How to Insure Your Glass Artwork?

How to Insure Your Glass Artwork?

Nancy Gong, Glass Artist > News & Blog > Art Glass > How to Insure Your Glass Artwork?

Nancy Gong Art Glass "Genesee River Watershed"

So you’ve commissioned beautiful stained glass or architectural art glass for your home, office, institution or community. You are enjoying living and working with it, and so is everyone else. Life is good. Unfortunately, accidents are a part of life. 

If an accident happens, how do you know if your glass artwork is properly insured?

It is not something that happens frequently. In my forty-plus years as a Glass Artist, I encountered it less than a handful of times. Nevertheless, when accidents do happen and your one-of-a-kind glass art is damaged or broken, will it be properly covered by the insurance?

In most cases the damage to your glass artwork won’t be due to the artist’s workmanship, you will file a claim with your insurance company thinking that you are covered. Wrong!

Even if you have a great relationship with your insurance provider, they will only cover the cost of ordinary window glass as raw material, (the artistic sheet glass or formed glass used to make a stained glass panel, kiln formed glass or other specialty glass will not be covered).

Unless you properly specify that your “panel of glass” is indeed glass art, the insurance company will not count it as such, and therefore will not reimburse its full value. 

When it comes to placing value on glass art, the cost of the raw material is significantly more than the cost of window glass, yet it still does not come close to the value of the expertise required to design, fabricate and install your glass art. 

How to insure your glass artwork?

Once your new glass artwork is installed in your home, office, or business, contact your insurance agent immediately.

Getting your glass artwork or glass installation properly insured will often depend on its value. 

From my experience, if it is a glass installation, your insurance agent may ask for an appraisal. Unlike raw building materials, there is no set square footage price for stained glass, glass artwork or architectural art glass. This is due to there being too many variables:

  • Handmade sheet glass has a wide price range and is more expensive than machine-rolled glass.
  • Colors like pink, orange and red are more expensive than pale colors. 
  • Artistic processes vary in the amount of time required to achieve the visual goal, uniqueness of a design, level of detail and quality of craftsmanship.
  • Logistics of the installation such as the need for scaffolding or union labor.

Many times, an appraisal from the artist who can show they’ve made and sold similar works, will provide enough sufficient information for the underwriter. In some instances, you will need to find a separate appraiser.

How to find the right appraiser for your glass artwork?

If you have a very unique glass artwork, which uses materials and techniques that are not common, or familiar to the appraisers, you may be required to look for a more specialized appraiser. 

In order to receive an accurate appraisal for your glass artwork, you want to find someone who is knowledgeable in the field and can properly identify the materials and techniques used to make the work of art. 

It is also important to find an appraiser who is familiar with the region where your art installation is located to better understand the value of the artwork. 

You can also ask the artist who created the glass artwork to recommend a knowledgeable appraiser that is familiar with the type of artwork to be appraised. 

Enjoy your glass artwork for years to come. The cost to insure your artwork is surprisingly reasonable.

Commissioned glass artwork can infuse your home, work space or organization with joy, beauty, color and intention. With proper care, it can be appreciated for the generations to come. 

One of the best ways you can care for your new stained glass or glass art installation is to make sure that it is properly insured for the value that it is worth.