NASAA Notes: April 2010


April issue
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April 8, 2010

Most Craft Artists Work without Insurance

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) recently released Insuring Creativity, a report based on results of a nationwide survey of craft artists. The survey revealed that nearly 69% of professional craft artists are not properly insured against an accident or disaster that might destroy their equipment, tools, supplies, or inventory. The lack of business insurance for these artists makes them financially vulnerable in the event of fire, theft or a natural disaster.

CERF has provided thousands of loans and grants to artists who have been affected by these types of disasters in recent years, and has found that most applicants are not insured or learned too late that their homeowner’s policy did not cover their business property. In fact, 27% of surveyed artists believed that their homeowner’s insurance covered their business property (excluding buildings), but further questioning revealed that a mere 5% of those artists had actually taken steps to ensure the coverage of their business property. Seventy-six percent of artists who own the building in which their business is located are under the impression that their homeowner’s insurance covers that building. However, it is estimated that only 36% of artist-owned buildings are properly insured for business use.

CERF’s findings indicate an important need to educate craft artists and artists of all kinds of the importance of insurance and the risks they face by not being insured. With 60% of respondents indicating that cost is the biggest factor preventing proper insurance, it is important that business insurance for artists is affordable and accessible. It is also critical that artists are aware that they can not assume their homeowner’s insurance will cover business losses in the event of a disaster.

In addition to looking at business insurance, the survey captured other information about craft artists.

  • Sixty-six percent of artists surveyed spend 20 hours or more per week doing work related to their craft business.
  • Eighty-five percent work alone and 13% have between one and three employees.
  • Seventy-two percent work in the home, an attached structure or a building located on the same property as their home.
  • Sixty-six percent reported gross business receipts of $25,000 or less from their craft business and 24% reported gross business receipts between $26,000 and $100,000.
  • Seventy-one percent of artists surveyed own the building in which their studio is located.

The survey was administered between February and December 2007 to members of six craft organizations: National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts, Glass Art Society, The Furniture Society, Society of North American Goldsmiths, Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America, and Surface Design Association.

The survey instrument and methodology are available for those interested in replicating the study with other artists. Please contact CERF’s Craig Nutt for further details.

If you would like to talk to a NASAA staff person about this or other surveys, contact Shannah Sphar.