Do you need public liability insurance? 3 ways you can benefit as a musician

Monday 5th February 2024

Performing is a big part of any musician’s life, whether you’re showing a student how to master their instrument, playing at your local club, or entertaining fans at a festival.

While playing for others is an experience like no other, it’s not without risk. Risk to the people you’re performing for. Risk for the people performing on stage with you. Risk to the stage you’re playing on. Risk to the equipment and venue around you.

No matter how careful we are, we’re only human – things go wrong. And if they do, it’s reassuring to know that it won’t be costly for you and/or your band. That’s why public liability insurance can be a great investment for any musician who gigs, tours or teaches.

Key takeaways you’ll gain from this insight:

  • What public liability insurance is and why it's worth considering
  • How this insurance protects musicians against third-party injuries and damage
  • Why public liability insurance is a must-have requirement in many venues
  • How Allianz Musical Insurance can help you

A musician's public liability insurance policy protects you against third-party claims made if something goes wrong during your performance. If you accidentally damage the venue, damage equipment or injure an audience member, this insurance can help cover the unexpected costs.

“Am I legally required to have this type of insurance?” No, it is optional – if you are confident you and your band can keep everything safe and secure, you’re not breaking the law by not taking up this insurance. 

male singer on stage

However, many larger music venues will require you to show evidence of public liability insurance in order to perform there, as it’s frequently required by the venue’s own insurers.

But, as we’ll demonstrate below, just because musicians don’t legally need public liability insurance, there’s every reason you should consider it. Mistakes and accidents happen at shows across the country every day, especially if you perform regularly for large numbers of people, and it’s good to feel protected in any eventuality…

You and your band are playing a gig at one of your local venues. Everything’s going great, and then some of your equipment on stage accidentally falls and injures someone in the audience. You could now possibly face the prospect of a claim against you.

That’s just one way crowd members can be (and have been) hurt during a performance by a musician or band’s accidents. Trips over loose cables, falling props, equipment malfunctions – all inadvertent mistakes that have the potential to cause injury.

Even for music teachers, mishaps like a student’s fingers being caught while closing a piano lid are a genuine possibility.

So injuries are a very real concern, no matter what you do to make things as safe as possible. If they happen during your performances, lessons or other situations, you could be on the receiving end of some expensive treatment bills.

Public liability insurance gives you coverage for injuries to audience members. This means that if someone is accidentally hurt as a result of your actions during a show and makes a claim, your insurance helps you stay protected financially.

dj performing on stage

It’s not only your audience you have to consider when performing. Whether it’s a classroom, recording studio, nightclub or concert hall, you owe a duty of care to the venues you perform at or the private spaces you work in.

Unless you’re The Who smashing guitars at every show, you likely take every possible precaution to protect the stage you’re on. But mistakes happen even to the most meticulous performers.

You could drop a heavy amp or instrument while setting up or clearing away, leaving dents or holes in the floor. Or in the heat of a performance you could accidentally damage lights, walls and other surrounding fixtures.

Any of these scenarios could cause costly damage – and the venues may expect you to take care of the bill.

Again, having public liability insurance gives you coverage for any accidental property damage at your gigs. This helps you stay financially protected in these unfortunate circumstances, giving you greater peace of mind for now and the future.

Imagine rehearsing hours and hours for an upcoming show. Investing in new musical equipment. Perfecting your set list and outfits. Only to then be told by the organisers that you can no longer play there.

The reason? You don’t meet the venue’s insurance requirements.

Even though it is not a legal requirement, many large event organisers expect you to show evidence of public liability insurance before you can perform in their venues. It makes sense – they have a duty of care to you, the audience and the venue, and want to know they are protected if anything goes wrong.

This means that if you’re ready to take your performances to the next level, you may find yourself hitting a barrier without the right cover.

Buying public liability insurance could help keep all doors open to you, so you can pursue your musical ambitions with total reassurance.

We hope this has helped you see the importance of public liability insurance for touring musicians and other professionals – whether you are a solo artist, part of a band, or teach aspiring performers. And while it’s not a legal requirement for every public or private space, it can be the key to bigger opportunities and take a huge weight off your mind.

If you are keen to protect your finances against claims for accidental injuries, property damage and other third-party incidents, then please reach out to our expert team.

double bass player on stage

Allianz Musical Insurance has been serving musicians across the UK since 1960. Today, we insure over 70,000 musicians of all backgrounds and experience levels, and as the oldest specialist insurance provider, we have an unmatched understanding of what’s required for your needs and lifestyle.

Live performers, recording artists, producers, teachers – no matter how you use your musical gifts, we can help you protect your livelihood in all eventualities.

Our Public Liability Insurance for Musicians gives you:

  • 4 distinct coverage levels, from £1m up to £10m
  • Policy options for both solo artists and bands
  • Flexible pricing based on how often you perform and number of band members
  • The backing of an expert team with over 60 years of experience

Plus you can either buy our Public Liability Insurance alone, or combine it with our complete ‘Music Protect Product’, which includes Musical Instrument and Equipment Insurance. We can also offer Personal Accident Insurance for Performers, giving you a financial cushion if you or a member of your band is unable to perform following an accidental injury.

Want to know more? Contact us today to discuss your specific requirements, or call us directly on 0330 100 9903.
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