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A couple of years ago, my house was broken into. It happened during the day and, fortunately, I seem to have scared the robber(s?) off when I pulled into the driveway; apparently they weren’t there long enough to take much more than a couple of electronic items and some of my jewelry. While my own art consists only of sketchbooks that I draw in for fun, my husband has some remarkable paintings on our walls, and we have works from other artists displayed as well. What if they had been taken?
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and while a house robbery isn’t considered a disaster (although it feels like one), today’s post focuses on a topic that’s not the most fun to think about but is worth bringing up: how to insure your art. Magazine ran a column on insurance for artists, written by BJ Foreman. Here’s what she had to say:
“What would happen if a water pipe burst above your studio, ruining your work? What if it destroyed a commission for which you’d already received a deposit? What if a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or fire affected your studio or workspace? As an artist–whether you’re a hobbyist, a student or a seasoned pro–you have a place where you make your art, and you purchase expensive art supplies. You probably have a number of finished works in inventory as well. How can you protect your studio, materials and artwork against disaster?
“‘Most artists don’t think about insurance until after a catastrophe,’ says Emily Gray, who heads up the insurance program for a national nonprofit cooperative organization called Fractured Atlas. As part of its mission, Fractured Atlas insures the work of artists, from musicians to visual and performance artists.
“Disaster planning is the last thing on most artists’ minds, but just the thought of the possible loss of income–in addition to lawyer fees, relocation expenses and costs for leasing temporary equipment–can be sobering. Unfortunately, this planning isn’t easy; it takes research and legwork to prepare for becoming insured. Thorough record keeping, too, is an ongoing chore necessary for staying properly insured. Then, of course, there’s the actual cost of insurance. The security insurance brings, though, is worth it all.” ~BJ Foreman
She goes on to explain how to “do your homework” and talk to agents about what you’re looking for, and keep an inventory of your works. “Treat your artistic enterprise as a business in order to protect your future success as an artist,” BJ says. Read the complete article on art business in Magazine, which also features the incredible works of Hsin-Yao Tseng and Joe Paquet. Scroll down for more information from this article on “insurance basics.”
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• 11 Tips for Painting En Plein Air, by Joe Paquet
• Working Thin to Thick: An Art Lesson From Hsin-Yao Tseng
• Quick and Easy Oil Painting Techniques for Beginners
Insurance Basics | Art Businessby BJ Foreman
General liability insurance covers you if someone is hurt while on your property or if your property hurts someone.
Business personal property insurance covers your studio’s contents–art supplies, records, computers and, of course, your art.
Building insurance covers the physical structure of your studio.
Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income during the time you can’t use your studio.
Inland marine insurance covers your artwork while in transit but also can cover your booth, shelving or displays at a fair or on the road.
There are many other sorts of insurance that can be added as options:
Extra expense insurance pays for the relocation of your studio in case of a disaster.
Earthquake and terrorism insurance are other options.
Flood insurance, if available, isn’t routinely included in a regular policy.
You can insure yourself against employee dishonesty and also can consider volunteer accident insurance in case your friends who generously volunteer to help you are injured while doing so.
Gaps, exclusions and deductibles are included in the fine print, and it’s essential to know about them. Gaps between homeowner, liability and inland marine policies must be addressed. All policies have deductibles, the part you must pay in case of a loss. If the deductible is high, your insurance will cost less than if the deductible is low. There’s a delicate balance to be reached, and a good agent can help you decide what’s best for you.
Read more about insurance for artists in Magazine (October 2012).