Artist Insurance: Complete Coverage For Career Artists

Building a career as an artist is no easy feat. It requires hard work, dedication, and more than a dollop of talent.

However, what it shouldn’t include is stress over damaged works. Whether it’s a flood in their studio or an accident en route to a client, artists need to know that their time, materials, and creative energies haven’t been completely dumped down the drain by a minor setback.

Artist Insurance from Distinguished is one way to give your career artist clients this peace of mind. In this guide, we’ll walk you through artist insurance coverage, why your clients need it, and why Distinguished is the perfect partner for all your fine art clients.

What Does Artist Insurance Cover?

Artist Insurance is a policy designed to comprehensively cover damages or theft of any art-related items an artist might own. This includes:

  • Works in progress or commissions
  • Completed works housed in the studio
  • Damaged art materials, including molds, dies, castings, raw materials, tools, implements, maquettes, models, and supplies

This policy extends beyond the artist’s studio as well. So when the artist needs to send their completed works to galleries, buyers, or exhibition venues, they’ll be covered under the transit portion of the policy. This gives your client worldwide coverage, so artists can rest easy knowing their pieces are covered all the way to their final destination.

Why Does Your Client Need Specialized Artist Insurance?

Artists need specialized artist insurance coverage because general property coverage will either exclude or not sufficiently cover an artist’s work.

For instance, it’s not uncommon for clients to need to ship high-value commissions across the world to a client. When an artist is ready to ship, they want a responsive partner that can issue endorsements very quickly and not impede the process. Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles has the expertise to do exactly that, while general property carriers or MGAs do not.

Specialized artist insurance coverage is also necessary because an artist’s studio could hold thousands of dollars worth of art and art materials at any one time. Our Fine Art underwriters understand how to assign a proper and sufficient value to these items. Without insurance coverage specifically tailored to this niche and its unique value—completed or otherwise—these items are at risk of being underinsured in the event of theft or damage.

For instance, in 2022, an arsonist intentionally set fire to an art warehouse in Houston. The fire damaged several artists’ studios, resulting in the destruction of multiple pieces. With Artist Insurance in place, those artists would be confident that they would be compensated for any artworks or supplies they’d lost in the fire. 

How Much Does Artist Insurance Cost?

The price of artist insurance coverage is determined by a range of factors that our underwriters will consider on a policy-by-policy basis. These include:

  • The medium or material the artist works in
  • The artist’s relationship to gallery representation
  • Whether the artist handles their own shipping and, if so, how they pack and ship their works
  • If the artist has offsite storage
  • How the artist uses gallery inventory space
  • Whether the artist’s workspace/studio is shared
  • Any on-site materials and mechanical elements and how they are stored

If you have an artist client who would like a specific quote for their circumstances, we can get that back to you as soon as possible. To get the process started, simply register with Distinguished, fill in the appropriate application form, and then email it to fineartandcollectibles@distinguished.com.

What Are the Benefits of Partnering with Distinguished For Artist Insurance?

We at Distinguished take pride in being more than just insurance experts; we are passionate participants in the art world as well. This affinity and expertise allow us to provide your artist clients with the coverages, deductibles, and limits they need to be fully covered.

So whether you represent an up-and-coming avant-garde talent or a world-renowned painter, we can help you offer your clients a policy that combines:

  • Expertise: Our underwriting and claims teams possess a wealth of experience that caters specifically to the needs of career artists. 
  • Client-focused service: Delivering service with a deep personal connection to all our partners is a cornerstone of our philosophy at Distinguished. This commitment allows us to help you in all policy aspects, from procuring a coverage quote to handling policy adjustments and more. 
  • Passion: We mirror your client’s love of art. This means in the event of any damage or loss; we are committed to exploring options for restoration and compensation for their unique creations. 
  • Adaptability: The professional art world is always changing, and we’re prepared to help your clients, even if they’re on the cutting edge of what they do.
  • Collaboration: We take pride in our partnerships with a comprehensive network of art industry professionals, including artist insurance brokers, advisors, appraisers, restoration experts, attorneys, and more. 

Sign Up Today

Registering your agency is the first action you should take to provide your client with insurance through Distinguished. Once you’ve completed this step, the rest is simple—just fill out and submit your application.

While completing the application, you’ll need to provide key details such as the security measures in place, details on the artist’s works, and any history of losses. In some cases, we might ask for a bit more information, like details on sales history or gallery representation. 

If you have any questions about our Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance Program, please feel free to contact us at fineartandcollectibles@distinguished.com or check out our Artist Insurance Product Page for more information.

Distinguished’s Artist Insurance FAQs

Will this artist policy also cover real property and general liability?

This policy is designed to insure only works of art or art-related equipment specifically. Your clients will still need to carry other policies for their real property and liability coverages.

Can my clients get coverage if they sell their own artwork? 

It depends on their circumstances. This policy is intended for artists with gallery representation and a strong sales history but may also accommodate sales by the artist directly to the buyer. If you have questions, please reach out to fineartandcollectibles@distinguished.com. 

Will the policy cover commissioned artworks and partially completed / works-in-progress?

Yes, this policy offers coverage for planned projects with commission-based contracts and also works-in-progress. Valuation types vary depending on the project type and the completion level.

Will any tools or raw materials be covered?

A limited amount of coverage is available under the policy for this type of property. Please send us an email with the specifics of your case for more details.


About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art & Collectibles, Environmental & Construction Professional, Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its specialty areas for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation from 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

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