Art Gallery

How to Build the Best Art Gallery Insurance Policy

Art. You can find it hanging on walls, homes and businesses all over America. Works of art can do far more than just dress up a space’s décor; it can speak to the soul, can evoke memories and feelings, and can even force controversial subjects to the forefront of the national debate. It is little wonder that art is a timeless treasure that holds great cultural importance all over the world. As an art deal or owner of an art gallery, you are providing a great service. Be sure to properly protect your investment with a suitable art dealer insurance policy.

2014 Art Dealer Industry Facts From IBISWorld

  • There are more than 23,300 art-dealing businesses operating in the United States.
  • These businesses employ more than 35,300 people.
  • The art dealing industry is responsible for about $11 billion in revenue each year.

Why Is Art Gallery Insurance So Important?

Art is priceless. Each piece is unique and irreplaceable. So how do you get proper compensation if your gallery burns down or if protestors who do not like a controversial exhibit decide to vandalize your display space? Art gallery insurance meets the specific needs of business owners in this industry and can help you protect your business against the risks it faces.

You Need Sufficient Property Damage Coverage

Many types of artwork can easily be damaged by water, fire and other disasters. Often, gallery owners and art dealers do not own the art they have on display but rather provide a means for the artist to display and/or sell their work, so special insurance considerations must be taken into account. Insuring your gallery, which can be a somewhat complex endeavor, necessitates the valuation and protection of its inventory through suitable property insurance.

For starters, the value placed on the art is subjective. Evidence of appraisals done by qualified professionals is often necessary when filing an insurance claim. Additionally, the total value of the art in your possession can vary significantly as new displays replace old ones, so you will need a policy that allows you flexibility with your coverage limits.

Because of the complex nature of insuring this type of property, it is extremely important that you work with an insurance agent who understands the nature of your business and who can help you find insurance companies that specialize in art dealers insurance.

You Need Proper Liability Insurance

We live in a litigious society. Your commercial general liability insurance coverage protects your gallery from financial losses if someone is injured while visiting your gallery. This can be due to a slip, a fall, an injury while touching a sharp piece of artwork or other types of accidents.

Additionally, your general liability insurance will protect you during events such as exhibit openings or fund raisers held at your gallery. Alcohol is often served at these events. If a guest drinks too much and causes injuries or property damage to others, your gallery may be held liable. Fortunately, because art galleries are not in the business of producing, distributing, creating or selling alcohol, it is rarely necessary to obtain liquor insurance for these events as your general liability coverage will likely suffice. 

What Other Art Dealer Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

In addition to the property and liability coverage mentioned above, you may have to get or at least consider other insurance coverage types. They are the following:

  • Flood and Earthquake Insurance: Most commercial insurance policies include coverage exclusions for flood and earthquakes. If your gallery is at risk for either of these major disasters, you should talk to your independent insurance agent about obtaining policies to limit these exposures.
  • Business Income Insurance: This coverage can provide your art gallery with a continuation of income in the event that a major disaster or other problem outside your control forces you to close your business for an extended period. This coverage, usually limited to more than one year, typically lasts until you are able to resume normal business operations.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: Most states require businesses to purchase workers' compensation insurance, which covers treatment of injuries sustained by employees while on the job. Even if this coverage is not required in the state where your gallery is located, it is strongly recommended.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance: This provides coverage in the event that one of your employees sues your gallery for illegal business practices such as sexual harassment and discrimination.
  • Employee Dishonesty Insurance: This coverage can protect your gallery from financial losses in the event that one of your employees steals from your business or engages in other illegal practices while on the job.

There may be additional coverage types beneficial to your specific gallery. An independent insurance agent can help you determine what your different exposures are and can help you find appropriate coverage to mitigate these risks.

Get Help Building a Strong Art Gallery Insurance Policy

Building a business insurance policy for your art gallery can be a complex process, especially if you are purchasing business insurance for the first time. That is why it is to your benefit to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents can help you realize your risks and can then help you find a suitable and competitively priced policy that will meet your coverage needs. Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more; you could soon be comparing quotes on art dealer insurance policies designed specifically for your gallery.


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