Insurance for Illustrators

Many people are comfortable with getting insurance for our homes, car and travel – but it’s also important to consider insurance for your professional work too. There are various types of insurance that an illustrator might consider getting- and we’ll outline them below.

[hidden title="Introduction"]

You can buy insurance, usually lasting a year, by paying a premium (a fee) from insurance companies or insurance brokers. It is worth doing some research to find the insurance best suited to your needs and budget. Your insurance will be detailed in a policy which lists in detail what is covered – make sure you read this thoroughly!


[hidden title="Public Liability Insurance"]

Public Liability Insurance only really applies if you are working directly with the public. It covers you should you be sued for causing injury to a third party or causing damage to a third party as a result of your negligence in the course of your business. You might want to consider getting Public Liability Insurance if you have a studio which members of the public can visit, if you do live drawing events or hold workshops.

You will often be asked to have Public Liability Insurance to use a venue, or undertake certain work.

You would normally pick limits of £1 million, £2 million or £5 Million. While this may seem a lot, a very simple injury can incur very high legal and medical fees.


[hidden title="Professional Indemnity Insurance"]

In very simple terms, professional indemnity covers you for mistakes, or an allegation you’ve made a mistake.

Professional indemnity provides:

  • Compensation to your client (or a third-party) in circumstances where you are liable due to professional negligence
  • Defence costs, to defend you against un-justified allegations of negligence

A comprehensive policy should be what is known as full civil liability.  A civil liability is any liability for which you are responsible that is not a criminal liability. It covers any civil liability unless it is specifically excluded on the policy. It covers many areas – but perhaps most importantly for illustrators is the cover afforded for intellectual property, that is defined as follows:

  • intellectual property infringement (but not any patent infringement or trade secret misappropriation), including but not limited to copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, trade dress infringement, publicity rights violations, cyber squatting violations, moral rights violations, any act of passing-off, or any misappropriation of formats, characters, trade names, character names, titles, plots, musical compositions, voices, slogans, graphic material, or artwork.

Some of the other areas Professional Indemnity Insurance covers are:

a. Breach of confidentiality
b. Defamation (i.e. damage to someone’s reputation)
c. Breach of a licence you have acquired to use a third party’s trademark and/or copyrighted material
d. Unintentional breach of a written contract
e. Negligent misstatement or negligent misrepresentation.  Misstatement / misrepresentation, is sort of what it says on the tin. For example over promising, misstating your service/quality, misstatement when you deliver, misrepresenting your experience or service, or that of a competitor.
f. Dishonesty of your individual partners, directors, employees or self employed freelancers directly contracted to you and under your supervision.


[hidden title="Employers Liability"]

Its is a legal requirement to have Employers Liability for anyone you legally/contractually employ. An employee can include such people as labour only subcontractors, assistants, freelancers, models, friends/family, volunteers and work experience people etc.

It is normally a Standard limit of £10,000,000 (with a minimum amount of cover provided by the policy of no less than £5,000,000)


This resource has been compiled by Williamson Carson, insurance brokers specialising in creative industries. It has been through due diligence, but it is emphasised that no responsibility can be taken by the writer for any action made or not made as a result of the contents.



AOI Directories Listing contacts for 250+ UK Commissioners across three sectors. Buy now!
AOI members! Book your 1-1 Portfolio Consultation today!
Guide to Law & Business book
"An essential guide for all practicing illustrators" Purchase today!
Get seen by commissioners with a 20 image Folio.


Join our mailing list to get the latest news.