Scottish Artists Union

Office 231
The Briggait
141 Bridgegate
Glasgow G1 5HZ

t: 0141 559 4999



Benefits & Insurance

How do I make use of my benefits?
On joining you will be sent a list of our current benefits. To take up most of these you need only show your current membership card.

Who is covered by the public liability insurance benefit?
All of our paid up members are automatically covered for public liability insurance - up to £5 million relating to their art practice. This is a policy paid for by the Union offering block cover to our members. You do not have to have an individual policy. However if you need to make a claim against this policy you do it as an individual member contacting the company and quoting your membership number. The Insurance company will then check this against our records to ensure that you are currently paid up. The SAU is not a broker, we do not deal with claims.

What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance is designed to cover businesses or an individual's practice from the threat that they will be sued by a member of the public. The basic concept of public liability is that it will cover your business in the event that it causes injury or death to a third party, or damage to a third party's property. Public liability is an essential cover that all artists need in the event that you are pursued by a third party.

The definition for public liability insurance is as follows:

The insurance of liability for accidental bodily injury or damage to the property of third parties.

Public liability insurance applies to all businesses as it is the most basic essential cover. Although it will not prevent you from being sued, it will provide the financial backing in the event that there is a claim awarded against you.

If you do not have public liability insurance and you get pursued for compensation you will be liable to pay the full amount of the claim; if you are not able to pay the compensation you could lose your business, home, and any other assets that you have.

Does the public liability insurance cover working outside my studio?
The insurance covers all spaces that you are carrying out your artistic practice in, e.g. open studio events (including your home if this is your studio base), workshops with children, art fairs, trade fairs, public installations etc. The insurance covers working in the UK and while temporarily engaged on projects internationally.

When does my public liability insurance become valid?
When you become a member of the SAU you immediately have public liability insurance. You are a valid member of the SAU as soon as your membership fee has been accepted by the SAU bank. Therefore if you require your insurance cover quickly when you join you do not have to have received your card in the post – you simply check that your membership fee has been successfully debitted from your bank account (check your bank statement).

My public liability insurance costs the earth! How can you offer it totally free?
Because we are covering a large number of people with a negotiated and defined practice (our entire membership) we can get very good discounts on the policy price.

Are there any ways of working that are not covered by the free insurance?
There are some small exceptions relating to moving performance work, heat making devices and pyrotechnics. We have discussed fully with the insurance company the varied forms of work undertaken by visual and applied artists and believe them to be fully aware of the unusual combinations of work and technical devices employed by artists. However any artist unsure whether their specific circumstances will be covered is advised to speak directly to the insurer. You will be given the contact details on request.

Does the SAU provide proof of public liability insurance cover?
In most situations, proof of SAU Membership - i.e. a valid Membership Card- combined with the information on the Insurance page in the Membership section of this website should be sufficient proof of cover. Additionally, members are issued with a policy wording and letter of assurance when the join and again as they renew their subscription. As a matter of law only the most recent issue of this letter can be sent, being reissued annually by the SAU's broker immediately after the policy's renewal on April 21st. This may make proof of cover problematic for a minority of members who either a) happen to join in the weeks immediately before, or b) enter into a work commitment that extends beyond April 21st in any given year. If any member has need of further certification to satisfy their client/employer, they should contact the SAU with the details.

Does the SAU offer any insurance other than public liability?
Yes, in the winter of 2009 the SAU launched an additional, optional policy covering members' studio contents.

Coverage under this new scheme, unlike the public liability benefit, does not come as an automatic benefit of membership. An SAU member must opt-in to the studio contents insurance, paying an additional fee that will be determined by the specific value of equipment, materials etc. they wish to insure.

By offering the new studio contents insurance benefit as an optional extra the SAU avoids an increase in membership fees for all as well as an inflexible, standardised policy.