Insurance For Artists

Increasingly, insurance is becoming a requirement for artists, whether you are working in the public realm, exhibiting, or selling your work at a market. With many types of insurance available we thought we’d clarify some of the issues around the insurance needs for artists.

You may need insurance if you are undertaking any of the following activities:

• Teaching or leading workshops
• Selling work at markets
• Have visitors to your studio
• Exhibiting work
• Working in the public realm
• Undertaking a residency
• Curating an exhibition
• Working independently in the arts

When taking out any insurance, be sure to read the policy and check for any exclusions that may apply.

A person stands atop a ladder in front of a large mural of fish, painting details on to the wall

Above: Tony Rosella speaks at George Street Studio Session. Photograph Grant Hancock

What kind of insurance do you need?

Insurance requirements vary and there can be many possibilities to cover.

Public Liability insurance will protect you from any person who makes a claim against you for bodily injury or property damage caused by a negligent action on your part

Product liability insurance offers protection from a claim made against you because of injury or damage caused by negligence or a fault in your product.

Professional indemnity insurance: This will protect you from claims made against you for bodily injury or property damage for the breach of professional obligations or advice given on a professional basis.

Tenants Liability: If you are renting your studio, you may want to be protected from a claim made against you for any damage you may have negligently caused to the property.
It’s important to note that liability and indemnity insurance DOES NOT cover damage to or loss of the work itself. It protects you as the maker.

Building and Contents insurance
If your studio and/or the equipment within it is damaged – possibly by fire, storms, or a break in – having building and contents insurance can help cover the cost of replacement and or repair of damages. Be sure to know the replacement value of the furnishings and equipment in your studio, and the structure itself, when considering building and contents insurance.

Insuring your work
Contents insurance won’t always cover your work and it’s important to be aware that you may need to take out additional insurance or extend your existing policy to cover any art work kept in your studio.
When your work is on loan or in an exhibition it may be insured by the exhibition venue. If not, there are options for covering the work during this time.

Marine transit insurance
If you’re transporting work, perhaps to its new home or to an exhibition, marine transit insurance will insure the work should it be damaged or lost in transit. Marine transit insurance can cover your work when it is being transported a variety of ways including road, rail, air, sea and even registered post.
As always, if considering marine transit insurance, be clear about the value of your work and understand the need to pack your work well if it is being transported somewhere.

What happens if I need to make a claim?

We spoke to Michael Gordon, Account Executive at Local Community Insurance Services and asked what you should do if you need to make a claim.

If you have a policy with LCIS through your Guildhouse membership you can call them during business hours 1300 853 800 or send an email to LCIS will then lodge the claim on your behalf and the claims team will be in touch to provide further instructions.

Public or Products Liability claim (third party injury or third party property damage)

  • If an injury is caused to a person, seek medical assistance in the first instance.
  • If the incident is third party property damage, try to mitigate any further damage as much as possible (if it is safe to do so).
  • Write a detailed report of the incident including what caused the incident, time/date of the incident and what happened immediately after.
  • Depending on the type of incident take some photos of the general area, damage, signage, safety barriers etc.
  • Record contact details of any witnesses if possible.
  • Notify LCIS as soon as practical after the incident.
  • Complete the Public Liability claim form and email to LCIS with any supporting documents.

The claim form can be found here

Personal Accident Claim (injury to yourself)

  • Seek medical attention in the first instance.
  • Write a detailed report of the incident including what caused the incident, time/date of the incident, what happened immediately after.
  • Record contact details of any witnesses if possible.
  • Notify LCIS as soon as practical after the incident and to receive the required claim form.

Once your claim is lodged, you may also be asked to provide

  • Doctors’ reports – so keep them on file with your incident report and claim form.
  • To claim for loss of income from your arts practice the claim team may require substantiation of your past income. The policy has a 7 day waiting period so you will not be able to claim for the first week after the incident.

Want to find out more?

Guildhouse Accredited or Allied membership offers the following six types of insurance:
• Public Liability (up to $20,000,000)
• Products Liability (up to $20,000,000)
• Professional Indemnity (up to $5,000,000)
• Tenants Liability (up to $20,000,000)
• Goods in Physical and Legal Control (up to $100,000)
• Personal Accident (up to $1000 per week)

If you’re a practising artist, curator, arts worker, or installer this policy may be suitable for you.
Find out more about this policy and additional marine transit insurance on our website here

When taking out any insurance, be sure to read the policy and understand any exclusions that may apply.

Guildhouse financial members are able to obtain one on one professional development support about many areas of their practice. Contact us for more information.

A man paints detail onto a colourful canvas
Dan Withey at work in his studio. Photograph Aise Dillon.