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Are You and Your Artwork Insured?

Most of us have been fortunate in our artistic lives and haven’t had to deal with a devastating loss of time, material, and creation. But what if something happens? Are you prepared?

You have likely invested hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into the raw materials, tools, and equipment you use to make your art. If your craft income is seasonal, sporadic, or otherwise limited, you may have decided insurance is a luxury you cannot afford. Here are some thoughts to consider:

What’s In Your Homeowner’s Policy? Most people really don’t know what’s in the fine details of their homeowner’s policies. Insurance policies can be very exacting about coverage, the location of the property to be covered, and the circumstances surrounding any damages being claimed. You may be surprised to discover that your art supplies and inventory are not covered or only partially covered by your policy, and you may need a special policy rider or add-on to cover your work. Check with your insurance company to get an understanding of your po

licy coverage and find out what options are available for covering your craft work.

Is Your Work in a Gallery? If you have artwork on consignment in a gallery or other commercial establishment, you should be aware of the standing policy on theft, damage by personnel or patron, or damage due to an act of God such as an earthquake or hurricane. The Huffington Post Arts and Culture blog offer this article on gallery insurance.

The following video is an interview with three student artists whose work was lost in a fire at Pratt Institute.

Do You Have Disability Insurance? Disability insurance policies cover you by providing a source of income if you are unable to work due to injury, illness, or other circumstances as specified in your policy. The amount of time you can receive insurance payments can range from limited in time, a year for example, to payable for life. The most beneficial policy is one that cannot be canceled and can be renewed each year.

Protecting Your Work Here are some helpful tips for insuring your craft work:

  • Make sure you understand what your policy does and does not cover and make adjustments as necessary. You may need to consult with an insurance

company that specializes in dealing with artwork, especially if you are using expensive antique, vintage, precious gemstones or fine metals in your work.

  • Buy as much coverage as you can afford as some coverage is better than none.

  • Maintain accurate inventory records and include photos of your completed work, tools, equipment, raw materials, and studio. Keep this information in a safe, accessible place such as cloud/server storage.

Following are some helpful resources for more information on insurance for artists and artisans. Resources

  • offers a brief informative guide here that can help you determine how best to protect your artistic investment.

  • CERF+: The Craft Emergency Relief Fund is a national service that provides assistance for artists in the event of an emergency and helps to preserve and restore their work. CERF+’s Studio Protector site provides information on Business Insurance Plans for Artists that ca

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