Thursday, July 31, 2008

Business Insurance for Studio Artists

We’re all pretty aware of where to turn for insurance on our homes, cars and/or contents of our apartments. We also at least have a clue as to where to start if the need to file a claim should occur. But what about our needs as artists? What type(s) of business insurance do we need, and where can we obtain it? And what should we do if we have a claim?

One of the biggest mistakes we make as artists is the assumption that we are covered by our homeowners insurance policy. However, unless a special endorsement (rider) has been added, there is no coverage– and even then, most home business riders are targeted for coverage of home offices, not home studio operations.
We often talk about opening our studios to visitors, but what if someone falls and is injured?
What exactly is the extent of your need as an artist for business liability coverage? The following list of resources should help get you started with assessing your coverage needs and with finding a company that understands the needs of artists.


Artist’s Checklist: CLAIMS FOR DAMAGED WORK – Society of North American Goldsmiths – “Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, artworks are occasionally damaged or destroyed during shipping or an exhibition. Artists are then confronted with the process of making an insurance claim. Who processes the claim depends on who bought the insurance and when the damage occurred.”

Business Insurance Information – gives information about the basics of business insurance

Disaster Preparedness for Artists – Craft Emergency Relief Fund – “Disasters can strike at any time and in any place with little or no warning. The time to formulate and implement a disaster response plan for business is now. The following handout was put together with artists in mind. Take your first steps today. The more complete your preparation the more likely your business will recover from a disaster.”

Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) is dedicated to supporting artists before, during, and after emergencies. Its website serves as a primary resource for artists with extensive listings for a variety of related topics, including insurance:

.....Business Insurance Basics for Artists

.....Business Insurance for Artists

.....Property and Liability Insurance

Do Frogs Need Insurance? No, but you do, by heck! – Betty Chypre

Have You Got It Covered?: Insurance Needs of Artists, Retailers and Show Promoters – Heather Skelly

Insurance: A User-Friendly Guide for the Arts and Nonprofit World - Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA) - This guide contains general insurance principles and common insurance issues, such as auto and property insurance, workman's compensation, umbrella vs. excess, and directors and officers liability insurance. This guide also addresses special considerations for the performing arts, visual arts, and special events, risk management, and advice on buying insurance and filing claims. Cost is $5.00

Insurance Resources for Craftspeople – The Crafts Report

Insuring Your Quilt

Types of Insurance that Sculptors Regularly Need to Obtain for their Studios, Employees, and Exhibitions – Daniel Grant – [NOTE: This article may be specifically targeting the needs of sculptors, but the information is equally applicable for textile artists] “…The cost of all this insurance varies widely, depending on the amount of coverage (most insurance packages for artists and craftspeople offer a maximum of one or two million dollars in total liability), the type of work created (fewer physical risks exist for painters and graphic designers than for sculptors, especially those who are welders), and the location of the artist. Rates tend to be higher in Florida, California, and New York because of geography (hurricanes, mud slides, and wild fires) and possible terrorism. Studio insurance may also be more difficult to obtain for artists who do not have a strong track record of sales. Insurers are reluctant to pay a settlement for an object that has no clearly established market value other than the artist’s sense of its worth.“

UK – Insurance for Artists – Arts Council England


American Craft Council, 72 Spring Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012, Description: Offers members discounted property and casualty insurance, work in transit insurance, coverage for business contents on and off premises -- and while at shows.

Artist/Craftsman Protection Plan, 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20852, (301.816.0045 or 800.638.2610, Description: Offers individual artists liability insurance and all risk property protection for artwork at home or studio, on exhibition, and in transit.

Benchmark Insurance – has business insurance designed for the craft artist. Currently available in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, but may soon expand the area of coverage.

Chris Johnston of HUB International Milne of Arizona specializes in insurance for textile artists: , 1750 E Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020, (602) 749-4282 or (800) 688-7472

Connell Insurers (417.334.2000) P.O. Box 1840, Branson, MO 65615, Description: Offers a craft package policy that covers general liability, products and complete operations liability, and more.

Flather Perkins, Inc., 888 17th Street, NW, Suite #508, Washington DC 20006, Description: Insures fine art and crafts on studio premises, in transit, and in shows. (800.422.8889) has two basic policies for artists, a $500 general liability plan that covers slip-and-falls (medical payments), product liability, loss of equipment other than computers (computers are a separate area of coverage), business vehicle accidents, and fires, and a $1,500 fine arts package that covers the value of the artwork itself when there is damage, theft, or destruction in and out of one’s studio. Part of that plan covers works-in-progress, paying the artist labor and materials costs if the piece was less than half completed and the full selling price if the object was more than half finished.

Fractured Atlas, 248 W. 35th Street, Suite 1202, New York, NY 10001, Description: A nonprofit organization that offers many support services to artist-members throughout the United States, including event liability insurance.

Hartford Financial Services Group (860.547.5000)

Henderson Phillips Fine Arts Insurance (202.955.5750 or 800.871.9991)

Holman Insurance Brokers LTD - Canada

Huntington T. Block – is a “…provider of insurance for the fine arts community .” - (202.223.0673 or 800.432.7465)$DynamicFrameWeb)?OpenForm&Link=/amo/htb/homepage.nsf/($DocumentUniqueID)/05554A39EAAC980A86256AAA00024101
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Insurevents.Com (800.279.6540)

K&K Insurance Group, Inc., 1712 Magnavox Way, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2338, Description: Provides liability insurance for artists. See "Concessionaires, Exhibitors & Vendors" area of their Web site. Phone 800-328-2317

Kaye Fine Arts Insurance (212.210.9200 or 800.456.KAYE,

Ontario Crafts Council, 990 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H1 Canada, Description: Members are eligible for business and liability insurance.

RLI Insurance (1-866-741-6560) Offers business, personal property and general liability for home based businesses. Coverage is available in 50 states. The annual premiums start at $150, and vary by state.

The Managing Agency Group (800.274.6364), offers a general plan that provides up to two million dollars in total coverage, including a studio and its contents, works in transit and at a temporary exhibition site, medical and product liability, with annual premiums ranging from $400 to $1,700. They offer the American Craft Council Insurance Program

Thomas & Pratt Insurance (310.394.5363 or 877.334.6327)


J.R. said...

Thank you so much for this helpful post! I found it through a Google search and it helped me locate an insurance company.

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Md Mustak Ahmed said...

nice information ...thanks for sharing such a great information. please do keep it up. find more about Textile liability insurance