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Insurance For Artists: The Coverage Basics

You artists and crafts folk out there, you know it can be a risky deal to get established in your trade, so there’s all the more reason to protect your life’s work. Insurance isn’t a thrilling topic to dig into, to be sure, but we’d argue that when disaster hits home, you’ll sure be glad you did. Let’s get into what coverage you’ll need and how it will help you to do business confidently.


Artist Insurance 101

First off, let’s tackle the big elephant here–why does an artist need insurance? To put it simply, you need to ward off risk. Truth be told, risk is always there, ready to strike–or not. It’s that very uncertainty that makes risk, well, risky. You could go about a routine countless times without event, but the one time something does go awry, it could end up being disastrous. Insurance is there for that one time, but it often comes in handy more than you’d think.


What does that look like in the artist insurance world? It could mean protecting folks visiting your home studio if a sculpture were to randomly lose its balance and cause injury or they slip and fall on a wet patch of freshly mixed clay or paint you missed during cleanup. But it also looks like protection for a photographer who accidentally damages their gear while shooting wedding photos, missing key moments or shooting unusable images.


If you’re transporting artworks or images to and from venues, festivals, or client homes and that freak storm strikes or the wind picks up suddenly and your one-of-a-kind pieces are damaged or ruined, what’s your recourse? That sure brings it home. In the end, this is all about protection–for you, your clients, your vendors, and your partners.


We could go on (and we likely will), because this is so near and dear–we care about our artists, artisans, and craft artists and want you to successfully make a go of it in this risky world. At its most basic, that’s what insurance does; it allows you to engage in behavior that presents risk, while offering resources to back you up if something goes wrong. It means that you won’t have to give up on your dream because of one freak accident. That’s worth some investigation.


How Does Insurance Work?

If the world is so risky for artists, how can insurance providers take them on as clients? How can the insurer manage that risk? Basically, like every other type of insurance provider out there, they do lots of math. Risk ends up being divided among the pool of their clients, and they base everything on statistics. If they play their numbers right, risks are mitigated by likelihoods, and it all evens out. This is also where your deductible figures in to offset and share risk.


What does that tell you? It lets you know that insurance companies already know what risks you’re facing, along with potential costs, and they plan accordingly. In general, unless it falls outside of the realm of coverage you shouldn’t encounter a typical situation that wouldn’t be covered. Things that typically aren’t covered here are often addressed via a separate policy. These might include: buildings, business auto, workers compensation, and employee dishonesty or loss of business income. But rest assured, if you want to check into these, one of Insurance for Artists’ siblings in the Zinc family of brands can help.


When You Need Insurance

Being in business is risky. Besides the physical damages that could be incurred, you’re also protected against liability and legal action when you have a solid artist insurance policy. Outside of the obvious slip, trip, and fall claims, if an image you took ends up being used in a less-than-desirable way, a manufacturer or model could blame you for defamation.


If someone does fall and sustain injury and they need to miss work to recover, you could be looking at legal fees and damage payments. Where will those funds come from? You guessed it–this is just one more way that insurance helps you out. In addition to financing a defense against legal claims, if you’re sued for a covered risk, your artist insurance can also hire the lawyers and manage your case.


One more real-world–and perhaps more relatable–reason why you need artist insurance is that many exhibition and show venues also recognize the potential for risk. Because they don’t want to shoulder the responsibility for all the artists they work with, they will likely require a certificate of insurance before working with you. That proof of insurance will generally list the venue as an additional insured, assuring that if something goes wrong with your work on their property, they’re covered. This is an invaluable part of the insurance process and could be the last piece of the puzzle you need to gain traction in your trade.


If you don’t own but rent your studio or commercial space, the Insurance For Artists Program has also been found to suit many landlords’ contractual requirements.


What’s Included in Artist Insurance?

Our Master Policy is pretty straightforward. It offers liability coverage at both your home and studio as well as at exhibition sites. But the coverage doesn’t end there–it follows your pieces and provides full product liability coverage for items you’ve sold.


The Master Policy also covers your business property, which is generally excluded by typical homeowners policy. That’s especially key if your home is also your studio. With our policy your equipment, supplies and finished work are protected from anything that isn’t an excluded risk. Those generally include things that you would expect a product’s warranty to exclude, like wear, tear, or gradual deterioration, among others.


Where the personalization comes in is when we get into amounts of coverage. There are three limits of liability and six property amounts to choose from. If you feel that you need to up your coverage for any reason, you can do that at any time. There is also an optional endorsement that provides increased transit and exhibition coverage. Check out our FAQs page for specifics on deductibles and other hard numbers. And if you’re interested in a no-strings peek into what your costs might be, plug in your preferences to our quote calculator for a quick answer.


If you already hold an Insurance For Artists policy and you do experience a loss or damage, getting in touch with us right away is key for the smoothest resolution. And if you have any questions about coverage, know that we are right here, ready to answer them. New policies start on October 1st and re-enrollment begins on September 1st, so now is the time to hash out details and figure out which policy limits best suit your current needs. Get in touch today!


This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.




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