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Museum and Cultural Institutions

The Museums and Cultural Institutions Umbrella insurance program was built on similar principles as our bespoke Real Estate Umbrella: to offer higher limits, broader coverage, and competitive pricing.

In addition to providing a high-limit Umbrella insurance for Museums and Cultural Institutions, our program includes Excess Directors and Officers Liability coverage, a distinctive feature in the market. Our Umbrella’s unique design gives Museums and Cultural Institutions the opportunity to significantly increase an entity’s primary D&O coverage along with other key underlying Liability policies.  

  • Designed specifically for museums and cultural institutions and theaters
  • Limits from $1 million to $180 million
  • No shared limits
  • Admitted, A.M. Best A rated carriers
  • Superior level of claims service and support
  • Competitive pricing and low minimum premiums
  • Specialized pricing for American Association of Museums members and accredited museums

For-profit and not-for-profit institutions nationwide including, but not limited to:

  • Aquariums
  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Art Galleries
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Children
  • History
  • Libraries/Athenaeums
  • Military & War
  • Museums with Traveling Exhibits
  • Natural History
  • Open-Air Museums
  • Science
  • Space
  • Specialized 
  • Theaters

  • $1,000,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $3,000,000
  • $4,000,000
  • $5,000,000
  • $10,000,000
  • $25,000,000
  • $50,000,000
  • $100,000,000
  • $180,000,000

  • Directors & Officers (D&O) Not-For-Profit, including Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) when included in the primary D&O
  • No Assault & Battery Exclusion
  • No Sexual Abuse & Molestation Exclusion (dependent upon whether underlying coverage meets carrier’s underwriting requirements)
  • Incidental Foreign Coverage (for qualifying risks)
  • Special Events Coverage (for qualifying risks)
  • Terrorism Protection
  • Crisis Response Coverage
  • Unintentional Errors or Omissions
  • Broad Named Insured Limitation of Coverage to Specified Locations – Newly acquired locations must be reported to and accepted by the company within 90 days
  • No Self-Insured Retention
  • Per Location Aggregate (subject to underlying)

  • Advertising Injury
  • Auto Liability
  • Bodily Injury & Property Damage
  • Contractual Liability
  • Directors & Officers Liability
  • Discrimination
  • Employee Benefit Liability
  • Liquor Liability (including host) for qualifying risks
  • Personal Injury
  • Punitive or Exemplary Damages (except those related to a certified act of terrorism)

General Liability (higher underlying limits may be required based on territory)   $1,000,000 Occurrence
$2,000,000 General Aggregate
$1,000,000 Products Completed Ops Aggregate
$1,000,000 Personal Injury/Advertising Injury
Automobile Liability $1,000,000 Combined Single Limit
Garage Keepers Legal Liability (If applicable) $1,000,000 Occurrence
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Employer’s Liability (If applicable) $500,000 Each Accident
$500,000 Each Employee - Disease
$500,000 Policy Limit - Disease
Employee Benefits Liability (If applicable) $1,000,000 Each Claim
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Directors & Officers Liability (If applicable) $1,000,000 Each Claim (indemnity)
$1,000,000 Each Claim (defense)
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Liquor Liability (If applicable) $1,000,000 Each Common Cause
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Foreign Liability (If applicable) $1,000,000 Each Occurrence
$1,000,000 Aggregate
Sexual Misconduct or Sexual/Physical Abuse & Molestation Liability, not included within the Commercial General Liability Limits (if applicable) $1,000,000 Each Claim
$1,000,000 Aggregate

All primary insurers must have an A.M. Best rating of A-VI or better. However, we will provide coverage over Employers Liability placed with certified state funds and/or carriers with an A.M. Best Rating of B++ VI or better. The coverage information outlined here is a guideline only. Please refer to the actual policies for full terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations. 

All carriers are A.M. Best rated A or better.

To obtain a quote:

Download our application and email completed form to your sales executive. Find your sales executive.

Please include the Named Insured and Effective Date in the subject line of your e-mail.

Your risk will immediately be reviewed for accuracy and eligibility, at which time you will be contacted by a representative from Distinguished Programs.


Museums and cultural institutions are important pillars in communities across the country. As such, it’s critical when insuring these institutions that customized insurance and risk management programs are secured. The essential underlying Liability coverages required to address the various exposures of museums and cultural institutions include General Liability, Directors & Officers Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Liquor Liability and a host of other coverages depending on the types of events and services provided. For example, Garage Keepers Liability should be included in the program when there is parking available at the institution. Also important is securing Sexual Misconduct or Sexual/Physical Abuse & Molestation as part of the General Liability coverage or as a separate coverage, particularly for organizations with children’s programs.

In addition to having a strong suite of Liability coverages, securing Umbrella insurance is a must in adequately protecting a museum or cultural institution and its management in the event of a catastrophic loss. Oftentimes the limits in an underlying policy are not enough to cover the legal costs, settlements and or judgments involved in a serious accident on the premises or a breach of fiduciary responsibility by a director or officer that results in a lawsuit.

For example, among the most common claims for museums and cultural institutions are slips and falls, which can result in significant costs depending on the extent of the injury and the age of the injured of party and his or her potential loss of income.

In addition, non-profit organizations and their board members today commonly face lawsuits for an extended list of alleged wrongdoings, including discrimination (age, race, gender) harassment, wrongful termination of employees, inefficient administration or supervision, waste of assets, misleading reports or other misrepresentations, libel and slander, failure to deliver services, or acts beyond the granted authority. Lawsuits can be filed by outsiders, which comprise of third parties such as vendors, funders and other nonprofits that have a relationship with the institution and allege harm caused by it and/or its directors, officers or employees; directors who may sue another board member alleging violation of a duty owed to the nonprofit; beneficiaries; donors; and government officials.

For example, a recent claim involved a donor who filed a lawsuit against a non-profit art gallery, alleging that the significant funds he donated were not used as he specifically requested. The executive director and board of trustees of the gallery allocated the funds instead to expand the building. The donor’s lawsuit alleged misappropriation of funds and a settlement was reached for more than $3 million. The defense costs alone surpassed $100,000. A D&O policy with limits of $1 million would not have provided sufficient funds for the art gallery to cover the $3 million settlement. However, if Excess D&O coverage were included in an Umbrella, the limits would be extended up to the amount purchased under the Umbrella policy.

Be sure when discussing your client’s museum and cultural institution insurance program, you address having Umbrella coverage with appropriate limits along with the inclusion of Excess D&O insurance. Also, a high-limit Umbrella policy with crisis response coverage provides the sound risk management solution institutions require in today’s litigious environment to help them mitigate and weather negative publicity in the aftermath of a loss.

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