Though it may not be something that you have considered as an independent artist, general liability insurance is an incredibly valuable asset. While a company will likely have some resources at its disposal should a legal situation arise, for an individual there is little more than your savings account standing between you and an insurance claim.
This insurance covers you for two things: 1) damage to a location and 2) injury to an uninvolved bystander. It does not cover injury to your employees or your volunteers, or damage to your company property.
Some possible scenarios:
- You install a painting in the lobby of a public building, and an individual walking past is so distracted by it that he trips on the curb and sprains his ankle. He then sues you for medical expenses.
- One of your assistants accidentally puts a hammer through the wall of a gallery while helping with an installation. The gallery requires you to pay for the damages.
When do you actually need it? Most locations and galleries will not include you in their liability insurance coverage: instead, they will require that you show a certificate of insurance with them listed as additional insured as proof of your own coverage. Even if no one is currently requesting that you carry this insurance, it is an incredibly valuable thing to have: spending $500 on a policy now is much better than a $500,000 claim in the future.
Since this is a solo operation, I don't have anyone I pay but I do shamelessly nag my friends to help me put up my shows. Done under duress or not, that's still considered volunteering. Do them a favor. Volunteer Accident
Luckily I have enough work that I can actually pay my assistants. Nice job! Workers' Compensation