Having adequate insurance means that your work, studio, equipment or materials can be replaced if they are stolen or damaged, and that you are protected if an accident occurs while you are working with the public.
There are two main types of insurance an artist might need:
Public Liability Insurance covers the policyholder against any claims made by third parties (e.g. members of the public) if they are injured during a visit to a venue or project. If you are working freelance in gallery education, run your own artist-led gallery space or studio, or do projects involving members of the public, it is a good idea to have some sort of public liability insurance.
If you are making events that take place in your home, your home insurance policy may cover you for some public liability insurance (which is a standard inclusion on most house insurance policies), but it’s best to check with your insurer first to make sure you’d be covered for public events in your home.
Property insurance (studios; artworks; works in transit) can cover objects and buildings against theft, fire or other damage, either by people or accidentally depending on the policy.
As with any insurance policy, make sure you check carefully to see what is covered and what is excluded. Many policies will charge an ‘excess’ (which is a maximum amount you have to pay for any claim, before the insurance company will pay the rest), and claims on a policy can increase future policy payments.
In the arts, the main suppliers of affordable and tailored insurance products include: Artists Union England (provided by Bluefin); a-n The Artists Information Company (provided by Hencilla Canworth); Axisweb (with Perkins Slade and Hiscox). Make sure you get the cover than you need, rather than just going for the cheapest option, and speak to an insurance advisor if in doubt.