Don’t Touch The Artwork

February 27, 2023

Is your artwork covered by insurance? If not or you’ve never considered it, now is the time. Drama rocked the art news world last week of Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog being smashed to smithereens after being accidentally knocked over by an attendee at the Wynwood Contemporary Art Fair in Miami. I’m a big Koons fan, as I have shared in a previous post, so I was sad to hear of the accident. It was reported that the lady who knocked it over merely tapped the artwork sending it hurtling to the floor.

While I’m sure mortifying panic set in quickly for the art lover whose curiosity got the better of them, reports suggest that fears were quickly allayed by the organisers as the piece was covered by insurance for the full $42,000 value.

Incidents like this are not the reserve of top of the market artworks. If you exhibit your work in any capacity it is exposed to loss and damage so it’s best to have it covered by a relevant insurance policy.

Here are three scenarios where having your artwork insured will protect you:

Art Fair/Market

Art fairs and markets are busy places. Crowds might come in waves or be a constant depending on the event. It’s impossible for you to keep your eye on your entire collection at all times. While you are busy chatting to a buyer others can come along and get too close to the work or manhandle smaller pieces leading to damage. Likewise, one person accidentally bumps into another sending a shoulder or elbow straight through a painting. It’s best to have an insurance policy in place for fairs and markets that will cover possible damage like this.


Leaving your precious pieces at the mercy of carriers is a risky business. Sturdy packaging is a super protective measure but it’s not a guarantee that the work won’t be damaged on the journey. Another issue can be the work getting lost in transit. It can be tempting to save on the parcel insurance but it’s a false economy for peace of mind and worst case scenarios. Always insure artworks that you are shipping to customers near and far.

Exhibition Venues

Whether it’s a gallery, arts centre, local library or café when you make an agreement to exhibit your work in a venue, check the level of insurance that they will cover. Don’t assume that your work is covered by their insurance. If it is not or there is a gap in the insurance they offer, for example they might insure against damage but not theft, make sure your policy will fill it.

Don’t get Koonsed, get covered!! 😊 Before you exhibit your art, ask yourself if your artwork should be covered by insurance

Want more art business tips like this?? Join me in Thursday 9th March for a the jam packed masterclass 5 Things You Need To Know To Run An Art Business. Learn the 5 most important aspects of art business so that you can feel in control, less confused, more intentional and make more sales. Book you spot HERE

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