Published on Sunday 29 November 2020

Creatives Toolbox: Public Liability Insurance

Hanging picture exhibition Adobe Stock 178075246 web

If you are an artist working in the public realm, undertaking a residency, exhibiting, or running a workshop or event it is worth considering Public Liability Insurance cover because despite all best precautions, accidents can and do happen.

Insurance is one of those things that most artists are aware of but don’t quite understand how it works or where to get it. In a nutshell Public Liability Insurance (PLI) protects professional artists and arts workers from claims made against them for bodily damage and/or property damage resulting from your artwork or space. Australia has the highest rate of civil lawsuits outside of the USA and Canada so by taking out PLI cover you are essentially protecting yourself against any risks that you may be liable for.

If you do decide to take out cover it is always advisable to explore your options and read the fine print to see what is covered and what exclusions may apply. Not all covers are alike and it is important to ensure that you have the best cover for your practice. It is also important to note that policy premiums vary depending on the amount of coverage you require and the options you choose. Some may even have attractive membership benefits such as discounts or access to member only resources.

Some other things to consider;

  • Often, a presenter (such as a venue or a festival) will require you to have PLI. Occasionally, the presenter may be able to cover you under their own PLI cover – check with them.
  • If you’re part of a group of artists, it is possible to get cover for your group. In some cases this may suit you better than everyone getting PLI individually.
  • Also worth noting, if your project is auspiced through an auspicing organisation such as Auspicious Arts your PLI will often be included in your auspice fee.
  • Lastly, be sure to check the proposed cover dates as some covers have set time frames – for example from 1 July one year until 30 June the following year. This is worth checking because it could mean if you sign up at the start of June, your cover will finish after just one month!

To help kick start your research here are a few insurance companies worth exploring;

National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)
Duck for Cover


Craft Victoria

Flying Arts Alliance Inc

Bluestone Insurance

Local Community Insurance Services

Ansvar Insurance Limited

Community Underwriting



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