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COMPOSITION

 

Obtaining Insurance Coverage as a Composer or Musician

 

For the working professional musician, obtaining insurance can be somewhat more difficult than for those employed at other companies and businesses.People who work at even small companies

 

 

 

 

usually receive inexpensive health insurance as part of the employment, but a musician is left without a company, needing to purchase pricey individual insurance or find some alternative plan.Musicians also face particular risks such as stolen goods, public liability, and a sometimes small artistís income in the face of major health problems.Thus finding quality insurance is especially important for the professional composer or musician.

 

Reasons for Musicians to Have Good Insurance

 

Some 50% of musicians do not have any health insurance.Many plans available for individuals may appear not to be worth the cost.If a musician is not always making a large amount of money, just having the money may seem more important than protecting against unknown risks.

 

However, musicians face particular risks that could make the cost of insurance far less than paying for the cost of the damage that could occur.††For example, musicians could have their instruments stolen.Any night club or party poses a scenario where someone could steal or damage the musicianís equipment.Likewise, if the musicianís equipment falls on or harms someone in the audience, the musician could also be liable for their injuries.

 

But maybe most importantly, a musician needs insurance coverage in the event of a major health problem.A musician may get by for years without having any large health issues.But what happens when he or she faces a sudden medical crisis?A composer could have a car accident and sustain major injuries.A musician could need a major medical procedure.Circumstances could lead to the musician needing to have an extended hospital stay.Any of these situations could arise with no warning, instantly leaving the musician with thousands of dollars of costs, just to sustain his own health, or even in some instances to keep living.A hospital stay or car accident could cost $30,000, $80,000, or more, compared to the cost of insurance which could be $50 a month.

 

How to Find Good Musicianís Insurance

 

Musicians could first look to any organizations they belong to for insurance.Being a member of performerís rights organizations such as ASCAP or BMI can help obtain insurance benefits.Likewise, contracts with record labels often provide clauses for insurance.Do not forget to also look to state programs for artists or groups of residents, as well as insurance programs through day jobs.

 

After looking into the programs sponsored by groups one belongs to, a musician could then look to individual insurance plans geared towards musicians.Oftentimes more general health plans do not sufficiently cover musical instruments or account for concerns specific to musicians.So it may be better to check with specialized music insurance companies such as Music Pro or Clarion Insurance.They offer policies for particular instruments, studio and tour liability, health and life coverage, and for different types of musicians, from amateurs to pros to classical musicians to even those who own antiques or special types of instruments.

 

Finally, if a musician is in the unfortunate situation of not having insurance and needing coverage right away for a major health issue, he or she could turn to some of the programs built to serve musicians in crisis.For example, the Grammyís help sponsor the MusicCares program, which provides emergency financial assistance in times of need for musicians.After the Katrina hurricane disaster, MusicCares helped provide replacement instruments to musicians in the region.Other programs have been founded by songwriters and others interested in protecting musicians in emergency situations, such as the Jazz Foundation, Sweet Relief, and many other clinics.

 

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Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute legal advice and is in no way a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney.

 

 

 

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