RiskBox helps insure a range of music venues, from small bars offering live gigs to large concert halls. While these venues may differ in terms of capacity and the types of events held, their insurance needs can often be very similar.
Whatever the venue size, some operators may accidentally overlook certain criteria when arranging their commercial insurance. Because of this, we’ve selected five things to consider when insuring a music venue, and explained here why it’s always wise to check what cover you have in place.
1. Types of entertainment
Whether it’s DJs, rock bands or a live orchestra, venue operators should understand the type of entertainment they’re offering. Controversial performances could attract a more challenging audience. Likewise, acts themselves can sometimes behave recklessly and cause damage or injury.
If your venue tends to host the more unpredictable acts, you need to inform your insurers. Otherwise, you could encounter difficulty if brought to litigation – even if the performers are the ones responsible for the original claim.
You should also ensure that all acts have a reasonable level of Public Liability cover in place as an absolute minimum. Be sure to ask for copies of these details in advance, too, so you can act quickly if something happens.
2. Possible interruptions
For most music venues, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of Business Interruption cover. This type of policy can vary considerably and, as we saw over the course of 2020, can cause confusion over which organisations are able to claim.
Any reasonable policy should include the basic cover for some form of loss of income and additional expenses. It should also incorporate areas like failure of utilities, public authority closure, non-damage denial of access, bomb hoax and loss of attraction – claims for which are much more common than operators realise.
What’s more, as many music venues rely heavily on the revenue generated from alcohol sales, it’s wise to err on the side of caution and consider loss of licence protection too.
3. COVID-19 repercussions
Almost all insurers no longer include pandemics in their Business Interruption cover, and those that do have tightened up their wording. But when it comes to liability, there’s a bit of variation.
While some insurers continue to provide protection if a customer claims they caught COVID-19 due to a venue’s negligence, others are removing that cover entirely. That’s because, even though it would be difficult to prove where a customer caught COVID-19, you’d still need to pay legal expenses.
So, even if you have a quality risk management programme, and can evidence the measures your venue has taken to reduce risk and remain compliant, it could be wise to select a policy that includes COVID-19 cover under the Public Liability section.
4. Risk of terrorism
Terrorism remains a key threat to any venue holding large groups of people. While most operators insure their property and any subsequent business interruption against the damage of a possible attack, the public liability risk is often overlooked.
This is concerning, given that venues are responsible for the safety of a considerable number of people. Of course, security checks, clear exit routes and evacuation strategies can all be in place, but loss of life may unfortunately still occur. It’s therefore vital to ensure that your venue’s Public Liability policy covers terrorism, as not all insurers automatically include it.
Not only that, but claims could also be made against the operators in their personal capacity. In this case, you might want to consider Directors’ & Officers’ cover too.
5. Rise of electronic payments
Money cover was once a key component of a venue’s insurance policy, as large cash takings could accumulate over a weekend, increasing the risk of theft and robbery. Yet in a digital world, music venues now deal almost entirely with electronic transactions. This reduces the need for high cash limits in safes or tills, and shifts the risk to EPOS devices.
This change means venues can now consider reducing their traditional money cover – instead focussing on protecting their electronic financial exposure with Cyber & Data insurance that incorporates cyber crime.
While the points covered here may seem like a rather random list, they do highlight just how varied insurance can be and how easy it is to overlook something that could have consequences further down the line.
If you’re concerned about what’s included in your policy, simply speak to your broker or insurer. They can confirm what cover you have in place and answer any questions you may have.
Alternatively, if you need help protecting your music venue, contact us on 0161 533 0411 or email email@example.com.