Don’t Be A Liability
Public Liability Insurance For Music Teachers
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 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. To help you work out the kind of cover you need and where to find it, we have collated the best tips to ensure that you are protected for any eventuality.
First things first, what exactly is PLI? You may already have been asked to provide proof of this insurance, or perhaps you are getting confused and thinking of PRS. Public Liability Insurance covers the costs of any compensation claim that arises from your work in music. 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. These claims could include damage to property – whether it is your own home or a student’s house – or any injuries caused to a pupil in your care. PLI 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.
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 practise. There are a number of insurance companies that provide this option, for example Simply Business who provide fantastic PLI for music teachers, 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 PLI 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.
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 in your own property during a lesson.
Besides these obvious important factors, obtaining PLI 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. 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 PLI may persuade 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!
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