Insurance is as important for an artist as it is for any other professional.
All the work put into creating your paintings, sculptures, photography or other works of art could be lost in an instant, whether due to a natural disaster like a fire or flood, or being stolen or damaged by vandals. Artists stand to lose not only their works in progress, but their inventory and supplies as well. Though the emotional cost of losing such items still may be great, having insurance at least allows artists to recoup the monetary losses — and continue to operate their businesses. Although most don’t, there are times when the venue or show organizer will require a policy with them as a ‘named insured’.
Regardless of requirements, it’s a good idea to consider all the ways you may need protection. Artists can choose from several types of insurance to protect their work.
Among the most popular are:
Business insurance: Every business owner should carry some form of general business insurance. The cost is low, providing peace of mind for artists working in any medium. This type of insurance comes in several forms. Costs are dependent on the type of insurance, coverage and deductible. The most common types include:
Business property insurance: This typically provides protection for materials, inventory, supplies and equipment used directly in the creation of art. Policies differ, so it’s important to read the fine print to see exactly what is covered. Be aware that most forms of general property insurance do not cover floods or fires, so you may need additional coverage to protect against these risks.
Business personal property insurance: Small business owners, including artists, quite often have personal items mixed in with goods needed to run their profession. For instance, you may have easels, a potter’s wheel or picture framing equipment you purchased on your own prior to becoming a professional artist. Without business personal property insurance, a single catastrophic event could result in a significant personal loss of personal property without any compensation.
Product liability insurance: Especially vital for those who make and sell products for use on or in the body (food vendors, soaps, etc), this insurance is designed to protect you if your goods injure someone or create property damage.
Renter’s insurance: If your studio is in a rented apartment or house, renter’s insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your investment. These plans often can be purchased for under $10 a month, ideal for artists who are just starting to turn their hobby into a paying business. Most items in your house or apartment can be covered by renter’s insurance.
Event insurance: Artists often do a good deal of their business at trade shows, craft fairs, and community events, where inventory and equipment and supplies can be exposed to the risk of theft or, more likely, bad weather. Many insurance companies specialize in event insurance, providing coverage for single events or for various extended terms.
Vendor liability insurance: Vendor Event Liability Insurance is specifically designed to cover the unique liability exposures of vendors, exhibitors, and concessionaires who work on an independent contractor basis at local fairs, festivals, special events, private parties, conventions or trade shows. Suppose someone trips over your power cords or is injured by a work of art falling on them? What if you accidentally damage the grounds where you’re showing and are held liable for the cost of the repair? Vendor’s insurance provides protection for claims against these situations and more.
Some guilds and organizations offer affordable product liability insurance to their members. For instance, The Soap Guild assists getting policies for their members, written by Veracity Insurance. The Indie Business Network also utilizes Veracity for its brokerage services, but their insurance policies are written by Great American Insurance.
ACT stands for Artist, Crafters, and Tradesmen insurance. A policy can be purchased online in about 10 minutes, with prices starting at $39 a show, or $265 a year. While both policies share many of the same benefits, the Show Policy is best suited for artists and crafters who only attend a few shows per year. If you attend multiple shows throughout the year, the Annual Policy offers more coverage than the Show Policy, including products & completed operations coverage, as well as the option to add professional liability coverage. (Professional liability is necessary if you perform any kind of art demonstrations or if you teach training sessions, host workshops, or instruct others through arts and crafts classes or online videos.)
Anthony focuses more on liability coverage protecting vendors and exhibitors from lawsuits. Vendor’s insurance is a Liability policy providing protection should a vendor or exhibitor have to defend against claims or lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage.
The Event Helper deals with policies for those of you throwing the events. Their general liability insurance covers: bodily injury for your guests, most lawsuits from your guests, property damage to your event location and host liquor liability. They have no location limitation; your event is covered regardless of where it takes place. Hired auto coverage is available – this is additional coverage that extends to a hired or non-owned vehicle used at your event. Make sure you add any setup & teardown days to your policy for no additional cost.
Even more specialized, Insurance Canopy’s policies are structured specifically for DJ, VJ, and KJ professionals. They provide affordable A+ rated general liability insurance with an easy online instant application process.
Also take a look at:
Remember that this is not an exhaustive list, and your needs are unique to your business. Also, we are neither affiliated nor endorsing any of these businesses. They are being used as examples for research purposes only. Make sure to take time to contact insurance companies in your city and state, as well as national organizations. The time you spend comparing plans will be a wise investment in your career as an artist and an entrepreneur.