Art Guard Launches Security Tech Program for Insurers of Fine Art

The vendor’s MAP technology uses a rare-earth magnet that is attached to artworks, as well as a nearby wireless sensor that is able to track the magnet’s movement.

(Components of the MAP system. Source: Art Guard.)

Art Guard (New York), a provider of asset protection technology, has launched a program to mitigate the risk of theft of fine art. Working with insurers of fine art, Art Guard says it designed the program to make it easy for underwriters and brokers to introduce the vendor’s Magnetic Asset Protection solution to private collectors, galleries and museums as a means of primary or secondary protection. The program includes a 15 percent rebate offer for installation of the security devices.

Bill Anderson, Managing Partner, Art Guard.

“Art theft is a growing problem in the US and worldwide,” comments Bill Anderson, Managing Partner, Art Guard. “As art proliferates and its value continues to climb, the consequences of theft have never been greater. Art Guard offers discrete protection that allows collectors to have peace of mind while enjoying the display of their artworks.”

Art Guard’s MAP technology uses a very small rare-earth magnet that is attached to artworks or other highly valuable objects, as well as a wireless sensor installed in close proximity that is able to track the magnet’s movement. Once the sensor is enrolled into a control panel, any movement of the object triggers an alert and produces a customized response, whether an alarm, a text, an email and/or a phone call.

The new program focuses on the private collectors who are the victims of more than half of art theft, according to Anderson. “Most collectors are unaware of their vulnerability and the risk of theft, trusting that their primary security system is adequate to protect against break-ins,” Anderson explains. “The greatest risk, however, is during daytime hours when the alarm system is turned off to allow for movement of staff, workers, guests and even family. This is when priceless objects are at the greatest risk for theft. Surprisingly, the usual security systems often are not turned on during the day or monitoring contracts are allowed to lapse. Sometimes, the systems can be compromised. Perimeter security systems are no longer secure in these instances.”

MAP sensor and magnet. (Click to enlarge.)

MAP can be integrated into a number of well-known security systems and programmed to be on 24/7, according to Anderson. Art Guard also offers the MAP System, which it describes as a stand-alone, plug-and-play system that can operate on IP with cellular back up and Wi-Fi as a third option. The entire system can be managed with a cell phone, similar to home automation in ease of use.

Most Effective Security Device

Art Guard says MAP is unique in its ability to protect almost any object of any size, including art, collectibles, memorabilia, jewelry, antiques, outdoor sculpture and wine. The company introduced MAP in 2014 and the capability has been installed in the homes of numerous high-end collectors, major museums and galleries in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to the vendor.

“From our point of view, Art Guard is the most effective security device for your art and collectibles on the market,” comments Caitlin Kelly of Frenkel & Company, a New York-based broker of fine art insurance.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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