Disaster Insurancen for Artists
Business insurance is an important tool you can use to transfer unacceptable risks to an insurance company. It should be considered as an important part of your Career Protection Plan.
- Loss of property like tools, supplies, and artwork from risks like fire, natural disasters, lightning strikes or theft (business personal property)
- Loss of a studio building you own.
- Loss of tools, display equipment, or artwork away from your studio, such as at an art show, doing an installation, or in transit.
- Liability incurred as a result of your art practice such as injury to others caused by an artwork, performance, display, teaching, or a slip and fall by a studio visitor.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance usually does not cover losses related to your art business. Most homeowner’s insurance policies also exclude buildings that would normally be covered by homeowner’s insurance if they are used for business purposes. This would include a studio in a garage or separate building. You are operating a business if you offer goods or services for sale – even if you have never actually sold anything. Do you have a website promoting your work? That would probably be proof that you are in business.
Investigate business insurance options for studio contents, studio building, liability and consider disability insurance:
- An in-home business owner’s policy or rider on your homeowners’ insurance
- A separate business owner’s policy (you can do this even if your studio is in your home)
- Specialty insurance for performances, pop-up galleries, or other group activities.
Understand what your insurance does and does not cover.
- Read your policy, especially the exclusions! Ask questions!
- Special insurance is required for flood and earthquake. This is true for both business policies and homeowner’s insurance.
- If policy exclusions represent an unacceptable risk, ask about the cost for special coverage (called endorsements or riders).
Earthquake Insurance for Artists
As with floods, earthquakes are not covered by your business, homeowners, or renters policy and must be purchased separately. The cost varies depending on:
- How close you are to a fault
- Construction of your building
- Whether or not you have retrofitted your building to minimize earthquake damage
You must have a business, homeowners, or renters policy in order to purchase this insurance.
- is purchased through the company that sold you your other policy
- is not designed to cover all losses, but to put a roof over your head.
- can provide coverage for temporary housing while your building is being repaired
- does not cover any losses already covered by your business or homeowners insurance
- does not cover floods even if they were caused by an earthquake (you must have flood insurance to cover that)
- covers buildings and contents separately
- covers homes and businesses separately
- kicks in after you have satisfied the deductible
What to Do Checklist
High/Low Earthquake Risk
Download the Business Insurance Guidebook for Artists (PDF)
- The California Earthquake Authority policy estimate calculator allows California residents to assess their risks and get an online estimate of an earthquake insurance policy.
- Earthquake Insurance Guide by United Policyholders will help you determine if you need earthquake insurance and help you shop for a policy.
- US Geological Survey earthquake risks by state includes a seismic hazard map and information about the history of earthquakes in each state.