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Liability insurance

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mcbassdude, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Does anyone here have info regarding liability insurance on gig's?

    I have a gig coming up and the venue has asked for proof of liability insurance of $1,000,000.00 of course we don't have any at this time.
    I have researched and requested quotes from two companies 1. Music Pro and 2. CSI Insurance.
    CSI does issue one time event policies not sure about MusicPro.
    Question is have any of you had to deal with this before? and if so whom did you use and what did it cost you?

    I'm guessing this is a by product of the Great White incident.
    Looks like this may be the writing on the wall and we'll all be dealing with this crap.

    I appreciate any input.
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    $1,000,000 seems excessive. How big is the venue?
  3. Venue is not large (La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club) but I'm finding that $1,000,000.00 is the standard Liability amount for policies.
  4. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Sorry, but it's the venue that should provide the liability coverage. Does any other company ask it's contract people to have liability coverage in case they cause someone to fall? That's just crazy.

    On the other hand, I'm in a band with five doctors. We were concerned because we feel we are somewhat vulnerable (the perception of deep pockets). We've had this discussion and have contacted attorneys. They've said that it really is the owner or renter of the venue's responsibility.

    I'm not an attorney, so my best advise is to contact one and ask.
  5. I think because of the Great White fire alot of venues are re-thinking the liability factor. I've talked to a few people who have run across a venue requesting this insurance.
  6. giantjerk


    Jan 18, 2003
    Allen, TX
    I work in the legal/claims department of a major international insurance carrier. We happen to write the coverage that you are asking about. You are correct, a 1 mil liability limit policy is the standard offering. However, you need to talk to the venue to obtain more information. For example, if you purchase the policy in your bands name, then the policy is only applicable for the liability of the band and its individual members, ie. the Named Insured(s). If the venue wants you to add them to the policy (as an additional named insured) this must be done by an endorsement to the policy and is subject to underwriting approval and additional premium. This opens you up to additional expose for the potential negligence of the venue and its employees and should be avoided as you have no control over their operations or employees. Additionally, beware of venue contracts, some contracts stipulate that you agree to assume all or a portion of any potential liability of the venue. This is considered an "Insured contract" and is generally specifically excluded under a standard liability policy and leaves you exposed.
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Try the liability insurance through the AFM or your local musicians' union.
  8. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    I can't count the number of clubs I've played and have never been expected to provide liability insurance. This should be the clubs responsibility and if they are too cheep (or un-insurable) to cover themselves then I would stay far away from that place!
  9. Awesome info. The venue does want to be added to the policy for the said date. How do we get out of this politley? Should we insist on only insuring ourselves? We are supplying the contract for our services and have not been asked to sign a venue contract (yet)
  10. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    + 1,000,000. I'm sick and tired of knuckle heads and their legal BS. If I have to start paying liability insurance to play, I'm done! Hire a DJ or better yet, bring your karioke machine from home for your next party folks!:spit:
  11. Not a club gig. This is a private event at a country club type of venue. The gig is for good money too (way more than a club pays)
    I too have played 100's of clubs and this has never come up, hence the reason I have no prior experience with this kind of thing. This band is getting more and more of this kind of work so I'm worried it's gonna come up again and again.
  12. The whole idea of having such a policy would be for the venue to make sure that they (or their insurance company) would be able to recover losses brought on by something your band did wrong. The venue should already have a policy to cover risks of fire and other things, so it is probably their insurance company who is looking for this protection.

    Anyway, unless your band does outrageous things which can hurt people or things or unless you have dangerous equipment or set ups, I cannot see how this demand by the venue is at all reasonable.
  13. I appreciate what your saying and it's not like I don't feel it's being ridiculous, however I have a several thousand dollar gig in the balance and I want to find a solution to this problem. After talking to some other local players in town who do alot of these kind of private gig's I'm hearing that although not the norm, it is something that does come up and has to be dealt with. So I'm looking for solutions i.e. carriers, similar situations and the steps taken to resolve it.
  14. Here's some of what I have learned. Many event planners carry liability insurance that includes a blanket coverage of the act's they hire out. In my instance we were hired by the person having the event and not an event planner. The facility in question usually deals only with an event planner to coordinate talent, catering, stage, lighting etc. Therefore they are requiring us as a vendor to provide liability insurance.
    CSI has an annual premium for $700.00 and a single day event policy is $395.00 (ouch). We're still working it out. We are trying to get an event planner that works with the facility to book us thru them, another option is the buyer adding a one day rider to his personal liability insurance to cover us. The final option is to tack on the cost of the premium to our bill.

    Definatly a new twist I don't care for but something tells me I'm gonna run into this more and more.
  15. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    I also work for a major commercial insurance carrier in claims. The people who brought up the Great White issue are probably correct that this is the reason why the venue is demanding this.

    That being said, here are some points from liability 101:

    1) The insurance has no bearing on liability. If you do something wrong, you can be held liable. The same goes for the venue. Having insurance or not having insurance does not affect whether or not someone is going to make a claim for negligence. Insurance is typically purchased to protect an entity from the costs of being sued, not the act of being sued itself.

    2) The venue already has insurance. They are simply looking to lower their own insurance costs; if they do not have to put claims through their own policy and are not insuring for loss that occur when bands are there, they save money on premiums.

    3) There are many times when a company will demand that another party add the company to their policy. The idea is to protect the company from allegations of negligence that arose from the other party. Most of the time, if the venue itself is alleged to be negligent, their own insurance should step in (depending on the contractual language - see #4)

    4) Any entity making demands this stringent is going to have a contract (which you should review thorougly before signing, BTW). If the contract has onerous or goofy provisions, it will probably not be enforceable.

    All of that being said, I would recommend this: find out how much a short-term policy costs. Then, deduct that from what the venue is paying you. If you are not still making a s**tload of money AFTER paying the insurance, don't take the job. Also, you make sure that the contract stipulates a large deposit paid to you a long time before the show and that you get paid in full even if the event does not happen (unless you (the band) cancel). These two demands, btw, are SOP for wedding bands, so if the venue has a problem with it, they are jerking you around and it's time to walk.
  16. Things may be different in Australia, but we have a standard clause in our Performance Agreement that states that the venue covers all insurance costs arising from the performance except for our personal requirements (theft of gear etc)

    We also have a disclaimer about public liability.

    It's not watertight, obviously. If we were to put the venue or its customers at risk, we are obviously breaking the contract. It works in most cases, however, and makes the venue take responsibility for their covering themselves.

    2 cents
  17. The original poster can correct me if this is a different situation - but I've run into this when acting as my own promoter for an event at a show-theater style gig. Sure some of those places can hire you for a flat fee, but if you are talking about a bigger show that you promote broadly, sometimes the best deal is to rent the venue and then take all the revenue (with the exception usually of the bar) for yourselves.

    In cases like this, you are required to provide your own insurance. This isn't the same thing as getting booked by the local bar/club to play for a drinking crowd on a friday night though. Having to provide your own insurance for something like that would certainly be absurd.

    But I've talked to several venues about deals like this and they all require that the renting entity provides liability of $1mm/$2mm agregate.

    I don't have links handy, but there are several companies online who can provide this coverage relatively cheaply.
  18. poptart

    poptart Commercial User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Owner: Bass Direct
    In the UK due to recent changes in venue/hotels policy to insurance eg they want to save money, most hotels, conference centres, etc insist you have both public liability insurance and that all of your electrical appliances are safety checked every year and ask for documentaion for both (PAT).

    Now the Musicians Union in the UK inclued £5m public liability in its cost of £120/year and that also includes £1000 of instrument insurance - which I think is a bargain for a semipro/pro musician. Cost of getting your equipment checked is about £5/$8 per appliance, which can really add up.

    The upshot is if you are an outside contractor - eg you are not dirctley employed by the venue you must have your own public liability.

    Funnily enough I thought that in the US you would already have this too!?!?

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