Insuring your building and contents is a vital aspect for consideration when setting up any business. For those involved in any aspect of the performing arts, you will need to take into account the following types of insurance and decide if they are necessary for your business:
Public Liability Insurance
This protects against claims for accidental bodily injury or damage to property of a third party, should the policy holder be found liable.
It is required by self-employed artists to cover circumstances where there might be a chance that someone could be injured as a direct result of their professional activities.
It applies to all types of public performance and live events, workshops, residencies and public commissions.
Although you’re not legally obliged to take out this insurance, you would have to meet the legal and compensation cost of any claims.
Buildings and Contents Insurance
Building insurance covers the actual structural fabric of a building against damage – the policy usually covers the rebuilding cost.
Contents insurances covers your possessions whilst they are contained within that building.
If you work from home, anything that you use professionally should be insured separately from your general home contents policy.
If you are working in a venue, you should check whether the venue’s insurance covers additional tools, equipment, costumes or props brought in for an event or rehearsal.
Contents should be valued at their current replacement cost. It is advisable to keep receipts for all tools and equipment bought for work/performance purposes.
Health and personal injury insurance can be very expensive but is necessary if you want to cover loss of earnings as a self-employed practitioner who would not be able to claim sick pay if you were injured.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
If you are an employer, you are legally required to hold this insurance – large fines are handed out to companies who do not comply with this part of the law.
The insurance caters for claims against injury or death caused to employees in respect of working practices, and enables the company to claim for any legal fees or compensation.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association provides further information about insurance, as well as a list of recommended brokers.