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With the world of touring and live gigs at a standstill for the past few months, you may be forgiven for not giving your stage show much thought lately. That said, now might be the best time to start planning for the months ahead. There seem to be some promising vaccines in development, and a new administration poised to take control of the pandemic response in the new year.
So, it is entirely feasible that regular live shows may return in 2021. And if they do, you’d be best served to have your stage show dusted off and ready to go at a moment’s notice. So, how do you know, exactly, if you’re ready for liability insurance for your band or performance group?
For starters, you’ve really got to know if you even qualify for an insurance policy before you know if you’re ready. Let’s start with the basics. Most policies will require you to be at least 18 years old, since…well, you need to be of legal age to sign a legally binding contract in most places. So if you’re in a high school band, or have underage band members, you may not be able to qualify just yet. At least one of you will need to be 18, at a minimum.▼ Article continues below ▼
Second, there may be a limit on the number of group members and there may be eligibility requirements with your policyholder. Typically, super-large groups will need a specialty policy (we’re talking dozens of members, like big choirs and stage shows, etc.) and you may find yourself ineligible for coverage if you, say, have animals as part of your act, regularly engage in mosh pits, or are implicated in sexual harassment or abuse claims.
So if you’re wondering if you’re ready for liability insurance for your music project, know what the prerequisites are before seeking coverage. Now, if you are good to go and don’t tick any of the “no-no” boxes, continue on.
This may be obvious, but if you’re playing more and more events that ask its performers to carry liability insurance, that’s a pretty darn good hint it’s time to get a more comprehensive policy than the one-off event protections you may have skated by with in the past. For starters, it could be less costly in the long run, and provide better coverage as you venture out on the road in the future.
For super-small hometown gatherings and coffee-house type gigs, you may not really need liability insurance. You’ll need to make that determination for yourself, weighing the benefits against the risk that something unexpected might happen. In reality, a solo acoustic coffeehouse gig is probably an event that you could get away with, without having insurance.
But, once you start venturing further from home, routing a tour or playing larger festivals and concerts with more than just a handful or people and a barista, that’s when the risk factors start to multiply, and when you’re likely ready to investigate your liability insurance options. Don’t wait until you’ve already mapped out and booked the tour and gassed up the van. Get this done head of time, before you hit the road, and you’ll sleep better at night (well, as good as you can sleep on the road, anyway).
Even if you haven’t planned that massive multi-state tour yet in support of your forthcoming album, having an insurance policy in place is one more thing to check off the to-do list when it comes to impressing potential talent buyers and venue/event promoters. Having a great stage show, songs, good representation pitching you, and all of your insurance needs locked in when you’re in the booking phase can make you seem like a more attractive booking prospect when compared to other acts who don’t have their, well…act together, for lack of a better word.
If all of the above seems to apply to you, and you think you might be ready to start getting quotes and seeing what coverage options make sense for you, you may be left wondering, ‘Hey, don’t the venues I’m performing at have insurance already?’
And you’d likely be right. In order to operate in most locations, venues, festivals and live event producers must have their own insurance policies in place to get a show off the ground. But the key phrase here is ‘their own’ policy, not YOURS. Yeah, their policy might protect THEM if someone in the crowd is injured during your show, but what’s going to protect YOU? It’s not unthinkable that an injured party may go after the venue, the promoter, the sponsors and the artist if something tragic were to occur. That’s why it’s important that EVERYONE involved is covered. So don’t think just because a venue has their own insurance policy, that you’re not ready (or in need) of one of your own.
You’ve heard us repeat it a million times, but to be sure, always check over your insurance policy and ask your provider to answer any questions you may have. They have the answers, trust us. The best policy (no pun intended) is to consult a professional whenever you’re in doubt. Stay safe out there and look for more tips in the months ahead.
The world might be scary right now but being caught flat-footed could be even scarier should an unexpected problem arise.
And in the meantime, check out www.kandkinsurance.com – you may qualify to get a quote or even purchase insurance online.
Photo credit: “Live music does wonders” by illusionbreak is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0