network for contacts, appraisers refer conservation work.

You may contact Sylvia at www.sylvialeonardwolf.com, (845) 679 6363, SylviaLWolf@gmail.com

Barbara Chamberlain, Chartis Insurance, gave a terrific presentation and the audience was well served by her openness to respond to questions. Her staggering responsibilities regarding high-end collections clients was most interesting. She confirmed the high regard that Chartis has for the Conservation Field and indeed considers it an essential part of the team to service their clients. It was very interesting to hear the priorities Chartis has to care for and prepare collections in order to avoid damage… not just respond to damage. She is available for you to contact her at (561) 623 4050 and at barbarae.chamberlain@chartisinsurance.com See her video clip: 

Mary Sheridan, Chubb & Son Insurance, was very open and personable about her company’s efforts with high end art collections and clients. Many similarities between Chubb and Chartis in how they care for collections and respond to needs were expressed. Mary’s discussion and her participation in questions and answers were invaluable and very entertaining. Her extensive experience with art conservation was evident and she spoke on subject and to our profession’s interests. She is available for you to contact her at (212) 612 4384 and mlsheridan@chubb.com

In summary, I think it was generally expressed among attendees and presenters that  a follow up effort would be beneficial to art conservators in order to better understand how to get work from insurance companies, as there are many different sources from which a conservator can receive work. See the following video clip: 


If you have suggestions for the 2012 CIPP program in Albuquerque, NM, contact Judith Tartt of Art-Care (www.art-care.com), new CIPP Vice Chair and program organizer.

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Scott M. Haskins, Professional Associate AIC

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.)


805 564 3438