Introducing - Janis Carlson

Name: Janis Carlson
Email: @ARTnSOUL3
Address: Art & Soul Studios
PO Box 2025-467
17300 E. 17th St.
Tustin, CA 92780-2025

Hello all,

This is the second time I’ve subscribed to this list - couldn’t
keep up with it a couple years back, and then I thought it wasn’t
available for awhile…so I’m glad I can receive it again. I
have a small jewelry business in Southern California - mainly
working with sterling/stones /glass. I have an interest in glass
fusing, and am also working on a non-jewelry related business at
the moment - so I haven’t been particularly productive lately

I’m attempting to go back through the archives on this subject,
but I wondered about leasing commercial studio space in an
industrial park. I called an independent insurance agent
regarding coverage, and after explaining that I would be using a
torch, oxy-acetylene, kilns, chemicals, etc., she told me that
those are big red flags to insurance companies - and if she were
to write a policy, she would try to get around it by wording it
so as not to alert them. The other choice, I suppose, was to pay
a much higher than the basic premises liability premium.

Now, insurance is definitely not something I know a lot about
- but I’m not comfortable with the risk of something
happening involving the above equipment, and finding out that she
has misled them by writing the policy in a roundabout manner -
and I’m not covered and/or, even worse…liable for
injury/damage to persons or property. She’s just the first agent
I’ve contacted, but it just got me thinking about all of this. I
was also planning on contacting the fire department to find out
what kind of regulations I need to follow regarding storage of
the gases, chemicals, wiring for the kilns, etc.

Have any of your dealt with this issue, and have found a
reasonable way to handle it?



Janis - you are right to be concerned about possibly misleading
the insurance carrier about the presence of volatile materials.
They could deny payment of any claim if it were obvious that
such materials caused a loss and were not declared to be on the
premises. This is not intended to be legal advice - just
knowlede gleaned over the years. I would certainly check with
other carriers and other metalsmiths, as you are doing.

Janis, welcome back. Re your insurance problem on space in an
industrial park: 1) does the space have overhead sprinkler
system or other automatic fire control system? 2) are commercial
fire extinguishers readily available to you in the space? 3) do
you have a well placed water line or lines where you could have a
hose permanently connected for (primitive) fire control? As you
mentioned, most insurance companies are afraid of the “fire
bugaboo” in businesses that use the tools etc., stated–try
calling an insurance company directly, rather than going thru an
agent–explain what you want to do, what fire protection is
available or can be made available in the space. Investigate
what other types of businesses are in the complex–i.e., auto
shops? printing shops?–that would need to have good fire
protection (print shops especially, with paper and chemical
storage, inks–solutions for cleaning presses, etc.) and talk to
them about their insurance coverage–have all this infor
available when you talk to the Company (and I stress company, NOT
an agent!). If the company is willing to cover you for a
reasonable premium, they may be able to write a direct policy (no
agent involved) or, if not, can refer you to one of their agency
representatives. And always, always–get the name/title of the
person you talk with, so you can quote them to the agency!
(This, after 40 years in various jobs, ranging from typesetting
for a printer, to assisting my husband place business in our
ins. agency to working for fed. govt.–always get the name!).
Good luck on getting coverage–it is out there; unfortunately,
it’s been 20+ years since I was in the business so can’t offer
specific companies to you for contact. Sharon Holt