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Do musicians and bands have adequate insurance?

February 3, 2020

Most professional musicians know that adequate insurance is vital. It should be arranged for every gig, whether that’s a private party or a public ticketed event.

An Insure Our Event survey revealed that 50% of respondents had no event insurance cover in place. That is a particularly worrying statistic, and shows the importance of raising awareness amongst the industry.

Many unions offer basic policies as part of their membership, but musicians and performers should not be complacent. Thoroughly check your policy and make sure you are covered for the correct amount. Performers may need to take out additional insurance.

But do musicians really know what insurance they need?

Public Liability Insurance might not be enough

Many musicians know that Public Liability is often not negotiable. Most venues and event organisers will require a musician to have adequate Public Liability Insurance. If a member of the public is involved in an accident whilst at an event, Liability Insurance will cover legal fees and any compensation payout. If the accident or injury is a direct result of the musician or performer’s negligence, then it will be their liability rather than the venue’s or event organisers’ responsibility. Therefore it’s important for musicians, bands and entertainers to take out their own policy rather than rely on the venue or organiser’s insurance.

Public Liability will also cover you if you accidently damage someone else’s property or equipment, such as the venue’s sound system or lighting deck.

Don’t pay for equipment damage out of your own pocket

What happens if your equipment is lost, stolen or damaged? If the incident is not your fault, you could claim against your Event Equipment Insurance (providing you have it, that is!) This type of insurance won’t cover you for any good old rock ‘n’ roll smashing up of equipment, but it will cover you for genuine accidental damage.

Allianz reports that over 25% of musicians will have an instrument lost or stolen, costing around £650 a time. Whether you’ve had a guitar stolen from a venue, a vehicle or you’ve simply left it behind on public transport you should always have insurance cover just in case. Risk mitigation advice is simple – keep an eye on your belongings, don’t leave them unattended and make sure your instruments are kept in a case when not in use. But, unfortunately, accidents do happen and you can’t defend against every possible eventuality.

Who do you employ?

If you employ session musicians or crew, you’ll need Employers’ Liability Insurance. This means you’ll be covered if they get hurt whilst working with you and decide to sue. So, if your guitarist falls off stage because of poor risk management or your keyboard player hurts their back lifting heavy equipment, they could make a claim against you for damage and loss of earnings.

Ultimately, you have a responsibility for anyone you employ – whether they’re a temporary member of staff or a volunteer. Make sure you have adequate cover to protect your team if something does go wrong.

What happens if your event is cancelled?

If your event is cancelled for reasons beyond your control, you may be left financially out of pocket. An event could be cancelled for several reasons – perhaps the weather makes it impossible for your event to go ahead, or there is a disaster at the venue such as a broken pipe. Event Cancellation Insurance will cover you for any irrecoverable costs.

Event Cancellation premiums may be on the rise but it’s still important to be covered. You may have already booked transport, accommodation or hired equipment – all of which will still need to be paid for whether the event goes ahead or not. You should check your contract with the event organiser / venue to find out who is liable for these costs in the event of a cancellation. But, if you’re liable, you’ll need your own insurance to cover these costs.

Does Event Cancellation Insurance cover me for illness or injury?

You will need to arrange separate Personal Accident cover if you have an accident which means you can’t attend a gig. It might not cover you if you fall ill or become sick and have to cancel a gig, though. You’ll need specialist cancellation insurance for that as Event Cancellation Insurance will only cover you if the event is cancelled beyond your control. Specialist policies will cover your fixed fee if you fall unexpectedly sick or can’t make a performance.

Talk to us about your musician insurance!

The Insure Our Event team can help you arrange one-off event insurance, which can be easy and low-cost to organise. But we won’t just stop at that. Our team are experts in the industry and can provide a wide range of event advice – including helping you with your event’s risk management. Ultimately, we want to make sure your event runs smoothly and preventing ‘what ifs’ from happening is half of this battle.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help!

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