“A trustee owes a duty of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and good faith to its beneficiaries. So, it is incredibly important for trustees to understand how best to protect the assets in their care.”

All trust assets are going to be valuable, whether art, land, or property, so let’s look at how we’ve advised some of our clients to protect their trusts properly.

Case study: Insurance for a trust responsible for estate property

A country estate owner placed the estate property, including the residential cottages, into a trust. The family remained living in the main house, with some cottages rented out and others unoccupied or undergoing renovation. The trust came to us to help with the insurance.

We advised that:

  • A Property policy was needed, with All-Risks cover for the main family home. The policy must accommodate the estate cottages so good rates could be leveraged across the portfolio.
  • The policy needed to include Property Owners’ Liability cover, liability for surrounding land and liability for injury to any domestic staff who are paid by the trust to look after the houses.
  • The policy needed to include Loss of Rent cover and Alternative Accommodation cover, should one of the cottages be damaged by fire.
  • Additional cover for rental guarantee and eviction costs was available, should a tenant not pay.

We also looked at the small print. Cover restrictions and terms for the empty cottages needed to be complied with, so we explained what these were.

In addition, we offered risk management advice to help mitigate damage, such as water leak detection systems and linked smoke detectors.

Providing advice is at the heart of everything we do, so we always offer clear, sensible and independent advice about what our clients should insure and how, so they can have confidence if they ever need to make a claim.

country house


Case study: Insurance for a multimillion-pound art collection

A wealthy individual placed their multimillion-pound art collection with a trust in Guernsey, with their two daughters as the beneficiaries. Some of the art is located at a museum, but most of the collection is on loan to the daughters, who keep the collection at their homes. The trust approached us for advice on their insurance.

We provided the following advice:

  • A collection of this nature needs an All-Risks Art and Collections insurance policy with a trusted insurer. The best insurer would be the insurer who provides cover for the homes of the beneficiaries. This portfolio approach enables you to leverage good rates and, if there is a claim, it will simplify the process – as there won’t be two different insurance companies managing the same loss.
  • To reach the right “agreed value”, a collection needs to be professionally valued every three to five years, although some valuers offer an annual updating service to manage fluctuating values.
  • A beneficiary must comply with any policy terms. If they don’t, this could void the insurance cover.
  • We recommend not relying solely on a museum’s insurance.
  • Security and fire protection need to be understood, as some insurers require additional security for high value art. Does the beneficiary have a fire salvage plan?
  • Understanding how the art is hung and by who is as important for insurers as considering the location. For example, avoid hanging art above a fireplace or in direct sunlight.

We offer more than just insurance advice – we introduce our clients to a range of other expert service providers, from valuation companies to surveyors to property managers.

country house drawing room