By Graham Orleans

When I tell people I’m an insurance agent, their first thought is usually, “He’s selling Auto and Homeowners Insurance.” But when I tell them we specialize in Music and Touring, they look at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language. For many, Music and Touring is a mystery, yet there’s really nothing mysterious at all about it.

Essentially, the Music and Touring team at Momentous insures bands and performers who go on tour performing concerts worldwide. In fact, a large portion of the artist’s income comes from touring. Album sales just don’t make up as much of the pie as in previous times. Insuring a band or artist is similar to insuring most businesses. The only difference is there usually isn’t any storefront or permanent location. We provide many of the same types of coverages you would see in Business Office or Homeowners’ policies. While the range of coverage is vast (and seemingly unending), some of the basics we take into account are General Liability, Auto Liability, Equipment Coverage and Workers’ Compensation. Let’s dive into each area:

General Liability

General Liability for musicians and artists may include coverage for defense costs brought on by lawsuits (whether frivolous or not), relating to alleged bodily injury or property damage. These policies are not designed to cover every single risk at a concert, and typically exclude things such as “tossing of objects” (such as when a drummer launches a drumstick into the audience) and pyrotechnics. However, special negotiation and policy amendments can often be made to cover these kinds of risks. It takes a specialist who understands the policy forms and the risks to tailor the policy appropriately. A lot of venues are now requiring the Artists and Bands to carry their own General Liability insurance, and it may be necessary in some cases to fulfill certain contract requirements.

Auto Liability

While on tour, artists and bands often rent private vehicles or tour buses. In those cases, they will need Auto insurance. Because these vehicles are usually not owned by the artist, what will happen if an accident occurs? The artists or bands need Non-Owned and Hired Auto Coverages which provides coverage for the vehicles being rented or borrowed, whether it’s a typical rental car or a gigantic 18-wheel, diesel-pusher carrying a trailer capable of housing the entire cast for Riverdance.

Equipment Insurance

A large concern involves the equipment performing artists carry from show to show. For some, equipment can be worth a small fortune and can include their personal musical instruments, sound equipment and lighting, as well as rented equipment. We can cover equipment with policies called Equipment Floaters or Inland Marine Policies. These policies typically cover the artist or bands’ equipment anywhere in the world, and against a number of different causes of loss.

Workers’ Compensation

This is sometimes overlooked by bands and tours. But someone has to set up the stage and get the sound equipment up and running.  Just like office employees, we insure these individuals under the band’s policy. This can cover everyone from the band’s office staff to their dancers, and even the band members themselves. Like other businesses, the band or artist can incur significant penalties from the State for not carrying proper insurance for its employees.

While this is not the definitive guide to all music and touring insurance, it provides a little background about what is involved in insuring music and touring. Please don’t hesitate to contact Momentous with any specific questions you may have.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.