Many artists and crafters, especially those working out of their homes, forget there is often a need for business insurance. But what kind and how much? This article gives suggestions and some resources for the arts or crafts business owner to consider.
Don't assume you're covered by your homeowner, vehicle or renter insurance policy. Although, a good place to to start when considering your arts and crafts business insurance options is with the insurance agent handling your home or auto insurance.
Your arts and crafts business may not lend itself to product liability suits in the same way as edible and other types of products. Unless you have razor blades or poison incorporated into your craft design, your requirement for product liability insurance may be minimal. But, what if a customer visits your workshop and hurts themselves on a piece of equipment, or one of your craft items breaks and your customer's child chokes on one of the components?
One thing to remember is that your homeowner’s insurance probably does not cover you for any of these horrifying dilemmas. It is always in your best interest to check out various business insurance options to augment your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
In-between insurance covers only business-related issues, leaving the coverage of your home and belongings under the jurisdiction of the homeowner’s policy. There are also blanket policies available, offering $1 million of coverage if you are sued personally for any reason.
Your first step is to check with the agent who handles your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. See what is and is not covered. Ask for a recommendation for a business insurance agent. Describe your business to this agent and ask them for coverage suggestions. If you had an attorney set up your business, get in touch with them first and have them go over all the liability aspects associated with your business.
Casualty and Theft InsuranceYour business inventory and tools probably do not have coverage under your homeowner’s policy. Additionally, consider how you'll replace them if finished arts and crafts items or supplies are stolen from your car or hotel room while you are attending a trade show.
If you or your spouse have outside employment and have coverage through that employer, securing health insurance is not a concern for you at this time. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a large company behind you, negotiating benefits, you can end up with high insurance premiums and high deductibles, with less coverage. Preexisting conditions—forget about it!
One option is to align yourself with another group. Maybe you are a member of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), or an artists’ guild. Check with them for any group health insurance coverage packages they provide to members.
Being insured may be a requirement of craft and art shows at which you plan to exhibit. Some craft shows require you participate in their blanket insurance for the show which the sponsor will build into the booth fee.
Then, there is the aggressive business suing you for copyright infringement because they think your art or craft product is identical to theirs. Maybe the suit is frivolous, but how much will it cost you to get to that decision?
Arts and Crafts Business Insurance Resources
To follow are a few resources to get you started in your hunt for proper insurance for your arts and crafts business:
- Freelancers Union: health, dental, and life insurance.
- Craft Emergency Relief Fund: interesting article about 'insuring creativity'.
- Fractured Atlas: information about health and professional liability insurance.