Performance insurance has many roles

Performance insurance has many roles | Insurance Business

Performance insurance has many roles
It’s no secret schmoozing is fundamental to the entertainment industry but rubbing shoulders is also a big part of performer insurance according to David Baker, principal owner of Stratum Insurance.

Baker said he recommends brokers trying to break into the performance insurance industry focus on “networking with people who are the decision makers, which I think is very difficult.”

But it’s not just who you know, it’s also where you are.

“A lot of it is location-based, if you want to insure a movie and you’re located in Minnesota, that would be a problem,” Baker said.

Another issue is brokers advertising policies without checking if they’re actually offered by carriers.

“If you’re covering something small (in performer insurance), like mall Santas, it’s a big deal for carriers but if you get something larger you need to make sure the carrier has the types of coverage they (policyholders) are going to need,” Baker said.  “They (brokers) should get a list of underwriting guidelines and available coverages before marketing the products.”

Baker said it was common to get referrals from people who contacted someone advertising performance policies they didn’t offer.   

Typical claims Bakers sees involve DJs tripping over wires and tables scratching a venue’s floors, something Baker says is avoidable by scoping out the location prior to the show.

“When people get there on the same day (as the show) they don’t know how to set up their systems and they only have about an hour to do it,” Baker said. “Another thing is to buy slip and fall guard covers for power cables.”

Touring musicians face loss of equipment risks.

“Someone threw a beer bottle at an $80,000 amp once,” Baker said.

In those cases, the show at the next venue on the road trip could be in jeopardy which is where an event cancellation or a non-appearance policy comes into play.

“With event cancellation insurance, people think it’s going to be much cheaper than it is,” Baker said. “And people have this belief that nothing will happen, which is not realistic.”

Stratum has rainy day coverage where event coverage can get transferred, including for wedding photography reshoots, lost gifts and costumes.

Other than DJs, Stratum typically covers karaoke jockeys, balloon animal artists, stand up performers and characters like Santa Claus, elves or Darth Vader.

Comedians don’t usually carry much risk because a lack of physical interaction with the audience whereas balloon animal artists need to use non-allergenic balloons.  

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