Scottish Artists Union

Office 231
The Briggait
141 Bridgegate
Glasgow G1 5HZ

t: 0141 559 4999



Insurance Benefits

Looking for insurance? The Scottish Artists Union offers both public liability and studio contents insurance benefits to members. The public liability insurance is free and covers all members who pay the standard membership fee. The studio contents insurance is optional and occurs an additional fee that is variable according to the requirements of the member's practice. You will find the Studio insurance application forms below, along with the policy details.

All members receive written details of the public liability policy when they join.

Please read the information below and our FAQ's in full before joining the SAU or sending us a question about insurance!

For a number of years the SAU have been aware that Local Authorities and arts organisations have been placing increasing demands on artists to carry their own insurance when involved in workshops, installations, commissions and exhibitions in public spaces. Previously the host or commissioner of work dealt with this issue but now many organisations will not allow artists to work unless they have at least £5 million public liability insurance.

This insurance can be both expensive and sometimes difficult to arrange for many individual artists. Therefore the SAU - after extensive research - have secured public liability cover for all members. This policy came into operation on 1st June 2006 and is FREE to all members - there is no increase in membership fee (£35 or £2.92 by monthly direct debit) nor is any planned.

Those new to the SAU need to bear in mind that insurance cover will only commence when your membership application has been processed and your first fee reaches our bank account. This can take up to 28 days and very occasionally longer depending on the banks, public holidays etc. There is no way to expedite this process, so don't wait until a project is on top of you. Join now!

This public liability policy has been carefully created to cover the majority of needs for an artist's practice. If members require more specific insurance for their art practice (such as professional indemnity or specialised public liability) they can contact the broker directly to negotiate an economic individual quote. If members require studio contents insurance download the pdf forms at the bottom of this section and send directly to the SAU insurance broker Hencilla Canworth Ltd. In all instances when contacting the insurer please state your SAU membership number and the SAU public liability policy number.

Please note that all SAU membership benefits expire immediately when and if your membership subscription is allowed to elapse and membership cannot be back-dated.

SAU Members Public Liability Policy Summary

see below for information on Studio Insurance


Please find below details of cover provided exclusively by the SAU for their members.

This is a summary of cover only. Please refer to the policy wording (issued to members as they join) for full details of the policy cover, terms and conditions.


The insurance policy is underwritten by a consortium of insurers led by Royal & SunAlliance plc.


The policy meets the demands and needs of individual members of the SAU (the Insured) who require insurance against their legal liability for injury or damage to third parties arising from their business activities as an artist (see below).


This policy will provide you with Public / Products Liability Insurance.


The policy will be issued and renewed annually by the SAU - all members will be informed immediately if the policy is cancelled at any time in the future.


The policy is only operative whilst the individual registered member of the SAU is undertaking the preparation and public display of fine and applied arts, including exhibitions or displays involving live non-static physical performances but not the use of fire pyrotechnics or explosives.

The policy is also operative whist SAU members are undertaking: residency work and open studio events; the creation and installation of public art works (up to the point of handover); workshops, lecturing and teaching on fine and applied arts (including production of video installations).


The Insured is covered within Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and while temporarily engaged on business visits outside these territories (worldwide).


This policy provides cover in respect of legal liability for damages including legal costs for:

  • Accidental Injury to any person
  • Accidental loss or damage to third party property
  • Nuisance and trespass (excluding deliberate acts)

Happening during the period of insurance in connection with the business.

The limit of indemnity will be £5,000,000 on any one claim (any one period in respect of Products Liability).

If you work with hot equipment, please note the Heat Application clauses quoted below:

Heat Application Warranty

The Insured hereby warrants that the following special precautions will be complied with on each occasion of any work involving the use of blow lamps, blow torches, flame guns, hot air guns, electric gas or other welding equipment, or portable grinding equipment:

(i) All blow lamps, blow torches and flame guns or hot air guns are to be lit in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, not left unattended when lit and extinguished immediately after use;

(ii) The area in which the work is to be carried out (including adjoining shafts or openings and the area on the other side of any wall or partition) is to be inspected to establish whether any combustible material (other than the property to be worked upon) is in danger of ignition either directly or by conduction of heat;

(iii) Wherever practicable, all combustible material is to be removed to a distance of not less than 10 metres from the point of work and such material which cannot be removed is to be covered by overlapping sheets of non-combustible material or afforded equivalent protection;

(iv) Suitable fire extinguishing appliances are to be kept available for immediate use at the point of work;

(v) All portable grinders are to be switched on and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and switched off when unattended and immediately after use;

(vi) A person who is competent in the use of fire extinguishing appliances is to be appointed to act as a firewatcher in conjunction with the operative using the equipment and to remain in attendance until use of all such equipment has ceased and all torches have been extinguished and all portable grinders switched off*;

(vii) Wherever practicable, gas cylinders not in use are to be kept outside the building in which the work is taking place or otherwise kept at least 15 metres from the point of work;

(viii) Immediately following completion of each period of work and during the period of not less than thirty minutes following completion of each period of work, a thorough and continuous check that there is no fire or risk of fire is to be made of the whole area in which the work is to be carried out (including adjoining shafts or openings and the area on the other side of any wall or partition).

*Warranty (vi) is deemed not to apply when the Insured works alone as a sole trader.

Insured's Contribution

The Indemnity provided by section 2 is subject to an insured's contribution of £500 for all claims for damage to third party property.

Pottery Kilns/Ovens

The reference to FIRE within the business description does not include the use of pottery kilns or ovens."


If any of the points listed below are applicable to your practice or project, the SAU's Free Public Liability Insurance Benefit WILL NOT give you all the coverage you need. As stated above, individual members may be able to arrange extra coverage tailored to their needs with the broker after joining.

  • Exhibitions or displays involving the use of fire, pyrotechnics or explosives.
  • Risks that require more specific insurance i.e. Motor, Marine etc.
  • Bodily Injury to any person employed (including freelance and self employed persons under your control).
  • Damage to property in the custody or control of the Insured.
  • Pollution or contamination unless sudden and accidental.
  • Costs of repair, recall or replacement of defective products.
  • Advice, design or specification for a fee.
  • Fines and penalties.
  • The first £500 of a claim for loss / damage arising from damage to third party property.


In the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim the SAU member should contact the insurance broker directly quoting there SAU membership details. Please note that late notification can lead to claims being repudiated.


English Law will be applicable to the contract of insurance between SAU members and the insurer, unless otherwise stated in the specific Policy's terms and conditions.

The language used in the Policy and any communication relating to it will be English.


In most situations, proof of SAU Membership- i.e a valid Membership Card- combined with the information on 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 when 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 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.


SAU has negotiated with our insurance providers to offer insurance for Studios. There are two basic alternatives:

1. for Studios where the artist does not use the application of heat in any processes (other than pottery ovens or kilns)
2. for Studios where processes involving the application of heat are used.

A range of levels of cover are available under each plan. We recommend you read the documents carefully.

Applications are made directly to the insurer.

The application forms are in PDF format, you may need to install the FREE Adobe Reader application to view them. Click here to get Adobe Reader.