• Campaign Insurance Guidelines


    GCC's Sustainable Shipping Campaign is not just about encouraging sea freight - it is about reducing overall volumes and finding ways to be less dependent on air freight. However, GCC is advising an increased use of sea (as well as road) freight as a part of a tapestry of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the visual art sector. Guidelines for correct procedures are outlined in these documents:

    1. Insurance for Sea Freight: Collated Overview 
    2. Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) Guidelines on Insurance for Sea Freight
    3. Sea Freight Insurance Checklist
    4. Inspection Checklist for Containers & Cargo Units 


    The insurance implications of increased volumes and values of artworks being sent via sea freight had previously been identified as the greatest obstacle to the necessary changes. Historically, fine art insurers have been wary of sea freight shipments due to the perceived higher risks when compared to air transit. This has affected the conditions and prices offered by the insurers, which in turn has marginalised and disencetivised the method. 


    Often it is the insurers that are blamed by shippers, galleries, museums, artists and collectors for the reason why they cannot choose lower emission freight options. This is one of the factors that has resulted in an almost total dependence on air freight across the art sector, at great environmental cost.


    On the other side of the fence; insurers worry that galleries and clients do not have a full understanding of their policies, the terminology used or processes involved, which leads to misunderstandings and potentially huge implications when a claim arises.


    Some insurers have discovered that there has been more artwork travelling by sea freight than they are aware of and, at times, works have travelled without any coverage due to the client and / or gallery thinking they are covered when they are not. Whilst this has not led to any reported issues or claims, there is clearly a lack of appropriate procedure.


    By improving communications between all parties and creating a culture of forward planning we aim to normalise the sea freight process to help galleries reach their emission reduction targets.


    The Lloyd's Market Association (LMA) Joint Specie Committee - in response to lobbying from galleries - have been receptive to the changing demand for more sustainable industry practices. The LMA have cooperated in developing the guidelines on best practice for sea shipments contained in this document. This is a significant breakthrough in overcoming obstacles and sets an impressive standard for collaboration and innovation in the sector.


    As part of this collaborative exchange GCC will be aiming to improve its members' awareness of the insurers concerns relating to sea freight. By providing checklists for pre-shipment insurance protocol as well as physical shipping container inspections GCC aims to mitigate the perceived risks to the artwork as well as the worries of their insurers.


    You can download the collated overview of the above guidelines below:

    Download Full Insurance for Sea Freight PDF






    This resource is intended to encourage effective communication between clients and insurers, ensuring correct procedures are followed and ultimately leading to greater confidence in sea freight methods and an increase in artworks being sent safely and with appropriate insurance coverage. 


    GCC is not responsible for any issues that may arise from using sea freight, even if advised protocol is followed. GCC is not liable for any damage or delays incurred during transportation of any kind or as a result of increased volumes of artworks travelling via ocean routes in general.