Running an auction house is no easy feat. Rare books from libraries and other precious items to be sold can get lost or damaged. Bidding can get too intense and a brawl may break out between the guests. You also have to think about the possibility of theft, burglary, and social engineering.
Auction house and auctioneer insurance will protect you. Here’s a guide that will teach you why this is an important investment, how the policies included function, how much premiums cost, and which insurance company to approach.
Individuals and organizations that run auctions typically need insurance coverage to protect themselves and their businesses from financial losses due to accidents, injuries, or property damage. That can include:
Protection for the auction house's physical property, such as the building and inventory
Liability coverage for third-party and work-related accidents or injuries that occur on the property
Coverage for loss or damage to items being auctioned
Professional liability coverage for negligence, recklessness, errors, or omissions made during the auction process
Additionally, many reputable auction houses require auctioneers to have insurance in order to work with them. Some states may also require auctioneers to have certain types of insurance coverage as one of the requirements of getting a license. If you run an auction house, it's best to consult an insurance agent to determine the types of insurance coverage required for your specific business operations.
Auction house & auctioneer liability insurance can be classified as a general liability policy, product liability policy, and professional liability policy. Allow us to quickly discuss how both protect your business operations.
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$300,000/$1,000,000||$300,000/$2,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit||$100,000||$100,000||$100,000|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Can be included|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Can be included|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Can be included|
|Can you get a certificate of insurance online?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
General liability insurance is the basic coverage that an auction house can have. It protects businesses from financial loss if they are held liable for third-party property damages or injuries that occur on their property or as a result of their operations. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best general liability coverage.
Auctioneers and auction houses can use general liability insurance if a claim is filed because of the following incidents:
A bidder experiences a slip-and-fall accident
A bidder falls from the chair and sustains a hip injury
The bidder’s expensive collector’s bag, clothing, or other personal effects got damaged because of the poorly maintained environment of the auction house
Each time a claim is filed, general liability insurance can help you cover the cost for:
Covering medical treatments
Refunding or reimbursing the value of the damaged property
Covering attorney fees and other expenses for legal defense
Yes. General liability insurance for auctioneers and auction houses is underwritten as a broad-form coverage, which has the following add-ons:
Advertising injury coverage-This takes care of costs if an advertisement of your auction house damaged the reputation of another business or infringed intellectual property rights
Rented premises liability coverage-The rented premises liability inclusion of general liability insurance reimburses the losses of the landlord if a property you’re renting for an auction is damaged by fire
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Yes|
|License defense coverage included?||No||No||No|
Also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance grants protection if clients file a claim for financial losses caused by your negligence, mistakes, and oversights during the auction. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best professional liability insurance for auction houses.
Professional liability insurance kicks in if you’re held responsible for financial losses that’s caused by:
Overcharging for the properties or items you’re auction house is selling
Misrepresenting the fine details of the properties sold in your auction house
Breach of contract
Professional liability insurance can’t help out if you, in good faith, didn’t know that the auctioned item is a counterfeit. However, if it’s proven that you did so willfully and maliciously, then the coverage of this insurance won’t apply.
Professional liability insurance can cover accusations of breach of confidentiality and invasion of privacy, depending on which insurance company you purchased it from. You can also take care of claims filed for these exposures by using the advertising injury coverage of general liability insurance.
Product liability insurance will take care of the medical treatments or financial losses of customers who sustained bodily injuries or property damage due to the defects on a product they bought from your auction. This insurance is offered as part of your general liability policy. On another note, some insurance companies allow their product liability insurance to cover the extra costs of product recall.
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$300,000||$25,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$18,000||$15,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||Included|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Included|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Included|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||Excluded|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||Excluded|
Lawsuits aren’t the only reason for your business to lose a lot of money. There’s also the likelihood of the auction house getting destroyed or damaged due to human activities, accidents, and natural disasters.
Commercial property insurance is the primary protection against such undesirable events. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best commercial property insurance for auction houses.
You use commercial property insurance to recover some or all of the costs for building construction or commercial space renovation if the auction house and its storage units get damaged or destroyed by:
No. Commercial property insurance has a care, custody, and control exclusion. This means that you can’t use the policy to recover the value of items from sellers that got stolen, damaged, or destroyed while in your auction house’s storage unit.
Yes. Commercial property insurance has a contents coverage. That said, the policy will help you cover replacement costs by reimbursing the value of power generators, HVAC, and computer equipment that got damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.
|General liability aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$300,000||$300,000/$2,000,000|
|Commercial property coverage limit||$50,000||$18,000||$25,000|
|Optional policies can be added?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds for free?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
A business owner's policy (BOP) is a type of insurance package that combines several types of coverage, such as general liability and commercial property insurance, into one policy. For auction houses and auctioneers, a BOP can help save money by bundling coverage together and providing more comprehensive protection rather than purchasing separate policies for each type of coverage.
Some benefits of a BOP for auction houses and auctioneers include:
Cost savings-By bundling coverage together, a BOP can provide a more affordable option than purchasing separate policies for each type of coverage
Convenience-A BOP can make it easier to manage insurance by having all coverage under one policy
Tailored coverage-You and your agent can partner to customize a BOP to meet your specific auction-house needs, providing coverage for risks specific to their business, such as product liability and professional liability
Flexibility-A BOP can provide flexibility to adjust the coverage as the business evolves, for example, expanding the policies as the business grows
Better protection-With a BOP, you get more comprehensive coverage than purchasing separate policies, which protects the business from various risks
|Covers hired and borrowed equipment?||$3,000/$10,000||No|
|Miscellaneous equipment also covered?||$5,000/$10,000||Yes|
|Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance?||Yes||Yes|
Tools and equipment insurance will cover all kinds of equipment that’s integral to the smooth operations of your auction house. Coverage applies if property loss is caused by theft, vandalism, electrical surge, electrical shorts, and mysterious disappearance. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best tools and equipment insurance for auction houses.
Labor laws will require your auction house to give benefits in case an employee sustains a work-related injury or disease. Health insurance will do but isn’t enough. And so, you’ll need workers' compensation insurance.
By purchasing workers' compensation insurance, you ensure that authorities won’t be on your tail. If an employee sustains a work-related injury or disease, this state-mandated coverage will cover the costs for:
Rehabilitation and retraining
This insurance policy covers any vehicles used by the auction house to transport goods or any third-party property damages and injuries if your business vehicle is involved in a collision
Commercial auto insurance will also cover the medical treatment of your commercial vehicle’s driver if he gets involved in an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Insurance companies allow you to add physical damage coverage to commercial auto insurance. With this added, the policy can cover the repair or replacement of parts if your commercial vehicle is damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, and weather.
Another add-on to commercial auto insurance is trailer coverage. You can use this to cover the repair of flatbed trailers, box trailers, and other similar equipment. Coverage applies if damage or loss happens while the trailer is attached to your commercial vehicle.
Some customers who’ll join the auction might ask you to deliver products they bought through a local carrier. They can sue if the items sold get damaged or lost during the trip. And so, you’ll need cargo insurance as protection.
You can use cargo insurance to recover the value of lost or damaged cargo and refund customers in case perils such as theft, vandalism, fire, upset, and other covered perils happen. Cargo insurance is available as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to commercial property insurance.
Did you know that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses? Cyber liability insurance is very important if you run an auction website. You can use this when the sensitive information of bidders and sellers gets exposed after your site gets hacked or breached.
Cyber liability insurance will help you cover legal defense expenses if affected bidders and sellers file a claim. You can also use this to cover the amount demanded in case of cyber extortion. Most importantly, cyber liability insurance allows you to cover professional fees for data breach containment, data recovery, and public relations.
Umbrella liability insurance can provide backup funds if your cyber liability, general liability, and professional liability policies run out of money to cover a claim. For example, if a $4 million claim is filed and your general liability insurance only has $2 million, umbrella liability insurance will cover the remaining $2 million you would’ve covered using your own accounts.
The tailored insurance package for your business might also offer the following insurance policies, depending on the unique risks you face and other activities related to your auction house’s operations:
Business interruption insurance-This policy covers the auction house for any loss of income that may occur due to a covered event, such as theft, vandalism, burglary, fire, or a natural disaster.
Employee dishonesty insurance-Employee dishonesty insurance will recover the money that you will lose if an employee steals the items to be sold. Coverage also applies if forgery, fraud, social engineering, or embezzlement is committed
Fine art insurance-Fine art insurance reimburses the value of paintings, statues, and other precious items owned by your auction house in case fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered peril happens
Directors and officers liability insurance-This is useful if you own an auction house that operates as a corporation, partnership, trust, or any other business structure that needs boards and directors. Directors and officers insurance will cover legal defense, settlements, and court judgments if a board or director of your auction house is sued for misconduct, embezzlement, retaliation, negligent hiring, etc.
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Deductible|
|General liability insurance||$41||$492||$0-$500|
|Professional liability insurance||$83||$996||$500-$1,000|
|Directors and officers liability insurance||$90||$1,080||$1,000-$2,500|
|Commercial property insurance||$70||$840||$1,000-$2,500|
|Fine art insurance||$65||$780||$1,000-$2,500|
|Business owner’s policy||$110||$1,320||$500-$1,000|
|Workers compensation insurance||$95||$1,140||$2,000-$5,000|
|Commercial auto insurance||$86||$1,032||$1,000|
|Umbrella liability insurance||$50||$600||$500-$1,000|
|Cyber liability insurance||$92||$1,104||$1,000|
|Employee dishonesty insurance||$60||$720||$500-$1,000|
The average auction house & auctioneer insurance cost is $41 per month or $492 per year for a $1 million general liability policy. On the other hand, professional liability insurance is $83 per month or $996 per year. The cost of insurance for auction houses and auctioneers can vary depending on a number of factors, such as:
Size of the business
Types of goods sold
Location of the business
Number of employees
Value of inventory
In connection, here’s another table showing the cost of the $1 million general liability insurance from trusted companies:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$27||$324||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for auctioneers and auction houses|
|Tivly||$27||$324||Comparing auctioneer and auction house insurance quotes over the phone|
|CoverWallet||$31||$372||Comparing insurance quotes for auction houses and auctioneers online|
|Hiscox||$33||$396||Auction house and auctioneer insurance with worldwide coverage and automatic policy renewal|
|Chubb||$35||$420||Globally acclaimed auction houses|
|AON||$36||$432||Auctioneers and auction houses looking for an insurer with quality customer service|
Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!
Your auctioneering business faces unique risks that require insurance coverage tailored to your needs. Therefore, you should be pretty discriminative when choosing the insurance provider for your business. To save you time, here are some reviews of the best auction house & auctioneer insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and cost of a $1 million general liability policy.
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Fastest general liability insurance for auctioneers and auction houses
Great customer service and reputation
Outstanding value for money
Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies
Couldn’t find any
NEXT offers general liability, commercial property, and workers compensation insurance to auction houses in partnership with Tivly. You can also purchase commercial auto insurance from this company. But note that this will be underwritten by Progressive.
You might like NEXT because it issues an online proof of insurance quickly. Moreover, you can quickly name additional insureds to your coverage. Finally, this insurance company sees to it that your coverage limits match your risk level.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for auctioneers and auction houses
Average cost: $27 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Compare quotes online
Cancel a coverage anytime
Waiver of subrogation can be added to general liability and professional liability insurance
Easy online policy management
Operates under AON
Not an insurance company but an insurance broker
CoverWallet insures automobile auction houses, general merchandise auction houses, tobacco and cattle auction houses, art auction houses, and electronic auction houses. Your coverage from this company will consist of the following:
$1 million-$2 million general liability insurance
$1 million professional liability insurance
$50,000 commercial property insurance
Workers compensation insurance
Commercial auto insurance
Choose CoverWallet if you’re looking for variety. It’s because your insurance from this company will come from different carriers, such as Chubb, Hiscox, and Liberty Mutual.
Best for: Comparing insurance quotes for auction houses and auctioneers online
Average cost: $31 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Responsive customer service
A partner of many insurance companies
Compare quotes over the phone
Grants coverage regardless of your business profile
You need to call to get a quote
Tivly (formerly CommercialInsurance.NET) offers general liability, commercial property, business owner’s policy, commercial auto, and workers compensation insurance. You can get quotes and compare by calling a Tivly representative. What you’ll like about Tivly is that it curates your insurance package according to unique risks. Moreover, this company’s customer service is extremely responsive.
Best for: Comparing auctioneer and auction house insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $27 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Online purchasing and management
Quick and easy claims process
Automatic policy renewal
Limited distribution channels
Hiscox is a specialist insurer that provides coverage options for small and medium-sized businesses, including auction houses and auctioneers. Policies you can avail from this company are general liability, business owner’s policy, cyber liability, and professional liability insurance.
Best for: Auction house and auctioneer insurance with worldwide coverage and automatic policy renewal
Average cost: $33 per month
Our rating: 9/10
A.M Best -rated for financial stability
Wide range of coverage options
Good customer service
Limited distribution channels
Some policies have a higher minimum premium
Chubb's insurance is designed for auction houses and auctioneers of all sizes. The company can customize the insurance policy to fit the specific needs of your business. Chubb also offers worldwide coverage, which benefits auction houses operating globally.
Chubb is a large and well-established insurance company with a solid financial rating, and that's good news to customers as it means they are likely to have the resources to pay out claims.
The carrier offers a range of coverage options for auction houses and auctioneers, including general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, product liability insurance, business interruption insurance, cyber liability insurance, and directors and officers Insurance.
Best for: Globally acclaimed auction houses
Average cost: $35 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Wide range of coverage options
Knowledgeable and experienced insurance brokers
The parent company of CoverWallet
AON is a high-end insurance broker; their policies may be more expensive
AON is a leading insurance broker that provides coverage for a wide range of businesses, including auction houses and auctioneers. The company offers a range of insurance policies, including general liability, professional liability, fine art insurance, crime coverage, and commercial property insurance. One of the advantages of purchasing insurance from AON is the expertise of its representatives. They have an excellent reputation for providing quality service and guidance in finding the best coverage options for their clients. Additionally, AON's coverage options are wide and can cater to different needs.
Best for: Auctioneers and auction houses looking for an insurer with quality customer service
Average cost: $36 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!