Source Antiques Like the Pros: Insurance for International Antiques Shipping

Antique shipping and insurance are the least sexy parts of my job – but one of the most critical aspects to antique and design professionals who need to make a profit on their investment. Sourcing antiques like a pro isn’t simply knowing where to buy antiques: Interior designers, antique dealers, landscape architects and other design professionals not only source antiques in Europe, they also need to make sure their purchases make it safely home! I spoke to a room of design professionals on How to Source Antiques like the Pros with interior designers Robert Passal and Garrow Kedigian at an event at the D&D Building hosted by The Robert Allen Duralee Group. 

(The event was streamed on Facebook LIVE by Aspire magazine, watch here.)

One hot topic the audience asked the panel was, What insurance do I need for international antiques shipping? 

Do I need insurance for international antiques shipping?

International shipping of antiques can be intimidating. Your shipping company will try to make shipping the antiques you purchased in Europe back to the US as simple as possible – but the reality is, shipping is always difficult. The reality is, something can always go wrong with shipping. If you’re shipping antiques from Europe to the US, make sure you have insurance. Don’t automatically assume your shipper has booked your insurance. If you don’t ask, most shippers don’t insure.

And while your shipper can book your insurance – you also have the right to book it yourself.  Design expert Garrow Kedigian shared that he uses Chubb insurance company – and in his experience damaged piece claims are quickly resolved. Audience member and interior designer Justin Shaulis said he always buys American insurance when shipping antiques from Europe to the US as he feels it simplifies the process having his own insurer he sourced rather than working through the shipper.  (And he also recommends Chubb!)

The Antiques Diva Insurance Tips for International Antiques Shipping

How likely is it that goods will be damaged in transit?

You should know that damage IS ALWAYS A RISK. There are so many parties involved in getting your goods home that the odds of damage occurring are simply high. A general rule of thumb with shipping… expect there to be a problem regardless of who your shipper is – and be prepared in the event of damage – and then be pleasantly surprised when there are none!

We always recommend that international buyers thoroughly document and photograph all your items before packing so that the state of each item before shipping can be used as a reference should you need proof for insurance. Photograph the item with the Shipping Tag on the item.

There are A LOT of hands handling your inventory from the time you buy until the time you receive it

  1. First of all, after you’ve written your PO and tagged your purchase, the vendor usually moves the item out of his store to his warehouse to wait for it to be collected by the shipper.
  2. The shipper then sends a truck to collect the goods which are transported to the shipping warehouse.
  3. The goods are then packed in the warehouse and loaded into a container.
  4. The container is then transported to port.
  5. The container gets moved on to the ship.
  6. The ocean creates its own set of obstacles depending on the weather.
  7. If you have LCL then they have to then be unpacked and examined for customs at the port destination.
  8. Then your goods have to be loaded into a truck and transported to your destination. .If you’ve purchased an entire container the container is delivered to your door for you to unpack yourself.
  9. Finally, if you’ve contracted for our White Glove Service the goods have to be unloaded from the truck, unpacked and placed according to your wishes.

All said – there are several opportunities for damage to occur!

Better safe than sorry – Be insured! 

What do I do if items have been damaged at some point during the life cycle of the delivery?

  1. The first thing you should do if you discover damage that wasn’t there when you made the purchase: take photos and contact your shipper.
  2. They work with you on determining the next steps regarding filing an insurance claim.

How does insurance work?

  1. Depending on the value of your goods being shipped, we normally advise the purchase of an “All Risk” insurance policy. Your shipper will coordinate the insurance. If using AD&CO Logistics – the art and antiques division of ALC – for example, the policy will be written by a broker in Antwerp.
  2. This specific coverage will be applicable for the same period of time in which you have purchased the shipping (e.g., Port to Port, Door to Door or White Glove). The coverage goes into effect the moment that your shipper collects your goods at the vendor.
  3. The coverage of the “All Risk” policy is 110% of the value of your goods and the cost of the policy is 1.5% times the value of your goods.
  4. The value of your goods is determined based on the amounts stated on the vendor invoices.
  5. There is generally a 150 EUR deductible per claim.

Do you have questions about how to get your antiques home? Contact us for international fine arts and antique shipping information and to get a quote:


FAX: +32 (0)3 283 73 49        MOBILE: +32 (0)478 01 01 01 

We’d love to take you on an antiques buying tour, and introduce you to our expert dealers and secret sources!

Toma – The Antiques Diva  


Crating With Care: How to Ship Large Fragile Antiques

Antiques Diva® clients often spot a fabulous piece – or pieces – perfect for their latest interior design project, or exactly what they need in their antique shop. But the question is:

How can I possibly ship that home without it getting broken! 

At AD&CO Logistics, that’s our specialty: we know how to ship large fragile antiques and art purchase from Europe to their final destination whether that’s across town, across the border or across the ocean. With over 50 years expertise in international shipping, AD&CO Logistics makes the impossible possible. On a recent buying Belgium Antiques Diva buying trip our clients spotted these beauties at an antique dealer’s in Brussels, snatched them up… and left the shipping to us!

Large, fragile antique statue, columns and urns require a crane to be removed from the Brussel dealer’s shop. How to ship large fragile antiques: In the shop - Crating, packing and shipping antique statuary

The pieces are carefully transported to AD&CO Logistics warehouses in Amsterdam. 

At an Antiques Dealer in Brussels: Crating, packing and shipping antique statuary

At AD&CO Logistics warehouse, the pieces are carefully packed in custom crates for shipping to the US. 

AD&CO Logistics warehouse: Crating, packing and shipping antique statuary

Smaller pieces are individually wrapped for shipment. 

Smaller pieces packed at AD&CO Logistics: Crating, packing and shipping antique statuary

Large pieces are packed in custom crates for shipment.

AD&CO International Shipping: Custom crating, packing and shipping antique statuary and columns


How to ship large fragile antiques: Custom crating, packing and shipping antique statuary and columns for international shipping by AD&CO Logistics

Crating, packing and shipping antique statuary and columns by AD&CO Logistics international shipping


AD&CO Logistics - International Antiques ShippingThe Antiques Diva & Co® is pleased to offer art and antiques shipping services from Europe to destinations around the globe. AD&CO has partnered with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in shipping services. Your AD&CO Logistics shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.

Our international shipping services provide the options of:

∗ full 20 or 40ft containers or partial containers (LCL: Less Container Loads)
∗ door-to-door shipping
∗ port-only shipping
∗ independent or shared location shipping

Learn More Here: AD&CO Logistics

FAX: +32 (0)3 283 73 49        MOBILE: +32 (0)478 01 01 01 


Leave the Shipping to AD&CO Logistics! 
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva 


Protecting la Table de Vendange: How to Pack and Crate Antiques

Antiques Diva Shipping Services

AD&CO Logistics - international fine arts and antiques shippingWhen purchasing valuable, one-of-a-kind or fragile antiques or art, one of the first questions our clients ask is how to pack and crate antiques for international shipping. In addition to The Antiques Diva & Co in-house, turnkey antiques shipping services AD&CO Logistics, we also offer antique warehousing and shipping liaison services, and work on your behalf with your shipper to meet your transportation needs.

This gorgeous table was purchased by an Antiques Diva antique buying tour client who contracted AD&CO Logistics to pack and crate it for international shipment, along with her other purchases.

la Vendange: Antique French Wine Tasting Table

The wine tasting table had the following specifications:

  • antique French wine tasting table with tilt-top
  • 86cm diameter x 67cm height 
  • 10 kg weight
  • traveling from Europe to the US
  • prepare for international shipment
  • to be picked up by client’s transport company

This beautiful antique French wine tasting table was purchased on an Antiques Diva buying tour.

Fragile, valuable and one-of-a-kind pieces are carefully cushioned and protected for international transport. Our AD&CO Logistics expert team carefully built a custom crate to protect the table from damage during shipment.

Our team of international shipping experts have been packing, crating and shipping antiques for over 50 years, to destinations around the globe.

Our shipping concierges understand you have unique needs and requirements. We will work with you to provide a solution to your international shipping needs. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about international shipping.

The crate is wrapped tightly in a special black foil to protect it from rain damage during transport.

Request a Quote Today
FAX: +32 (0)3 283 73 49     MOBILE: +32 (0)478 01 01 01 

When you’re traveling overseas and shopping for antiques you have a few options on how to ship antiques home from abroad. In addition to Antiques Diva shipping services, here are some other ways to ship antiques home from abroad. For more information on Antiques Diva tours and services, see our FAQs.

Happy Shipping!

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Shipping Antiques from Italy

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While it’s fun and exciting to shop for antiques in Europe, once you make your purchases you have to be able to get them home!  This can sometimes prove to be a tricky feat, but as long as you’re prepared and versed in the import regulations (or have someone who is), your treasures should arrive safe and sound in your home country.  While we do not do shipping ourselves at The Antiques Diva & Co we are always happy to introduce you to some of our favorite shippers who can help get your goods home sweet home across the pond.  On tour we help fill out paperwork and liaise you with your chosen shipper.

Shipping Containers

Before taking a group of VIP Buyers on tour in Italy last week we provided them with a list of preferred shippers and gave them information on export laws before they even started shopping.  Let me share an example with you.  Did you know that according to Italian law on Heritage, all artistic items more than 50 years old can be exported abroad only following a special export procedure, to get official authorization to cross Italian boundaries?  There are forms involved and authorities request photos of the items that are to be exported.  It sounds much more complicated than it is – as long as you have the appropriate contacts in place the process can be quite simple.


Also, items made of or containing parts made of materials coming from endangered species (ivory, coral, tortoise shells etc) require a special CITES certificate for export. They can be exported without provenance certification only if they can be declared “made” before 1947.  New regulations recently implemented in the United States have made this a hot topic so before buying abroad these items you will want to contact an expert to help with the process to guarantee your purchases will make it into your home country.

Toma Clark Haines

If this all sounds intimidating, have no fear because The Antiques Diva & Co is here and we can help you navigate the process of buying abroad and connect you with the right experts who will assist you with any questions!

Can’t wait to take you on an Antiques Diva Tour!

The Antiques Diva®