Best Practices: Insurance Do’s and Don’ts for Musicians

We know that we’re living in uncertain times, and I’m sure now more than ever many of you are itching to get back on the road. Live performances are the lifeblood of the music industry, and where many independent artists earn a living. So, when the world does open up again, and concert venues and festivals welcome live performers back to their stages, it would be a great idea to head back to the gig fully prepared.

That’s why we recommend taking a look at entertainer insurance for your band, for when you are able to reschedule those tour dates (and hopefully that’s sooner rather than later). Liability insurance is a topic we’ve written about before, but in this article, we want to provide a few practical tips when researching policies for the first time.


Know what your policy covers. This isn’t something to take lightly, as some insurance companies have (logical) exclusions that may specifically rule out coverage for specific incidents. It’s important to know the full scope of your policy, and what, if any, exclusions may exist in the policies you’re researching.

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In the past, we’ve seen some cases where animals that are not a part of your stage act might be outside your policy. Meaning, if you bring a pet to the festival gig to hang out backstage, and it causes bodily harm or damage to another person or property, that could be a no-no as far as your policy goes. In other words, you could be on the hook, financially, for those issues caused by Spike.

Be smart – know the full limitations of what your policy covers, so that there are no surprises when things go awry.


Don’t ignore insurance requirements set forth by events. Some festivals and outdoor performance events, and even some traditional venues, want live acts to carry insurance for their own benefit (and of course, to protect the venue – hey, self-interest and all, amiright?). Anyway, as much as we’d like you to rely on your booking agent to run through your performance contract with a fine-tooth comb, it in YOUR best interest to double check the details. If the promoter wants you to have coverage in place before you hit the stage, don’t ignore it until the day of the show.

It’s very likely they’ll pull the plug (literally) on your performance before you even sing a note. With insurance so easy to quote online now, there’s really no excuse to blow off this requirement. You can, in many cases, even get single-event coverage so you only pay for what you need.

Bottom line: don’t leave the gig empty-handed, wishing you had listened in the first place.


Shop around. There are different types of policies that cover different things and exclude different things. Most importantly, they also provide varying levels of coverage and payouts in case you’re held liable for damages or injuries. Think ahead about how much coverage you actually want, and what’s a reasonable amount of money that hospital bills, pain and suffering, etc. might amount to in case the unthinkable comes to pass.

You’re better safe than sorry, and don’t want to be holding the bag for a big financial payout when your policy could have had you covered for just this type or circumstance. Your agent will help guide you to the right policy, so get a few different quotes if you’d like, and compare what each covers, what the dollar limits are and then judge them against your specific needs.


Be afraid to ask questions. We see this a lot in the medical community – one of the biggest issues doctors bring up is that patients ask fewer questions at their annual checkups than they do about the menu when they go out to eat. Your health is important, and so is your insurance policy. ASK QUESTIONS. That’s what your agent is there for – they know this stuff inside and out, don’t just pick a policy blindly without fully understanding it.

Learn the basics of the policies that are available so you can make an informed decision; the right decision. You don’t want to leave this type of decision to chance, this isn’t as simple as spinning a globe and pointing a finger to determine your next vacation spot; this will take a real effort to get at the heart of your band’s needs, and match them up with your agent to the right plan. Failing to ask now, means the possibility for headaches later on.

So take our advice, spare yourself the trouble and get the questions out of the way NOW. There are no stupid questions, and literally no one’s expecting YOU to be an expert on this stuff. That’s why your agent is there in the first place. Let them do their job and ask away.


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 consult a professional whenever you’re in doubt. Stay safe out there and look for more tips in the months ahead.

And in the meantime, check out – you may qualify to get a quote or even purchase insurance online.

File:Crowd surfing to The Regrettes (30589332848).jpg” by David Lee from Redmond, WA, USA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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