Why do performance venues need insurance?
A flooded arena
As the owner of a city centre arena, you’re used to managing a busy events calendar. However, when a burst pipe causes severe flooding in the standing zone, the whole schedule is put at risk. Without a functioning venue, performers may need to cancel, and without a crowd you can’t make money. Worse still, there’s a chance prolonged water damage could impact your electrics. Property insurance assists with the financial impact of such events by paying for quick investigations and helping to rebuild your arena if necessary.
Life in performing arts is fast-moving and production companies come and go. After a morning of live music sound checks and a matinee pantomime performance, you notice several microphones are missing from a backstage storeroom. Unfortunately, there’s no way to track the items down – but with Hiscox commercial contents insurance in place, your theatre benefits from theft cover. The show must go on, after all – so performance venue insurance can help you replace key equipment.
Your auditorium hosts all kinds of performances, from brass band shows to comedy nights. This brings lots of people to your state-of-the-art centre, where they may need to climb stairs to reach their seat. When one guest loses their footing on a loose piece of carpet, they fall into a line of other attendees, causing several people to sustain injuries. Public liability insurance can cover your concert hall for legal costs, compensation and expenses in the event of a claim.
What insurance is available for performance venues?
Insurance for performance venues: FAQs
How much does venue insurance cost?
Business insurance costs for venue insurance start at £10 a month (based on policies from at least 10% of our customers in 2020). Individual business insurance policies can vary in cost, depending on the cover limits you set. A large arena might need more cover than a small cinema to make sure high-value items are covered in the event of a fire, for example.
To work out the cover limit your venue might need, it could be helpful to think about a worst-case scenario event and how much money you’d need to fund investigations. You may also need to consider repairs, plus related costs – for instance, if storm damage means you need to employ a surveyor or architect.
For more on the cost of business insurance, read our FAQ guide.
What contents insurance do I need for my venue?
There are two main types of contents cover a performance venue might need – standard contents insurance and equipment breakdown cover. Standard commercial contents insurance covers equipment kept on your premises, for repair or replacement costs caused by theft, fire and flood.
Hiscox contents insurance also covers accidental damage as standard, plus visitors’ personal property up to £25,000. This could be useful if a touring band finds their equipment is caught up in a problem at your venue, for example.
Equipment breakdown cover is an add-on which is often useful in venues that rely on certain machinery – such as lighting, sound equipment and cinema projectors – to generate revenue.
Portable equipment insurance could also be beneficial if theatre management staff travel to other locations and carry equipment like laptops.
Do I need employers’ liability insurance if I work with contractors?
Even if your venue only works with self-employed contractors and has no direct employees, you may still need employers’ liability insurance under UK law. This is because the definition of an ‘employee’ under the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 (external link) is wider than formally contracted, permanent staff members.
If people are hired to you on a temporary basis for certain events or theatre seasons, you may still be liable for workplace injuries. This applies especially if staff are under your control or supervision throughout their posting to your performance venue.
Plus, it’s worth remembering that you may need employers’ liability insurance for voluntary helpers too.
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