Even as the floodwaters of Hurricane Ian begin to recede and life begins to once again resemble some sense of normalcy, a second flood is cresting on the Florida coast – a flood of first-party property claims.

Claims Adjustment for Damaged or Lost Fine Art and Collectibles

As anyone who has lived through a hurricane knows, the claims adjustment process can be a daunting endeavor even under ideal circumstances. But that process is substantially more complex when dealing with damaged or lost fine art and collectibles during a catastrophic event. Damaged objects require careful mitigation and professional conservation. Lost items require competent appraisers to fix their value. And the structure needs to be repaired in order to give the art, and its owners, a safe and secure home.

Coverage and Valuation Disputes

Complicating these issues are the complex series of tasks that are necessary to resolve a first-party property claim and, when there is a dispute over coverage or valuation, the appropriate dispute resolution process. Each item of fine art has to be reviewed for coverage separately, with the coverage limits compared to the value of the item or the cost to repair. Disputes over coverage require a declaratory judgment action to determine coverage, while disputes over valuation may be resolved through appraisal. The use of a detailed line item appraisal is a tremendous tool for resolving property damage claims, both for the insurer and insured. But the claims process is fraught with risk for both sides. The insured may waive the right to demand appraisal if they fail to timely demand appraisal. The deadline to file a lawsuit may pass unnoticed in the confusion of repairs. Meanwhile, the insurer faces challenges in determining the correct coverages, and may be liable for bad faith damages if payment is not made accurately and timely. Both the insurer and the insured will benefit from early representation by attorneys with special expertise in first-party property losses.

Museum and Fine Arts Attorneys

The attorneys in the Museum and Fine Arts practice group of Lommen Abdo P.A. firm have extensive first-party property insurance claims experience, and have a long history of successfully litigating claims in Florida. They have teamed up with some of the most experienced Florida attorneys to guide their clients through complex construction and first-party property damage claims. The group includes Michael Moline, who has represented museums and high net worth individuals throughout the country for more than a decade. Mike is in the process of completing a Masters in Liberal Arts (ALM) in Museum Studies through Harvard University’s Extension School. Sara Wilson is a true museum prof5essional, who served as a curator at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum before pursuing her career in law. Heidi Torvik is a professional musician with particular experience with valuable musical instruments. Heidi received her Artist Diploma, M.M., and B.M. from the Juilliard School in New York City.

Our team of seasoned and specialized experts works with both museums and individual property owners, and we apply our unique set of skills and expertise to ensure our clients’ claims are assessed fairly and appropriately so they are compensated for the full value of their lost property. Whether you are an insurer or a property owner with a question regarding fine art or valuable collectibles, contact Attorney Michael Moline at 651.492.0128 or mmoline@lommen.com.