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What our Nerds say about band insurance

DAN

BUSINESS NERD

Touring the nation, performing to crowds, rocking out on stage – band life can be fun. However, it can also pose risks. In many cases, you’re lugging expensive equipment from one place to another, and coming into contact with the public on a regular basis.

What if your instruments get misplaced on the road or someone in the crowd gets injured during your show?

These accidents can lead to costly bills that could cause issues for your band. That’s why, for financial protection, it may be worth considering band insurance.

What is band public liability insurance?

As a band, you’ll regularly come into contact with the public – either in the studio or on the road – which makes accidents an unwanted possibility.

Public liability insurance is an important policy to consider for your band. It can cover the cost of legal fees and compensation if you accidentally injure or kill someone, or damage or lose someone’s property.

Many venues will also require evidence that your band is covered by public liability insurance before allowing you to perform.

What other types of insurance should bands consider?

Public liability insurance is likely to be a fundamental insurance policy for most bands, but there are others you may want to consider.

Employers’ liability insurance is legally required as soon as you employ anyone in the UK other than close members of your family. This insurance provides financial support in case an employee – a hired accompanist, for example – gets injured as a result of working for you.

It can be tricky to determine whether you have employed someone to work with your band or whether they are self-employed. For example, if you employ an accompanist who regularly plays for you at rehearsals and you deduct income tax and national insurance from their salary, they would likely be deemed an employee. On the other hand, a freelance music teacher you hire may not be, and so would not be covered by employers’ liability insurance.

As a rough guide if you are not a worker’s sole source of work, or if they supply the majority of their own equipment and decide their hours of work, it’s likely they won’t be viewed as an employee. If you are in any doubt, you should confirm with your insurance provider.

Equipment insurance is another product worth considering. It could provide compensation in the event that your musical instruments or equipment are stolen, lost or damaged. Equipment cover can cover you at home, out and about, or in the studio. Some insurance providers may also compensate you for lost revenue in the event that damaged or lost equipment means you can’t perform. You should also bear in mind that there may be some stipulations – for example, if your equipment is stolen from a van that has not been properly secured, you may not be eligible for compensation.

Personal accident cover – sometimes called performance cover by specialist music insurers – can provide compensation in the event that a member of your band gets injured and, as a result, can no longer perform. Some insurers will provide cover against injury, as well as in the event of a musician losing their hearing, sight or speech. Personal accident cover could provide compensation in the form of one-off lump sums or in weekly payments. It could also provide compensation to your beneficiaries in the event of your death as a result of an accident.

Legal expenses insurance can help cover legal fees in case your band gets involved with a legal claim. For example, if your band were to become involved in a contractual dispute, this policy could help cover associated fees.

Do I need band insurance?

If you employ someone in the UK who’s not a close relative of your band members, then you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance of at least £5 million.

Now, let’s say you’re unpacking your tour van. What if a passerby trips on your guitar case and breaks an arm? Or an amp falls over and damages the venue? Or, worse still, a member of the audience is fatally injured after falling off the stage? Public liability insurance could help cover the compensation and legal fees that might arise in a claim made against you.

Your tech and instruments are vital to your performances. Equipment insurance can help with the cost of replacing stolen, damaged, or misplaced instruments and other assets.

The best way to understand what insurance you might need is to assess how the band works and where it performs to determine what risks you encounter.

What does band insurance cover?

Band insurance isn’t just one policy. It’s an ensemble of insurance products designed to protect your band in case something goes wrong.

The most common type of insurance you’re likely to find in your insurance policy is public liability, though you may require other policies, such as:

  • employers’ liability insurance
  • equipment cover
  • personal accident cover (sometimes known as performance cover)
  • legal expenses cover

Of course, you may not need each of these products and you may need additional products. For example, vehicle insurance isn’t generally included in a business insurance package, and you may need to take this out separately, and you will need to understand what type of insurance you require such as business van or business car insurance if you are regularly transporting instruments and equipment to different venues .

» MORE: What is business liability insurance?

What isn’t usually covered by band insurance?

It usually depends on the type of policies you take out. For example, if you didn’t include equipment insurance in your policy and your instruments get stolen, your band insurance won’t provide compensation to replace them.

Some band insurance policies also may not cover bands from certain genres, including punk, metal, techno, and grunge. And, you might find certain equipment insurance policies will vary depending on whether you’ve bought or rented your kit, so it’s worth checking with your provider to make sure you have adequate protection.

How much does band insurance cost?

The cost of your band insurance premium depends on different factors, including the number and type of policies you take out along with the value of your instruments and equipment. It will also likely be affected by how many people are in your band.

For example, a two-piece band playing a single instrument each is likely to pay a lower premium than a five-piece band of multi-instrumentalists.

How to choose the best band insurance policy for your needs

Once you’ve thought about the level of cover your band needs, you’ll need to find the right policy. With so many options, that can feel tricky. On this page, you can begin the process to find the right insurer.

Click 'start your quote' and follow the step-by-step process.

Band Insurance FAQs

What is public liability insurance in the music industry?

Public liability insurance protects you in case you injure or kill a member of the public, or damage or lose their property. It can help cover the legal fees and compensation costs of a claim made against you.

Do I need public liability insurance as a singer?

It’s not legally required, but you may find that venues won’t let you perform without public liability insurance cover.

Do live bands need insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance is legally required if your band employs anyone in the UK who is not a family member. It can be difficult to determine whether someone is an employee in the music world, so you should confirm with your insurance provider if you aren’t sure.

At the same time, you may find that venues and local authorities will require evidence that your band is covered by public liability insurance before allowing you to perform. It’s not legally required, but you may struggle to play shows without it in place. That’s why it’s an

What insurance do I need as a wedding band?

Many wedding venues will require evidence that you have a band public liability insurance policy in place. Not only does this insurance allow you to play at most wedding venues, it will help protect your band in case something goes wrong while you work.

About the author

Dan Barraclough
Dan is an experienced writer of B2B and B2C content, having written for start-ups, small businesses and household name brands. His specialist topics include finance, insurance and business energy. Read more
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