Some shows are asking for a "Certificate of Insurance" with the show listed an "additional insured". Some insurance companies are charging a fee for this, ranging anywhere from $12.00 up to $75.00. So I asked my go-to insurance source of all knowledge, Craig Nutt, who is Director of Programs at the Craft Emergency Relief Fund+ (CERF+), what's up with this? Craig is a great guy and also a fantastic furniture maker and woodworker, and he got the answer for me in a day. Here is his response:
from Craig Nutt at CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund + Artists’ Emergency Resources):
Requiring a certificate of insurance naming the show organizer as a named insured is common practice among trade shows. I have also done a number of public art projects, and this is always required in order to protect the commissioning agency from liabilities incurred by the artist. We asked Emily Gray of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit artist service organization that has a variety of insurance plans available for artists, and developed a visual artists plan and craft artists plan at the request of CERF+, to comment:
The reason shows (or venues, schools, airports, hotels, etc.) require that individuals name that location or show on the certificate as an additional insured is to protect the show from a liability claim that is the fault of the individual. So, say I’m a craft artist who is exhibiting at a show. When I arrive, I promptly break a bunch of windows and damage the walls of the venue where the show is being held. This is not at all the fault of the show organizers and they do not want that claim on their liability insurance policy. Since the artist named the show as the additional insured, then the artist’s policy will step in first to pay that claim and the show’s only will if the limits of the individual’s policy are exhausted before the claim is fully paid. Of course, if the loss is due completely to the show’s actions then the show’s policy will pay out and the individual’s will not.
There are certainly insurance policies that do not carry a charge for adding other entities as an additional insured on the policy; the important thing to ask is whether the policy comes with a blanket additional insured endorsement. If it does, then you will be able to add unlimited additional insureds/certificate holders to the policy at no extra charge. It generally also means that the certificates can be processed much more quickly (this is how we at FA are able to issue instant certificates of insurance). As a best practice I generally recommend that, if possible, one only consider policies with that included both for the purposes of sanity and for the purposes of budget. (You can get a free Associate Membership in Fractured Atlas through a partnership with CERF+ by going here: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/join/partner/cerf and that will entitle you to a free insurance quote.)
While it is possible to purchase a liability policy for a single show, it is a better buy to purchase a liability policy that will cover you year around and for all your business activities. Most people would not consider driving a car without liability insurance, and there is as much or more risk in operating a business. And, your liability policy protects you from even a misguided liability suit by providing a legal defense.
It costs an insurance company a certain amount of money to write any kind of policy, and many artists will find that it is economical to get some business property insurance at the same time. You might also consider adding some coverage for articles away from the studio such as when shipping large items or showing at art shows (called “inland marine” insurance). You can find out more information on business insurance including a listing of business insurance plans created for artists, at CERF+’s Studio Protector web site: www.studioprotector.org.
CERF+ has recently published a pocket booklet, The Business Insurance Guidebook for Artists, which is available for purchase for $3.00 including postage or for free download at: http://studioprotector.org/OnlineGuide/Safeguarding/GettingtheRightInsuranceCoverage/BusinessInsurance.aspx .
You may contact me personally if you need help finding more information:
Director of Programs
Craft Emergency Relief Fund + Artists' Emergency Resources
c/o CERF+ Tennessee Office 1305 Kingston Springs Road Kingston Springs, TN 37082 615-952-4309
CERF+ Main Office: P.O. Box 838 Montpelier, VT 05601-0838 Phone: 802-229-2306