A new way to insure your museum collection

Sotera is an Insurtech start-up that uses AI and a proprietary risk algorithm to evaluate the risk of collections to improve how they are insured. The company was founded by two former archaeologists and spun out of the University of Cambridge. Sotera is based at Lloyd’s of London, attended the Lloyd’s Lab accelerator and has received investment from insurers. The team works with some of the leading Fine Art & Specie and Museums & Collections insurers in the UK.

Sotera is focussed on the insurance market for Museums and Collections. They have built a system using Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision that can identify objects and analyse their risk. For insurers, and museums buying insurance, this allows each object in a collection to be analysed to produce a far more accurate insurance policy. This should make insurance both cheaper and more accurate, which benefits both insurers and insurance customers.

Sotera recently joined AIM to meet and support small and medium sized museums to help analyse their collections from both risk and insurance perspective. Sotera also aims to support insurers with a granular understanding of complex policies, and to use this technology to help prevent the looting of heritage objects. These aims are supported through a better understanding of what objects are, and from there, what risk they pose. Understanding the risk also involves identifying if an object is known to be stolen, looted or is on a Red List.

Sotera analysed the collection of the Oriental Museum at Durham University, displaying it for the first time as a breakdown of risk categories – to what extent objects are at risk from fire, flood, theft and damage. They have also worked with the University of Oxford to train a Computer Vision system to recognise every object in the museum from an image. This is a prototype of a tool to identify heritage objects that have been looted or stolen.

The team is currently looking for AIM museum members to run further pilot projects and analyse museum collections to present collections from risk and insurance perspectives. The pilot does not involve any cost to your museum and could lead to the you obtaining either cheaper or more effective insurance, and a greater understanding of the risk of your collection as a result. Your museums should, ideally, have a digitised collection database, or basic data for most objects in the museum.

For more information on becoming an AIM museum pilot partner with Sotera, please contact Liz Marston on elizabeth@soteraheritage.com