From intonation to indemnity: A musician’s quick guide to insurance

Being a sole trading musician in today's ultra-competitive industry can be challenging—the income is sporadic, gigs are often in short supply, and there's always new talent entering the scene. After quite literally singing for your supper, handing fistfuls of cash over to an insurance company might be the very last thing you want to do. Surely income loss via an unforeseen accident, equipment damage or contract disputes is also pretty low on your priority list. Check out this quick guide to help demystify insurance for your music business.

Public and product liability

This is a must. Like a pick guard on your favourite vintage guitar, public and product liability offer protection against reasonably foreseeable harm, such as property damage, nervous shock injury or death. If you perform as part of a musical ensemble, you may be able to register the group as part of your individual policy. Make sure you select a policy with an excess that you can afford and takes into consideration all aspects of your performance, including audience participation, workshop activities and international gigs. A policy that includes professional indemnity insurance for no added cost is a winner!

Asset insurance

Many sole trader musicians amass a variety of expensive, specialised and often custom-made equipment during their career. No matter whether you play a Theremin or a stock-standard Stratocaster, having the gear you need in good working order is absolutely crucial to the success of your gig and the reliability of your pay check. As such, it's pretty important to protect your performing equipment while it's in transit and storage. Look for a policy that will insure you against accidental damage as well as theft and natural disaster.

Personal accident cover

If your act is particularly daring, dangerous or unpredictable, or you perform in venues with unpredictable audiences, you may want to seriously consider taking personal accident cover. Usually available for a small fee on top of your public and product liability policy, personal accident cover will insure you against loss of performing income as a direct result of an accident sustained either while performing, rehearsing or in transit.

Teaching and workshop cover

As many professional musicians work as music tutors as a way to supplement performance income, extending your insurance policy to your teaching activities may be worthwhile. Discuss your unique teaching activities with your chosen insurance company to ensure that you are adequately covered.

Contact several business insurance providers and seek out a company who either specialises in insurance coverage for performers or at least has comprehensive understanding of the unique requirements of the entertainment industry.

For more information, contact a professional in your area like those found at National Corporate Broking Pty Ltd.