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Protecting valuable assets:
Fine art and collectibles insurance for sports professionals

By Harry Syms and Laura Hartley | March 28, 2024

Our Fine Art insurance experts on both sides of the pond give their thoughts on why athletes, sports teams and their owners should consider specialist cover for their memorabilia and collections.

It isn't surprising that athletes and professional sportspeople look after their bodies. They go to extreme lengths to preserve their muscles, joints and bones – because a healthy body may well mean a prolonged career. But as well as working towards the best-case scenario, they also plan for the worst. For example, many buy insurance for ‘career-ending injury’ to provide a financial safety net if they are forced to retire unexpectedly.

The same sensible approach should be taken to protect their most valuable possessions. Over the span of a successful career, an athlete may develop a collection of high value art and jewelry, trophies, medals and other collectable memorabilia. These collections should be viewed as liquid assets and should also be protected with suitable bespoke insurance.

As well as the players themselves, sports franchises, teams and governing bodies also have very significant collections of trophies, memorabilia and other collectible items – and even entire museums dedicated to their history. We would suggest that these too are protected with the appropriate insurance.

When the worst happens

Back in January 1966, the Football Association (England’s governing body for soccer) was entrusted with the football World Cup trophy, ahead of the World Cup tournament held later that year. In this instance, there was insurance in place for GBP 30,000 (equivalent to GBP 562,000 in 2024). The item was stolen but recovered a week later, only to be stolen again in 1983 and never returned.

A more recent case involved footballer Jack Grealish, whose home was burgled in December 2023 while he was playing for Manchester City against Everton. Jewelry and watches with a total value of GBP 1,000,000 were taken. This sort of crime is all too common, as thieves can plan burglaries in advance to coincide with athletes’ road games. Following a police investigation, no news has been reported about finding the stolen goods or who is responsible for this crime.

How we can help

Our team of specialists across the U.K., U.S., Italy, France and Hong Kong, support clients in every part of the fine art and jewelry supply chain; understanding both subject matter and the operational environment.

Through our global reach and broad expertise, we leverage our strong relationships with specialist insurers to provide innovative solutions for our clients.

For more information on how to protect your sports memorabilia and collections from present and future risks, please contact us.


Associate Director - Fine Art and Specie, UK
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