Disaster Insurance 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).
Flood Insurance for Artists
Damage from floods is not covered by most homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies. Flooding is water that comes from the ground up, rather than driven by wind or through a roof that has been damaged which is covered by most policies.
- Is available through the National Flood Insurance Plan which is a federal program administered by FEMA
- Is available to both renters and property owners
- Must be purchased separately for homes and structures used for business purposes
- First and second homes up to $250,000 maximum
- Structures used for business purposes up to $500,000 maximum
- Contents of home up to $100,000 (must be purchased separately)
- Contents of business up to $250,000 (must be purchased separately)
- Premium cost is based on your flood risk–see FloodSmart.gov
- Is sold through private brokers such as the agency from which you purchased your current insurance
- Is not available if your community has chosen not to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program or does not comply with the program requirements
What to Do Checklist
WHAT TO DO CHECKLIST
Assess your flood risk and estimate cost of insurance
- Go to FloodSmart.gov.
- Enter your address and whether you are looking for residential or commercial coverage. You will then be able to see your flood risk and the premium range to cover the contents and the building.
Understand your flood risk. FloodSmart.gov has good information on this topic.
Understand what flood insurance does and does not cover
Consider purchasing flood insurance. Talk to your current insurance agent and/or contact one of the local brokers listed on FloodSmart.gov.
Take additional protective measures to minimize risks and potential damage
Download the Business Insurance Guidebook for Artists (PDF)