Museum Insurance

Museums have unique exposures that need the proper coverage, such as customer injuries on the premises, theft of priceless art, and more.

Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for by authoring consumable, understandable content.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

Modern art gallery. Find Museum Insurance.

When you run a museum, you have visitors on your premises daily to view and experience your priceless collections and exhibits. Whether you display centuries-old artifacts or modern art, you need well-planned and comprehensive insurance coverage to protect everything that matters, including your building, collections, and everyone who walks through your doors. Museum insurance is a complex and comprehensive set of policies tailored to the needs of your business and its valuable property. 

An independent insurance agent can help you get set up with the right kind of insurance for museums. They can shop and compare quotes from multiple companies for you. But first, here's a closer look at art museum insurance, what it covers, and more.

Why Do You Need Museum Insurance? 

Museums are known for displaying items like fine art, rugs, stained glass, books, memorabilia, coins or stamps, rarities, jewelry, and many other items with rare or historical value. Many museums also share their collections with other institutions, galleries, or traveling exhibitions. Further, the items you display may be on loan to you from other institutions or private collections. Your museum will likely choose between two general categories of coverage:

  • All-risk coverage: This provides broad coverage for your museum's collections and exhibits against damage, theft, and destruction due to listed perils.
  • Broad property and fine arts coverage: This provides coverage for your museum's displays and exhibits in transit or on loan.

The risks to your museum's valuable works are immense. With varying ownership arrangements and items frequently in transit, you must have adequate coverage for your business that considers all its unique exposures. 

At any time, your collections can be damaged by fire, theft, or vandalism on or off your premises. Your business could also face lawsuits due to customer or employee injuries and other claims. That's why you need the right kind of business insurance for a museum.

What Does Museum Insurance Cover? 

Museums need insurance to protect collections, company property, employees, and customers in a variety of situations. Choose from the following types of business insurance to assemble your museum insurance policy:

  • Commercial general liability insurance: This offers financial protection if a third party gets injured on your premises or sustains personal property damage as a result of your operations. 
  • Commercial property insurance: This provides coverage for your physical museum space and its contents (e.g., office equipment and furniture, seating, display cases, merchandise, etc.). against theft, destruction, or damage due to fire, lightning, theft, vandalism, and more.
  • Business interruption insurance: This can reimburse your business for various expenses, including employee salaries and rent, and provide continued revenue if you must temporarily cease operations after a covered disaster like a fire or break-in.
  • Inland marine insurance: This covers your museum's property, such as pieces of art, while it's in transit against various disasters like theft or damage due to a number of perils.
  • Premises liability insurance: This covers your museum against possible lawsuit expenses stemming from claims of customer or other third-party injuries on your business's premises.
  • Commercial umbrella insurance: This provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of several other policies you might have, including commercial general liability, which can greatly help your business in case of a major lawsuit.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This pays for lost wages and medical expenses for employees who get injured or ill on the job due to the work environment or their job tasks.
  • Employee dishonesty and crime insurance: This protects your business from the costs of employee theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts and crimes committed against your business by any third party.

In addition to business property and liability insurance for your museum, you will likely need a variety of additional policies or endorsements. Talk with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need the following:

  • Valuable papers coverage: This pays to reproduce valuable papers, such as financial documents and provenance documentation, for your collections if they get damaged or destroyed by a covered peril like a fire.
  • Computers and media coverage: This pays for loss of data or software as well as physical damage to computers and other hardware after a covered incident.

Your independent insurance agent can help you complete your museum insurance policy correctly.


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How Much Does Museum Insurance Cost? 

The cost of insuring your museum may vary based on the location and size of your business, as well as many other factors. The amount and type of coverage you need for your exhibits depends on the value of your collections and where they are displayed. 

However, an independent insurance agent can help you find the most affordable museum insurance for your business. They can shop and compare quotes from multiple carriers that offer coverage in your town.

The Benefits of Working with an Independent Insurance Agent

Independent insurance agents simplify the process of finding the right museum insurance. They'll get you matched to a policy for your business that offers the best overall blend of coverage and cost. Better yet, your agent can help file business insurance claims for you or update your coverage as necessary over time.

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