Art Galleries & Insurance: Consigned to Protection | Zinc [Insurance]
  • Broadview Heights Ohio
  • Thursday, May 6, 2021
  • 35°F
Art Galleries & Insurance: Consigned to Protection

Art Galleries & Insurance: Consigned to Protection

As an artist, your work is part of you: an extension of your psyche, your worldview, your story. It doesn’t get more individualized than that. And yet, you need to balance total subjectivity with a necessary objective: making a living. It’s a classic struggle, pitting your right brain against its hemispherical sibling. Fear and worry could make an appearance, but we’re looking to calm those tendencies. Peace of brain, here we come.

Created Processing

When artwork leaves your studio, bound for an event or gallery showing, a myriad of potentials for disaster arise. Given the risk, you’ll need to find a way to nimbly walk the line between your creative safe zone and a savvy ‘business professional’ persona. Perhaps in your trade, daily negotiation and collaborative exchanges are few. But when it comes to consigning your pieces to a gallery or including them in a show, you’ll need to lean heavy to the left, having honest discussions with everyone involved—insurance provider, gallery owner, etc. The end goal should be comprehensive protection, a solid contractual agreement, and a collaborative relationship.

One of the most complex issues you’ll face when ironing details is assigning an accurate retail value to your works; a third-party appraiser can tackle the question objectively. A definite must, insuring your art can also seem daunting. Thankfully, independent agents can provide key insights and sound policy advice. And if an appraisal is out of reach, ‘per piece’ coverage, along with an acceptable policy aggregate is a viable option.

Maybe you’re not sure that protection against risk is merited. Truthfully though, reality shouts otherwise. So at the risk of raising the Chicken Little flag, let’s consider these potential mishaps:

  • Accidental damage while on display (e.g. visitor falls into art)
  • Protestors damage or destroy art
  • Natural disaster destroys or causes irreparable damage
  • Fire destroys gallery, including consigned art
  • Damage during transport or installation

Clearly, consigned works both demand and deserve protection. As the creator of the art, your wishes hold understandable value, and a gallery owner should be willing to discuss your concerns. Here are a few considerations that will get your gears turning, your lobes aligned:

  • Who is responsible for the art’s care, and when/at what point?
  • What value is being insured while art is on display (e.g. consignment, retail)?
  • Does the gallery carry coverage against location-specific perils, like floods or earthquakes?
  • Is the gallery open to a clearly defined and mutually favorable written agreement?

Risking Exposure

By now, it should be obvious: the need for gallery exposure can never outweigh the risk of damage. So if a gallery refuses to carry insurance on consigned art, steer clear. Flip that coin and you’d want to be prepared to field their questions about how much coverage you carry—embrace the give-and-take. And while you’ll surely encounter a host of ‘unknowns’ and less-than-perfect situations in the gallery world, you don’t have to let those details steal your confidence or interrupt your creative flow. Instead, let’s take up a tailor-made, hand-crafted defense against risk. Peace of mind, brain, and soul is well within reach.

Disaster Preparedness

A sizable piece of the artist’s protection puzzle is taking steps to protect and preserve artworks in the face of a natural (or other) disaster. During September—National Preparedness Month—the nation’s President noted that “it is each citizen's responsibility to be as prepared as possible for emergencies.” Especially when hoping for a smooth transition to post-disaster life, preparation is key.

So whether you live, create or display your work in an area prone to flooding, wildfire, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., be sure you’re prepared for ‘worst case’. Ask yourself—and your agent—if your current insurance policies will go far enough, and ask galleries you work with if they’ve taken steps to prepare. When chatting with potential exhibition venues, this is a point that it’s worth being insistent on. Your persistence and thoroughness will benefit everyone in the long run. And in the event that things do go awry, be assured that there are resources available, and people ready to help.

You can share this post!

WiFi Spoofing

Wiring the Workplace: Grounding Your Cyber Culture

Terms & Conditions

These Terms & Conditions govern your use of this website; your use of this website indicates your acceptance of these Terms & Conditions in full.

Kindly note that the information and content provided on this website does not constitute professional advice. Although we do our best to keep everything on this site correct and up-to-date, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of any information provided on this website. Improvements and/or changes in the products, services and/or programs described on this website may be made at any time without notice. We must also advise that hypertext links to other websites do not constitute an endorsement, nor do we guarantee any information provided by those sites.

While we do love when users share what they find on our website, it may be used or shared only for personal purposes. The information and content provided on this website is owned or licensed by Zinc, and should not be used or disseminated for any profit or gain.

While using this website, please be aware that no insurance coverages can be bound and no amendments, supplements, or modifications can be added to your policy, new or existing, unless and until you have received a written binder from us or your insurance company.

For users outside of the US: We make no claims that the content on this web site is appropriate or may be downloaded outside of the United States. If you access the site from outside the United States, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for compliance with the laws of your jurisdiction.

Even though we work hard to ensure the security and safety of our website and its users, we cannot and do not guarantee that this website will operate error-free, nor that this website and its server are without computer viruses or other harmful material. If your use of this website or material from it results in any costs or expenses, we will not be responsible for those costs or expenses. This website and its materials are provided without any warranties of any kind, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Please bear in mind that we will not be liable for any losses or damages arising under these Terms & Conditions or in connection with this website, whether arising in tort, contract, or otherwise – including, without limitation, any loss of profit, contracts, business, goodwill, data, income, revenue or anticipated savings.

Finally, if for any reason any portion or provision of these Terms & Conditions is ruled to be unenforceable, that provision will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to affect the intent of the Terms & Conditions, and the remainder of the Terms & Conditions will continue in full force and effect.

Request a Quote

Uh oh! Something seems to be amiss. Please check your entries and try again.

Transmission Received

Thanks for getting in touch! You'll receive a confirmation email shortly.