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What our Nerds say about musician insurance



Gigs can be joyous events, bringing people together in pure escapism. However, you can’t escape the fact that touring and live performances bring risks, combining stages, crowds, and expensive equipment. What if someone gets injured during your show or your gear gets stolen?

That’s why it's important to consider musicians’ insurance. It could help cover the legal fees and compensation costs when things go wrong, allowing you to perform with greater peace of mind.

You can get a quote for musicians’ insurance, whether you’re part of a group, or perform and teach on your own.

What is public liability insurance for musicians?

Public liability insurance for musicians helps protect you if someone gets injured or becomes ill, or their property gets damaged or lost, as a result of your musical projects.

For example, if a music teacher were to break their client’s guitar, or if their student were to trip over an amp cord and break an arm, public liability insurance could help cover the cost of replacing the instrument.

Overall, this insurance could help protect you against costly accidents, whether you’re a band, ensemble, DJ, solo artist, music teacher, or recording studio. And while it’s not required by law, you may find that public liability insurance is required by venues and local authorities before they’ll allow you to perform.

What other types of insurance should musicians consider?

Musician insurance is a broad term referring to different insurance products, helping to protect various aspects of your musical career. As such, it can include a range of options.

If you employ anyone in the UK who isn’t a direct family member, then you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. It can help to cover the legal and compensation costs should an employee get injured, or ill, as a result of working for you.

In the music industry, it can be difficult to legally define an ‘employee’, so it’s worth clarifying with your insurance provider if your particular situation would be covered. As a rough guide though, you are probably not a direct employer if the person you’re working with is an independent contractor who doesn’t work exclusively for you and supplies the majority of their own equipment.

It goes without saying that your instruments and equipment are essential to your music career. Business equipment insurance – sometimes known as music equipment insurance by specialist providers – can protect your instruments and tech against theft, loss and accidental damage. This product could help to cover the replacement costs.

Injured on or off stage? Personal accident insurance can provide monetary support should you become injured and unable to perform or work as a result. It could also provide compensation for your beneficiaries in the event of your death.

Legal expenses cover can provide cover should you get involved with a legal claim. For example, if your taxes are investigated, legal expense insurance could help to cover any associated costs.

Do I need musician insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance is legally required if you employ anyone in the UK who isn’t a direct family member. It provides protection if someone gets injured, or becomes ill while working for you. However, the definition of an ‘employee’ in the music industry can be tricky.

For example, freelance music teachers are not usually considered employees because they have their own resources and can choose to teach when and what they like. They are normally classed as independent contractors. In contrast, you’ll likely be deemed an employer if you set the hours, location and conditions of work for musicians to perform at your gigs and you deduct income tax and national insurance from their pay.

You can be fined £2,500 a day for not having employers’ liability insurance properly in place.

Now, let’s say a passerby trips over your equipment on the street and breaks an arm or you accidentally damage a music student’s guitar. You may consider public liability insurance to help cover any compensation and legal costs. Or, if you get injured during a live show and can’t perform or work, you may consider personal accident cover to help cover your loss of earnings.

What if the airline loses your guitar or if someone steals your mic? You’ll probably need to pay to replace them, or you’ll face time away from the stage because you can’t afford to. Music equipment insurance could help to cover the costs and help you replace or repair them.

What does musician insurance cover?

As well as public liability insurance, musicians’ insurance can also include:

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

Insurance providers will usually let you choose the products you want to include. However, there may be some policies, such as vehicle insurance, that you’ll need to take out separately.

What isn’t usually covered by musician insurance?

As a rule, what is and isn’t covered by your musician insurance policy will depend on which products you choose to buy. However, there may also be exceptions to bear in mind – for example, your equipment cover normally won’t pay out against ordinary wear and tear.

Additionally, if you use a vehicle to travel between gigs, you will need to take out motor insurance, and you may not be covered by your personal motor insurance policy. If you drive a car or van containing your equipment between gigs, for example, you may need to consider taking out business car insurance or van insurance. This will be a standalone policy through a car insurance provider.

How much does musician insurance cost?

The cost of your musicians’ insurance policy will depend on different factors, such as the number of products you take out, the cost of your equipment and the level of cover you want.

Insurers will look at the type of business you run, how many employees you have and your previous claims history. For example, a music teacher working with students one on one will have different needs to a musician performing to large crowds, and so the premiums will be different.

How to choose the right musician insurance policy for your needs

You can use the comparison tool on this page to find the best policy for your needs.

» COMPARE: Musician insurance

Musician Insurance FAQs

Do musicians need public liability insurance?

While not legally required, public liability insurance for musicians could prove valuable. If a member of the public gets injured, or even dies, as a result of your performance, public liability insurance could help cover the compensation and legal fees. Likewise, if their property is lost or damaged, your public liability cover could help to cover the cost of compensation.

» MORE: What is business liability insurance?

What insurance does a musician need?

On the other hand, while public liability insurance isn’t a legal obligation, many venues won’t let you perform without it. Also, some schools may request evidence that you’re covered before allowing you to teach music there.

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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