What types of insurance does a musician or vocalist need?
As a working musician or singer, there are several types of insurance that you should consider if you wish to perform in public or pursue a professional career. From musical instrument insurance to public liability cover, these types of insurance policies are designed to protect you and your equipment, as well as the people around you whilst you’re working.
From thieves breaking into your band’s van to a wayward drumstick poking an audience member in the eye, there’s cover available to keep you and everyone else safe – but the first step is getting yourself informed. Let’s take a look at the type of music insurance you should consider:
Musical Instrument Insurance
Your first point of call should be musical instrument insurance; a type of policy designed to protect your musical instrument and equipment from accidental damage and theft.
If you work as a performer or session musician, you’ll most likely prefer to use your own musical instrument and equipment, at least some of the time. Even if you’re primarily a vocalist who doesn’t need to cart an instrument around with them to perform, you may still want to use your own microphone and PA system – music equipment hire isn’t always the best option, particularly if you already own perfectly usable equipment and are looking to cut costs.
Most musicians own an instrument which they consider to be their pride and joy, and while sometimes they might be too protective of these prize possessions to ever take them out of their display cabinets, more often than not they also have a ‘gigging’ instrument that goes everywhere on the road with them. You’ll probably find you’ll give your best performance using an instrument which you own and are therefore most familiar with, so it stands to reason that you’ll want to bring your own instrument with you into the studio or onto the stage.
Whichever scenario best describes yours, before you begin you should first consider insuring against damage or loss with music equipment insurance – after all, your instrument is your livelihood! If the unthinkable does happen and your beloved instrument is stolen or damaged, your music equipment cover can help you afford a replacement instrument and also help you with music equipment hire if you’re in the middle of touring or recording.
There are a couple of insurance companies that specialise in musical instrument insurance such as Insure4Music and Allianz Musical Insurance so be sure to shop around for the best quote. You can usually add on Public Liability Insurance as well which we’ll go through below.
Public Liability Insurance for Musicians
Public Liability Insurance (PLI) covers the entertainer in the case of a claim made against them.
So if, for example, a speaker falls over during your performance and a member of your audience claims that this caused them an injury, public liability insurance would cover you against that claim.
If you’re a music teacher, public liability cover will also protect you against any injuries your student might sustain in your home (such as an inexperienced pianist slamming their fingers under the lid) or damages caused when you’re visiting your student’s home (such as your guitar stand unexpectedly collapsing, causing your guitar to scratch their wall).
Some trade organisations provide PLI free to their members – if this applies to you, you may also qualify for discounts off other types of cover from music insurance specialists.
Vehicle Insurance for Musicians
A performer’s life is lived on the road, so you’ll need to consider getting vehicle cover for your wheels.
Unfortunately, insurers are well aware of the nomadic nature of bands and singers, so vehicle insurance for musicians tends to be more expensive than regular vehicle cover.
In general, most policies don’t include the carriage of musical equipment and PA systems. Most policies only tend to provide cover in the case of an accident, so unless you specify to your insurer that this is what you’re using your vehicle for, you may not be reimbursed for the full replacement of your damaged equipment.
Make sure you know your vehicle insurance policy inside out, as you may not be fully protected against other eventualities such as break-ins and theft when your van’s parked outside your gig venue while you’re setting up or playing. It may even be necessary to take out a separate equipment cover policy to ensure you’ve got full coverage.
Aside from making sure you’ve read and re-read the small print of your vehicle insurance policy, maintain good habits such as keeping a clean driving licence, building up a no claims discount and being honest about the miles you drive for your work.
Also, an insider tip for music teachers and singing coaches – list this as your profession instead of simply ‘musician’. This should significantly reduce the amount you pay – but please don’t try this unless you do actually work in music education!
Health Insurance for Musicians
Health insurance is essential if you’re a singer who earns your living from your instrument – which, in this case, would be yourself!
Think about taking out health insurance in case you lose your voice – it happens all the time and isn’t your fault, but it does have a knock-on effect. Find the right policy which will protect you in the event of engagement cancellations and loss of earnings.
If you’re planning to tour abroad, you also need to think about Travel Insurance and Personal Accident Cover in case anything happens to you while you’re out there, whether you get stranded somewhere and can’t make it to your show, or you become ill or sustain an injury which prevents you from performing.
Also, if you perform regularly, you’ll be exposed to constant loud volumes, which can have a lasting impact on your hearing (which is pretty essential for a career in music). There are schemes you can sign up to from organisation such as the Musicians Union which offer:
- Hearing check-ups from music specialists
- Discounts on specialist ear protection
- Discounted wax removal
Unoccupied Home Insurance Cover
When you’re out having the time of your life on the road, it’s very easy to forget about everything you left behind at home – including your precious musical instruments and music equipment. This can pose a serious problem, because an unoccupied home is an easy target for thieves.
Say, for example, that you decided to leave your vintage guitar at home to keep it safe from the dangers of touring – it’s a smart enough decision, as it’s easy to imagine your guitar being knocked about in transit or otherwise damaged onstage (you never know, you might get carried away and try and pull off some Jimi Hendrix-style pyrotechnics!).
However, when you leave home for an extended period, this could affect the regular cover you receive from your Home Insurance policy, as many insurers believe that you not being home alters your insurance situation and may refuse to pay up in the event of a burglary. You would then have to face not only the loss of your irreplaceable instruments, but also wouldn’t be given the money to soften the blow -heartbreaking stuff!
Fortunately, there’s a specific kind of insurance policy for this very scenario – Unoccupied Home Insurance, which not only covers you against theft and break-ins, but also covers you against damages caused by storms and flooding. You can find out more about this policy on at MoneySupermarket.
While Unoccupied Home Insurance is more expensive due to the fact that your vacant house is more vulnerable, the protection and peace of mind it offers you is invaluable if you’re going to be away from home for a number of days, weeks or even months.
What Insurance Does the Musicians Union and ISM offer their members?
If you’re pursuing a career in music, whether as a performer, a teacher or a songwriter, we’d recommend signing up with an organisation such as the Musicians Union (MU) or the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM). Both of these organisations offer a wide range of support and advice, as well as additional benefits, plus existing members will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences with you to help ensure you’re treated fairly as a musician or performer.
In terms of what types of insurance the MU and ISM offer their members, both offer public liability cover, both offer financial support to help you insure your music equipment, and both offer services such as non-paid fee recovery.
A union made up of thousands of singers, actors and performers from all walks of life, Equity is the organisation for you if you have any concerns about fair treatment in the workplace.
In addition to also offering its member PLI, if you sign up with Equity you’ll also be offered Accident and Backstage insurance in case of bodily injury, careers advice and discounts on hotels, parking, photography and more, plus access to their Bullying and Harassment Reporting line.
Musicians Union vs ISM
Here are the main similarities and differences between these organisations:
|Organisation||Instrument Cover||PLI||Further Info|
|Musician’s Union||£2000 included||£10m||muinsure.com|
|ISM||20% Discounted rates||£10m||ism.org|
Where can I get Music Insurance?
The good news is there are several UK insurance companies who specialise in providing cover for musicians and entertainers. They can usually provide you with a cheaper quote than you’re likely to receive anywhere else, so do take the time to contact them before splashing out.
Insure4Music – Insure4Music provide music insurance you’ll need and are one of the most popular options in the UK. I really like the website as it’s simple to use and you can easily add and remove the types of insurance you need with no confusing legal jargon.
It’s worth noting that Insure4Music is a trading name for Ripe Insurance who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.313411 and underwritten by Aviva.
Allianz Musical Insurance – Allianz primarily focus on musical instrument insurance, so if that’s what you’re after, it’s definitely worth getting a quote. You can then also opt to add PLI as well.
Music insurance companies that are based in other countries will be added here as and when we find them for your convenience.
provides instrument & equipment, studio liability, tour liability, composers liability, travel accident and health insurance for US citizens.