10 years ago being asked for insurance when hiring performers at a wedding, event or party was pretty much unheard of. It simply wasn’t a thing. But in today's litigious society it has become pretty commonplace that a venue will require almost any outside vendor, including live performers and DJs, to provide a policy naming the facility as co-insured against any damage or injury. Of course there is a higher chance of an over-enthusiastic guest damaging the music gear than one of the players injuring anyone at the party, but so it goes when one is on the performing end at an event.
So if you are having a wedding, where do you start to be sure that the band or DJ you hire (or any other event professional for that matter) has the proper insurance with limits that will meet the requirements of your venue? It is a fact that many bands simply don’t have such coverage. Their personal insurance, homeowners or auto, of course would specifically not cover such things as they are professional services. While bands or DJs are of course businesses, they are most often simply set up in a way that is too casual to have a business insurance policy as many brick and mortar organizations would.
That does not mean that it cannot be addressed though for the 98% of entertainers who cannot or do not carry insurance because of the high cost of yearly premiums. Many if not most, event and wedding venues now require performers or the client who has hired the venue to carry a policy which will include a certificate naming the specific venue as an “additional insured”. What does additional insured even mean and what would it cover? A great explanation of the concept and typical coverage of such a certificate is explained on the Insureon web site.
So What Are the Options?
One easy way is to go book through a talent buying service such as www.GigRoster.com which can easily have all bases covered. At GigRoster, any act booked through the service is eligible for a certificate of co-insurance at no additional cost. This is a terrific feature for our artists and clients since it will not add an additional fee to the cost of the entertainment, especially given that insurance in no way contributes to the entertainment value at the event. While requiring that the act be booked through GigRoster, for the same cost it comes with the added advantage of a coordinator to handle all the many details of the performance, in addition to insurance needs, making it a pretty tidy solution. Booking every act through GigRoster is obviously not always possible, so let us look at a few more solutions.
From the standpoint of the person planning the event, there are a number of sources where any person planning an event can purchase insurance to cover anything from a wedding to a party to a concert. Prices on sites like Event Helper typically ranging from $125-$250.00 for a one day insurance policy with 200 guests, depending on the type of event and the sorts of vendors that will be participating. This covers the whole event, not just the entertainment. There are any number of other online event insurance agencies, as it has become quite an industry of growth in today’s business environment. Just a few include Eventsured, Event Insurance Now , Progressive, WedSafe and many more. Shop around for the one that best fits your situation and needs.
From the performers side, where a band, DJ or ensemble is required to provide their own insurance in order to be allowed to perform, there are services like Insurance Canopy where prices start at $59.00 for a basic single day policy that should cover the requirements of most venues and events. An important note for performers who are quoting clients for a certain gig; be sure to ask in advance if the client or their venue requires liability insurance to be provided by the performer. It is discouraging to book a gig at perhaps a good price for the client and then find out you’ll need to eat the cost of the insurance that was sprung on you later. If it is required, include it in the quote to the client or consider putting a clause in your booking agreement that any required insurance costs for the performance will be the responsibility of the client, since often they don’t tell you or may not know about the requirement at the time they book you. Some the many other companies that provide performers insurance include: Specialty Insurance, K&K Insurance and Prime Insurance among many others. Again, check the prices and offerings to be sure it will be the coverage you need at an affordable price, since there are many different kinds of performers they offer coverage for.
We hope this information has helped shine some light on the issue of event insurance, and remember that here at Gigroster we’re always ready to help handle such details to make your event perfect. We love’d love to know your experiences to share with the community as well, so remember to participate in the discussion!
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