Insurance for Artists

November 2009

blue bowl with fishscale glaze developed by tracy dotson blue bowl with fishscale glaze developed by tracy dotson

Unfortunately it’s true that even the most creative and care-free among us must be insured against the potential difficulties of life. As an independent artist and craftsperson, you are no less in need of insurance than a businessman or an automotive worker, but insurance may be a little trickier for you to obtain. Basically, you have to figure out how to get health insurance, property insurance, and liability insurance.

Health insurance is pretty obvious, but this is probably the type of insurance with the most fluctuation. You can get plans that cover just you or your whole family. Some plans will take care of everything from a visit to the doctor when you have a sinus infection to major medical expenses, but other plans will only take care of the latter.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to health coverage. First off, think about what you actually need. Although independent insurance plans are cheaper than they used to be, they’ll still eat up your income. If you’re young and healthy, go with a major medical plan that will protect you from large, unexpected expenses, but if you are in poor health or have children, shell out for a better health insurance plan, which may save you money in the long run.

You’ll need liability insurance if you meet clients in a studio or in a booth at an event. You may thing that no one would ever sue you, but it happens all the time. If someone trips in your studio or get cut on a rusty nail at your booth, you need to be sure that you have enough liability insurance to cover a potential lawsuit.
Lastly, you’ll need property insurance. Since you’re dealing with valuable handmade items as well as lots of raw materials, you’ll need a good bit of property insurance. Check around with different providers, who may be able to cut you deals if you buy liability or health insurance through them, too
When you’re buying property insurance, be sure that you know exactly what it will cover. Get more than enough to replace all of your artwork, supplies, equipment, and structures should your studio burn down one night. Also, be sure that your work is covered in transit and when it is not on your property so that you know it’s covered during shows.

Within these categories, there are a lot of choices to make, but at least now you have an idea of what kinds of insurance you need as an artist.

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