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This page collects questions, notes, and answers related to insurance we may need or want for the space. (Note: A lot of this page is many years old.)

Noisebridge current insurance policy[edit | edit source]

This covers 272 Capp St. We have insurance and D&O insurance through PHLY. (as of 2023)

Coverage Needed[edit | edit source]

This section describes potential scenarios and what kind of insurance may cover each scenario. Possibly we will not need to cover all scenarios. Break into sub-categories or annotate as needed (e.g. fire arts may need additional types of insurance).

  • Slip and fall: a Noisebridge member or guest slips and falls while visiting the space (or has some other kind of accident), then decides to sue. This is covered by X kind of insurance. (Fill in X). For Y coverage, a typical premium is W and the deductible is Z. (Also - if someone dies, is that covered by the same type of insurance?)
  • Burn damage: a fire breaks out and causes property damage to the Noisebridge space, possibly other spaces in the same building we do not own. This is covered by X kind of insurance. For Y coverage, a typical premium is W and the deductible is Z.
  • Misc. damage: something eats a hole in the floor, or a window breaks, or a computer emits magic smoke. This is covered by X kind of insurance. For Y coverage, a typical premium is W and the deductible is Z.
  • Electrocution, inhalation, saw oops: a member or guest injures himself/herself as part of a project. Unlike slip and fall, there is no lawsuit involved, but there are medical bills, etc. This is covered by X kind of insurance. For Y coverage, a typical premium is W and the deductible is Z. (Also - does this need to be covered by Noisebridge or is this up to the individual's health insurance only?)
  • Burglary: someone steals stuff from Noisebridge. This is covered by X kind of insurance. For Y coverage, a typical premium is W and the deductible is Z.

Org Questions[edit | edit source]

  • If several core individuals rent a space personally, can they jointly obtain insurance for the space?
  • If several core individuals rent a space personally, does one of them need to be at the space for the insurance to apply? What happens when one of the core individuals leaves Noisebridge?
  • What kinds of corporate entities can hold insurance for a space like Noisebridge? (e.g. non-profit corp, for-profit corp, limited liability partnership, limited liability corporation) Are there monetary benefits to having a corporate entity take out the insurance vs. several core individuals (i.e. will insurance companies give us a better rate) ?
  • What insurance should we ask if the landlord holds when leasing commercial space?

Underwriter Paragraph[edit | edit source]

Insurance underwriters will want a single paragraph from us describing what it is we do. Here is a stab at it. Please edit to size. Include more rather than less. If they tell us it's too expensive we can scale back later.

01/22/08 - this is what we've sent to "Andrew" from Bonafide:

Noisebridge is a membership organization that offers work space and storage for use by members and their guests to pursue projects related to art and technology. Member projects may include electronics assembly, soldering, small amounts of painting and epoxy, optical imaging (photography/video), electronic music, and computer programming. Noisebridge provides supplies and electronic parts, such as resistors, wire, and breadboards, purchased in bulk with membership fees. Through talks, workshops, and projects people work on together, we encourage knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring in a safe, clean space.

Insurance Agents and Contacts[edit | edit source]

This section contains links to agents or other sources that may offer information or quotes. Reports of quotes and discussions may go here as well.

  • General page on nonprofit insurance needs. Scary scenarios.
  • - request for quote filed on 8/10/08
  • The Novick Group. Contacted, wants $250 for application, $250 for insurance quote. Sent forms for property and D&O to fill out. Account executive is Michelle Brown.
  • Philadelphia Insurance Companies Nonprofit Insurance. Needs completed forms+photos of space+brochures or other info about noisebridge+loss record.
  • CAN Insurance Services. Specializes in CA nonprofits. Contacted via web form for quote on 4/10/08. Claims response within 3 working days.
  • Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California. Specializes in 501c3 nonprofits. Contacted via web form for quote on 4/10/08.
    • Referred to Bill Bergstrom at Pennbrook/CAIB Insurance Services, (800) 652-1513 or . Contacted via e-mail on 4/10/08
  • Insurance for Techs ( Company specializing in liability insurance for small tech companies. Aimed at for-profit concerns, has some explanation of different insurance types.
  • Bonafide Insurance (Hartford affiliate). Called 22/01/08 around 2:30. Spoke with "Andrew", who took some info and promised to call back on 23/01/08. Andrew advised that insurance underwriters will want a single paragraph from us specifying what it is we do and asked that we send him such a paragraph. This paragraph will be used to classify Noisebridge for insurance purposes. Ask DavidMolnar for Andrew's personal contact, office number is (415) 386-3636.

Spoke with "Greg" about partnership vs. LLC/corp vs. nonprofit. Short answer is they can write policy regardless of structure, but nonprofits have different underwriters than for-profit. Cost may be slightly different (higher) for nonprofit, but not enough to weigh against nonprofit.

We now have an insurance questionnaire to fill out and return, see:

They understand we have not found a space yet, we are asked to just fill out whatever we can.

28/02/08: Spoke with "Paul" from Bonafide Insurance. Paul explained we can't get a firm quote until we have a space, but the range will likely be $500-$2500 per year. That covers basic stuff, including public lectures during the day. If we want to hold fundraising parties where we invite people to come pay $10 or whatever, that will require additional one-off special event insurance, which they can also do. They have worked with artist spaces in the past (including artists with glassblowing ovens, etc) and are happy to work with us to get a good quote once we get a space.

  • J.B. Shea (415) 661-4777. Left message for "Jack" on 22/01/08
  • HRH Insurance (415) 835-1000. Affiliate of Firemans Fund, which offers an art studio insurance program. Left message on 22/01/08
  • Roanoke Insurance - does shipping firms only, does not do small business.
  • Allstate Agent M. Mahoney - left message 22/01/08 Message returned 25/01/08 referring us to different agent in the same agency.
  • Carpenter and Moore - (415) 243-2301 . Spoke with Carrina Williams. They specialize in wrongful act insurance for officers and directors of nonprofits. Sounds like we don't need this. Suggested we speak with a large insurer like AAA, Allstate, etc.
  • Sweet and Baker - (415) 512-2100. Hartford affiliate. Left message 22/01/08
  • Miwaki, Imai, and Fujita - (415) 247-1610. Spoke with "Pauline" on 22/01/08. Wanted to know approx ZIP code,

approx sq. ft. (told her 1200-1400), and wanted to see a web site. Asked if we would be storing members' laptops overnight. Asked what kind of electronics equipment we wanted insured against theft. We briefly talked about partnership vs. nonprofit corp -- it does not make a difference to their rates, but because we are a new business their underwriter is going to take a close look at us, esp. if we are a formal non-profit. Promised to get back to us with more information on 23/01/08.

Pauline did get back to us. Wanted URL for Noise Bridge - gave her wiki URL. Heard back on 28/01/08:

"Thanks for the information. I did forward to the company. Unfortunately Hartford has just replied the following to me: “upon further review of the website we would not be a market for this risk due to the type of projects the insured and members are involved in.”

I am hoping that you have requested quotes from other agency that have different carriers. If you like I can try one more carrier and based on your website see if this is a risk that they will write. Let me know. Thank you for contacting our agency and I am sorry that Hartford will not be able to write. If I can be of further assistance please let me know."

Have asked Pauline to query the additional carrier. Have also asked for clarification on what specifically Hartford had an issue with. Response on 30/01/08:

"In answer to your question as to why Hartford declined to write: “we would not be a market for this risk due to type of products the insured and members are involved in. Currently have workshops on brain machine, robotics and security”"

Pauline has found another company and has asked us for the info below to get a quote. On 29/2/08, Pauline responded saying that a ballpark figure for budgeting purposes would be $1000, but cautioning that this number could change depending on location and other factors.

Name of business


Square footage

Construction type of building (frame, concrete, brick, etc)

Year built


Fire alarm, security system

  1. of stories

Years in business

Amount of business personal property coverage you want??

This company would like to know the following: how many members do you anticipate

               How much Membership “dues” 
               Is the workshop only for members (or open to public)
               Will you have public showings – if yes, will you be “selling”  anything??
               If yes, estimate of sales????
  • Pauline contacte on 10/6/08 - wanted building information, will submit an application today.
  • Diane McCullagh, Allstate agent - (415) 759-3800. "This number is busy or out of service."

Example Quote[edit | edit source]

Commercial General Liability Quote Example from "The Hartford"

  • $1,000,000 General Liability per Occurrence
  • $2,000,000 General Liability Annual Aggregate
  • $1,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury per Occurrence
  • $2,000,000 Products Completed Operations Aggregate
  • $300,000 Fire Damage Legal
  • $10,000 Medical

Property Coverage: ( This coverage protects your business assets in the event of theft, fire, etc. and is included in the quote.

  • $20,000 Business Property
  • $50,000 Business Computer & Media
  • $5,000 Laptop Computer - World-Wide

You have requested $10,000 in computer coverage. A package endorsement has been added to provide this coverage for the optimal price/value. To see a summary of all property coverage, including computers and media, visit (

  • $1,000 Property Claim Deductible
  • $1,225.00 Annual Premium