RESTORING MEMORIES BY DAN REYNOLDS
Chubb’s fine arts team takes pride in returning a treasured piece of art to a Philadelphia-area family.
The story begins in the 1950’s. Robert Grant, lining up a pool shot, drew his cue back too far and punched a hole in a painting on his
host’s wall. Grant bought the painting
from his friend for around $100.
Turns out the painting was an
original by Norman Rockwell, who
produced more than 300 illustrations
for the Saturday Evening Post in the
first half of the 20th Century.
This painting, titled “Taking a
Break,” was one of Rockwell’s earlier
works. It depicted a farm boy catching
a nap against a tree.
In 1976, thieves broke into Grant’s
N.J. home and stole the painting.
Chubb Insurance wrote a policy
on the painting though and paid off
Robert Grant’s claim, for $15,000.
Under the terms of the policy, the
title on the painting transferred to the
insurer when the claim was paid.
Decades later, according to the
New York Times, Grant’s son John
got an introduction to Robert Bazin, a
retired FBI agent, who agreed to take
up the search for the lost painting.
The elder Grant passed away in
2004. Besides missing their father, the
Grant family evidently still felt the loss
of a favorite family possession.
Bazin contacted the FBI, which
put out a press release in 2016, asking
for information on the painting’s
whereabouts. An art dealer then
contacted the FBI and handed it over.
“The work was in the collection
of a dealer who didn’t realize there
was an issue with the provenance,”
said Laura Doyle, an assistant vice
president and North American
Collections Management Specialist
According to Fran O’Brien,
division president, North American
Risk Services for Chubb, there was
a clause in Grant’s insurance policy
that allowed for the painting’s title to
revert to the family if they agreed to
pay back the original claim.
The Grant family reclaimed a
painting, now worth possibly as much
as $1 million.
Chubb in turn, donated the $15,000
to the Norman Rockwell Museum in
Owners of art collections should
consider insuring them with a valuable
articles policy, rather than relying on
their home owner’s policy, she said.
Insurer support can include advice
on confirming the chain of title
ownership for a piece that has changed
hands a number of times.
“We advise that collectors request
information on provenance, which
would detail any prior owners and art
galleries or auction houses where the
work was sold,” Doyle said.
While this story had a happy
ending, it often happens that treasured
jewelry or art are never seen again.
“Part of our business is to restore
memories,” said Chubb’s O’Brien.
“There are often occurrences
where we can’t bring it back, but when
we are able to it is an important part of
our service,” O’Brien said. &
SEVERE WEATHER IMPERILS FUEL PIPELINES BY GREGORY DL MORRIS
Severe weather incidents are increasing pipeline loss frequency, especially in places where
environmental risk was not previously a problem.
Hurricane season doesn’t start officially until June 1, but spring rains and snowmelt highlight the growing
peril to the aging U.S. energy
infrastructure from severe weather.
In most cases, leaks are small and
contained locally, but underwriters see
the emerging risk as one of frequency
as much as severity.
In late October, a freak storm
around Williamsport, Pa., caused
a Sunoco Logistics gasoline pipeline to
rupture, spilling an estimated 54,600
gallons into a tributary that flows into
the Susquehanna River.
“The energy industry has
environmental risks because their
assets are set in places that have
exposed named perils,” said John
O’Brien, CEO, environmental,
“These perils are not new. What
is new is the greater awareness of
“Pipeline losses in particular
seem to have greater frequencies. At
least they are being reported more
frequently and the losses seem to be
Weather is not the only variable,
he added. There is a high volume of
material in storage — both crude oil
and refined products. So when weather
comes in, it takes longer to drain
tanks, and there are fewer options on
where to put displaced material.
“When much of the energy
infrastructure now in place was
installed, that was based on past
weather incidents and experience to
that time,” added Marcel Ricciardelli,
senior vice president, environmental
division, Allied World.
“As a result, today, we are not
just seeing more and more severe
incidents; we are seeing severity in
Traditionally property policies
do not include much environmental
coverage, Ricciardelli explained.
“Environmental tends to come in
at two spots: a time element within
the casualty tower, and also within
pollution. For those, the event is not
really the issue. The trigger is simply
After a release from any cause,
Ricciardelli added that “the most
important thing is access for recovery.
If the release was caused by a mudslide
from heavy rains, is there flooding?
Is the area stable enough to begin
recovery? Or was the landslide from
Recovery assets and preparation
brings Ricciardelli back to the
challenge of worse weather in new
places. “There are landfills that were
sited in places that were considered
safe and are now flood zones.” &
Taking a Break, an early painting by
Norman Rockwell, was returned to its
owner several decades after it was stolen
during a home burglary.
John O’Brien, CEO, environmental,
Ironshore and Marcel Ricciardelli, senior
vice president, environmental division,