5 Reasons Why Music Teachers Need Insurance

Here are 5 reasons why music teachers need insurance.

Reasons Why Music Teachers Need Insurance header

Let’s cut to the chase here. If you’re reading this, the answer is yes, you need insurance as a music teacher. Fortunately, it’s not doom and gloom, as music teacher insurance doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s there to protect you and your students in the unlikely event something goes wrong. For example, if you rip out a Megadeth solo and accidentally damage a chair in a student’s house – you’re covered!

Still with us? Good.

In this guide, we’ll be looking closely at why music teachers need insurance. Specifically, we’ll cover the following topics:

  • Instrument and Equipment Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • What the difference is between professional indemnity and public liability insurance
  • 5 reasons why you need to take out an insurance policy as a music teacher

Why Do I Need Instrument And Equipment Insurance As A Music Teacher?

In a nutshell, you need instrument and equipment insurance as a music teacher because it’s likely your home insurance won’t cover you. Specialist musical instrument insurance covers your gear outside the home. Home insurance often does not.

This is where home insurance falls flat and music teachers often get caught out. If you’re a guitar teacher and you take your guitar to your guitar lessons, keyboard, cello, or marimba to a school or students’ home and it gets stolen or broken, you’re likely not covered by your home insurance.

Specialist music insurance covers your gear in your car, outside the home, at gigs, at schools – everywhere and there’s not usually a limit of what you can cover.

Don’t risk it. Get some equipment insurance first.

What Is Public Liability Insurance For Music Teachers And Why do I Need It?

Public Liability Insurance covers the costs of any compensation claim that arises from your work in music.

These claims could include property damage – whether it is your own home or a student’s house – or any injuries caused to a pupil in your care. Public Liability insurance is a worst-case scenario option, and as such you are unlikely you will have to use it during your time teaching. It is, however, an essential area of cover for any self-employed music tutor.

As well as teaching, this also applies to performing duties, a handy fact if you are combining life as a gigging musician with that of a teacher.

Chances are if you’re teaching music in a school, you’ve been asked to provide proof of Public Liability Insurance. It’s worth having.

Listen, Accidents can happen. Although not normally associated with the high-risk stakes of lion tamers or skydivers in terms of dangerous professions, music teachers still need Public Liability insurance.

When it comes to making sure you are covered in case of accidents that can befall your pupils or your property during teaching, Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is a must. This cover is commonplace in other areas of employment and is just as essential in the world of music tuition.

PLI is there when you most need it to make sure yourself and your finances are protected.

Tell me again – why do I need Public Liability insurance as a music teacher?

Potential teaching employers such as schools and tuition businesses will request PLI before you can begin teaching in the given environment.

As well as covering against costly lawsuits due to injury, it also helps if there is any damage to the property in question. Although these incidents – electric fires from faulty equipment, injury whilst dropping heavy musical instruments – are few and far between, employers will still demand the security that PLI provides them.

Although students or their guardians may not be aware of the need for PLI, they almost certainly will be if anything unfortunate should occur on your own property during a lesson.

Besides these obvious important factors, obtaining Public Liability insurance for your music tuition is a stamp of professional approval. It puts employers and students at ease and lets you get on with teaching, no matter what may happen.

You Might Already Have it!

If you are already a member of a professional organisation such as the Musician’s Union (MU), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) or Equity then you are in luck – included in your membership is PLI, free of charge.

All three of these professional bodies give you £10 million worth of cover, effective immediately once your membership is confirmed.

Full certificates are usually issued (and can be requested again in case you misplace them), so you can quickly demonstrate to pupils, employers or the parents and guardians of younger students that you are covered for any eventuality.

Full terms of what these policies include can be found on the contract itself or by getting in touch with either the organisation in question or the insurance broker they work alongside.

If you are not a member of the MU, ISM or Equity, there are still plenty of other options to acquire PLI for your teaching practice.

Several insurance companies provide this option, for example, Simply Business provide PLI for music teachers as does Insure4music and Guardcover, in addition, some policies can be added to existing home insurance for bigger savings.

Some companies – including those who provide cover for the bodies listed above, like Hencilla Canworth for the MU – offer Public Liability insurance that is tailored to the needs of musicians.

Whatever option you decide to take, be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions to guarantee that you are protected and that there are no surprise fees to contend with later down the line. Comparison websites are also available to quickly and simply compare quotes from providers and to help you make the best decision for yourself and your business.

Becoming a member of a union or organisation gives you instant access to this level of cover, and if you are not a member the prospect of Public Liability insurance may persuade you to sign up anyway. If you are happy to go it alone and are looking to make every penny count, procuring PLI for yourself may work out better on your wallet and give a more bespoke type of cover. Whatever you choose, PLI is essential, so get yourself covered so you can get away from your computer screen and start teaching!

What Is Professional Indemnity Insurance For Music Teachers And Why do I Need It?

Music teachers need professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves against negligence claims, if someone says you gave the wrong advice, or if they allege you didn’t do your job properly.

Professional Indemnity insurance helps cover legal costs and compensation in the event of a claim made against you.

You definitely need it. And here’s why.

Tell me again why I need professional indemnity insurance

Some parents can get pretty nasty if their child doesn’t perform well in music exams. If you’re the tutor – they might come after you with legal action.

Music teachers need professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves against claims of negligence and poor advice. Here’s the main examples of what could happen.

Negligence claims

If a student fails a music exam, and the parent isn’t happy about it, they may claim that you haven’t prepared their child adequately for those exams. A negligence claim may be taken against you.

Parents could take legal action against you, claiming that you did not provide adequate tuition for their child. They may try to recover the costs of your tuition and come after you for entrance exam fees, extra tuition from another music teacher and more.

In addition, they may allege that you have failed to cover a syllabus correctly, covered the wrong part or were not up to date on the correct version causing their child to fail an exam.

A claim could be brought against you even if you weren’t to blame. Perhaps a curriculum changed, the student was lazy or the exam was different to what you were helping the student study for. It doesn’t matter – if a claim is put against you it can be costly to fight. Professional Indemnity insurance for music teachers covers legal costs for solicitors and compensation.

It’s just easier having it!

What the difference is between professional indemnity and public liability insurance for music teachers

In the world of music teachers and music tuition, the difference between professional indemnity and public liability insurance comes down to the following key differences:

Public liability is aimed at covering you against claims for injury and damage to third-party property or a person.

For example, if a student gets hurt while they are with you because your amp falls on them or you accidentally break some of their equipment by spilling your tea on their keyboard or damage the hired space you teach from.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is aimed at covering you against negligence claims.

For example, if someone says you taught them the wrong syllabus or gave them the wrong advice and they failed an exam causing them to drop out of school or college.

These are not exhaustive lists, but that’s the difference in a nutshell.

5 reasons why you need to take out an insurance policy as a music teacher

If we haven’t convinced you to take out an insurance policy yet, here’s 5 quick reasons why music teachers need insurance.

1. You teach at home

If you teach music at home or on your own hired premises, you’re responsible for their welfare. If they hurt themselves or you damage the property, you need to make sure you have public liability insurance. This ensures you can cover legal and compensation costs.

2. You travel to students homes

If you travel to a students’ house or residence and you accidentally smash their violin, you need public liability insurance to cover the cost of repair and damages. 

3. You give out advice to students

If you give out advice (this includes lessons) you need professional indemnity insurance so you’re covered in the unlikely event that a parent or student claims you if they fail their exam. They may say it was your fault as you failed to prepare them for the exam, taught the wrong or outdated syllabus or just failed to do your job properly in their eyes.

4. You’ve got a load of expensive equipment

If you’re a decent music teacher and you’re good at what you do, you’re likely going to have some pretty decent equipment. If it gets stolen from your car, damaged in transit or stolen from somewhere outside the home instrument insurance will cover it.

Home insurance often doesn’t cover musical equipment outside the home, so don’t risk it.

5. It’s professional!

Students, their parents and organisations you may go on to work for will often ask to see proof of insurance. By having insurance, you show your clients that you are a professional, responsible music teacher. It sets you apart from others and it’s one of the key reasons why music teachers need insurance – it helps people see that you’re dedicated to your craft. You can even shout about the fact you’re covered with insurance when you’re marketing yourself on YouTube and Social media as a music teacher. It’ll give your voice and brand some serious professional kudos!

We hope we’ve covered the main reasons why music teachers need insurance. But overall having the right cover in order provides peace of mind. You’re protected against the costs of legal fees should a problem arise, your gear is protected and you’re free to teach and play in areas where insurance is required.

In all honesty, it’s just easier having cover!

Disclaimer

We recommend that music teachers seek professional advice when it comes to buying insurance.

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About The Author

Lee Glynn is a musician and freelance content strategist specialising in the music industry. He has been playing the guitar for nearly 3 decades and has been writing for well-respected music blogs and websites for nearly 20 years. Follow Lee’s musings on content and more via his LinkedIn profile.

Resources and further information (we are not affiliated with the following sites and they are for reference only):

www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/Advice/Your-Career/Protection/Public-Liability-Insurance

www.insure4music.co.uk

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