Band On The Run: Touring Insurance Tips For Taking Your Show On The Road
Tour Insurance for Musicians/Bands
“Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came”
-Jackson Browne, Stay
Life on the road can be rife with challenges and filled with excitement and exhilaration. But a little insurance planning before heading out on tour will ensure your excitement is from the audience and not an uninsured claim.
In today’s post, I’ll highlight some things for you to think about when planning your tour. While every circumstance is a little different, these are the key exposures that you and production manager will want to consider.
Instruments, Sound, Lighting and Other Equipment: Your instruments and equipment will be loaded, unloaded and then loaded again and again. In order for your insurance coverage to be seamless, you need to ensure that you have a ‘Floater’ coverage form. Floaters are a type of insurance that are not specific to any location, so they extend to wherever the gear is located: on the road, on the stage and everywhere in between. Be sure that the policy territory includes all of the countries where your tour will take you. And, if you are traveling into countries with less stable or unpredictable governments or legal systems, you’ll want to investigate coverage for seizures, quarantine or appropriation by authorities.
Insurance considerations for musicians:
- Valuation: What are you entitled to from your insurance company? Will your policy pay to replace old equipment with new, or are they only responsible to pay you for used equipment?
- What’s covered? Does your policy cover theft and accidental damage? Are there restrictions or exclusions if gear is stolen from a vehicle or if unattended?
- Unexpected costs or extra expenses: Will your insurance pay for renting new gear if yours is stolen or unusable after being damaged? These unexpected costs can be included in your insurance so you don’t have to find a way to pay them out of an already tight tour budget.
- Musicians’ property: Be clear on who is required to insure your musicians’ instruments. If it is you, then a simple written agreement can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your insurance company has an obligation to respond to claims for property that you don’t own.
- Loss of equity or value in instruments: Higher end, rare or old instruments often build value over time and this value can be affected when damaged, even when repaired by experienced and recognized craftspeople. Ask whether your insurance will cover this as part of your claim. When insuring others’ instruments, be sure to discuss their value and what their expectations are if their instrument is damaged.
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