Art Fair Liabilities: Have you got it covered?

Published: 04/06/2018

With Art Fair season rolling around every quarter, or every month if you exhibit overseas, there never seems to be "down" time during which you can properly take stock, deal with your in-tray and assess your overall annual needs, rather than just planning for the next event.


“What will I exhibit? Do I have enough people to staff both the fair and the gallery? Does my insurance cover what I want to do?”


An area we find UK gallerists frequently struggle is with exhibiting at art fairs overseas, particularly in the States. If your insurance policy is with a UK insurer or broker, they may not be able to give cover for your stock or more importantly, your liabilities to the public and other third parties, whilst you are abroad. This means that another brokerage in the state where the fair is being held will have to arrange the right certificates for you. You may need to buy a separate policy from your annual insurance and require many more parties involved, to get the cover you need.


Did you know for example that in the USA, in order to exhibit at Art Fairs:

  • You must provide proof of $2,000,000 General Liability insurance cover, placed with local insurers
  • The Certificate must list all the names of the Art Fair group as parties to the insurance
  • If you are renting or being loaned a vehicle to transport your artwork to the fair, you must have Automobile Liability
  • You also need medical expenses insurance


Most Art Fairs provide the option to buy insurance from them, but you can often get a better price from your own broker if they have a local office. Make sure your insurance broker understands your needs, knows the marketplace, and has you covered, whatever your plans.


The most effective way to structure your insurance internationally is with a single broker across several territories – this avoids expensive duplications of cover, but also allows the cover to be dovetailed, so that you don’t find yourself with nasty gaps in cover somewhere over the Atlantic, with the buck being passed! If you have to use a third-party broker, the additional admin can affect the pricing of your insurance and will certainly impact the speed with which things are turned around.


If you need any advice, please feel free to contact myself in UK, or my colleague Charlene Gill in our New York office, who works with AWAD members across the US.


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You can call us to talk more about your business on +44 (0)1223 200650 or +44 (0)20 3865 0149

Photo of Jane Byde ACII

Jane Byde ACII


Direct Dial: 01223 200650

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Twitter: @LaPlayaJane