The Cheltenham Banks, photo by Cass-Stephens Insurances Gloucester

Insurance and a Banksy

The appearance of the Cheltenham Banksy earlier in the year and the speculation about its future has got me thinking as usual about insurance and in particular the insurance implications of a Banksy suddenly appearing on your house wall. Sad but true…..

If it wasn’t a Banksy or another great piece of street art, and was instead a horrible scrawl defacing your property, then your buildings insurers may well treat it as malicious damage and cover the cost of removing the unwanted addition to your house wall. But in this case it is of course a much-loved and valuable work of art which brings with it a few more questions and challenges, namely:

Insuring the work
Presumably if you own the freehold to a property and it gets adorned with a Banksy, then the artwork is technically yours and you will have an insurable interest in the piece (an insurable interest being a financial relationship, recognised at law between the policyholder and the subject matter of the insurance). Which begs the question what happens if it is damaged or if something happens to your house as your standard house insurance policy is not going to cover it? You would need to speak to your broker and specialist insurance would need to be arranged. You would also need to get a specialist valuation.

Liability Insurance
A sudden influx of visitors to your property could be a concern, so you would need to make sure your home insurance company was aware of the situation. In the case of the Cheltenham Banksy the work is accessible from the pavement so the health & safety of visitors to it is the responsibility of the Council.

Legal Expenses Insurance
Could be a handy source of advice and protection if the question of who owns the Banksy and can it be sold ended up in the courts.

Liability Insurance again
This time I am thinking of the liability insurance of the specialist contractors employed to remove such a valuable piece of work from a Listed Building. Would be an interesting one to place!

The Cheltenham Banksy is a great piece of work and a great addition to the town. I hope it is saved rather than being removed and put in a gallery and wish everyone involved in the campaign the best of luck.

That said I don’t think I’d be too happy if it appeared on the wall of my house as I would imagine it could turn into quite a stressful situation.
Maybe next time he should put it on a publicly owned bridge like the artist who created this work of genius in Gloucester did!

Insurance and a Banksy contacts