Do wedding DJs need insurance?

I was recently looking into becoming a wedding DJ and one of things I was wondering was do wedding DJs need insurance? I did a lot of research into this and here is what I found.

Yes, a wedding DJ needs insurance to cover and protect him/her from many different types of risk. Not only do you need to insure your equipment from theft and damage, but you also need other types of cover such as General Liability and Professional Liability. In some cases, that I explain in this article, you will also need Crime Coverage and even Workers Compensation Coverage. Are you confused about what all of these terms mean? Keep reading.

Different types of insurance for a DJ

Equipment Coverage

As a mobile wedding DJ, you’ll be carrying around and setting up all your equipment in a room full of people you probably don’t know. That is a huge risk and there is a lot that can wrong. There are a lot of drunk people at weddings and drunk people do stupid things! People can steal something or accidentally damage it.  Even you could drop something and damage it.

Equipment coverage will insure you for theft or damage of your gear. Think of all the equipment you own and how much it is probably worth. Your gear is your biggest asset and you need to protect it.

When looking for equipment insurance, you estimate the total value of your equipment and then find a policy that covers you for at least that amount. 

Be careful. Many insurance policies have something called a “deductible”.  A deductible is the amount that is deducted from the total amount that the insurance company will pay you in the event of a claim. Example below:

Total value of your stolen DJ equipment:  $500
Deductible: $400
Amount you will be paid:  $100  ($500 – the deductible of $100)

The higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the insurance (premium), but your cover will also be less. Deductibles are often hidden in the small print and used to make the premiums seem very low and attractive.  When comparing quotes between insurance companies, make sure compare the level of cover AND the amount of the deductible and don’t be afraid to negotiate or to ask them to lower of the deductible if you feel it is too high.

(Note: In the UK,  the correct term for a deductible is an “excess”.)

General Liability

General Liability covers you for accidents that cause:

  1. Physical injury to a 3rd party
  2. Property damage belonging to a 3rd party

Let’s look at each one with an example:

Physical injury to a 3rd party

Injured man at party

Example situation:  A child is running around the dance floor and bumps into your DJ booth. Your microphone stand tips over and hits a man on the shoulder and he needs hospital treatment. Even though, this was an accident and not really your direct fault, someone has been injured by your equipment. Your general liability insurance will cover you for the cost of her medical expenses.

Property damage to a 3rd party

Example situation:  A man bumps into one of your lights and it falls over. He manages to jump out of the way but the light lands on a nearby table and smashes his smart phone. Again, even though this was an accident, someone’s property has been damaged by your equipment and in the eyes of the law, you are responsible.

General liability insurance would cover you for the cost of the damage.

Professional Liability

As you saw above, General Liability covers you for damage caused by an accident. Professional Liability protects you from damage caused by your negligence. In layman terms, negligence is when you haven’t done your job properly. You’ve made a mistake that could have and should have been avoided. Mistakes happen at weddings and they can be costly and that is why the DJ needs Professional Liability cover.

An example could be that a DJ is having a bad night. He’s is exhausted at the end of the night and gets involved in a heated argument with one of the guests. As a result, the wedding planner who hired the DJ loses future business and sues the DJ for loss of earnings. Professional liability insurance would cover you for this. The term for this type of cover is often called “Errors and omissions”.

Auto Liability Coverage

“Auto” stands for automobile. This covers you for injury to a 3rd person or damage to property belonging to a 3rd person caused by your car or vehicle. Don’t think that your personal car insurance covers you for this. If/when you’re using your vehicle for your work as a DJ, you need specific auto liability cover.

Example 1 – You arrive at the venue in your van and while reversing, you hit a child playing in the parking lot.

Example 2 – You accidentally break a basement window when parking your van. It later rains and the basement floods doing thousands of dollars of damage.

Auto Liability insurance would cover you in both the above examples.

Crime Coverage insurance

This is necessary if you have employees and they commit a crime while working for you. Standard “Equipment Coverage” (see above) won’t pay up if it’s one of your employees who have stolen your kit.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Again, this is only necessary if you employ staff.  This insurance covers you if one of your employees is injured, gets sick or even dies when working for you.

Example – One of your employees drops a speaker on his foot and injures himself.  With workers’ compensation, the insurance company will pay for his medical expenses.

Why insurance is so important

Peace of mind

Happy DJ

You’re a DJ. Your job is to play music and entertain people. You probably chose this job because you love music, dancing and seeing people enjoy themselves. You need to have a smile on your face! You don’t want to waste time and energy being stressed about having an accident, damaging someone’s property or injuring someone.

Accidents will happen. Insurance won’t prevent them but having adequate insurance will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you will be covered if the worst comes to the worst.  With the healthcare costs so high in the US, just one accident could put you out of business if you don’t have insurance, not to mention a lifetime of guilt for the person who was injured.

It’s a selling point

Don’t see DJ insurance as an annoying expense. It’s an asset! If you have proper coverage, you will be showing potential clients that you are professional and take your job and everyone’s safety seriously.  

Get copies of your certificates of insurance (COI) and show them proudly to your prospects. Do it proactively – Don’t wait for them to ask.

If you have an office, put your framed insurance certificates on your wall behind your desk. Mention them on your website and in all your promotional material and on your business cards. 

Being fully insured will reassure your customers and make them want to hire you.

How much does insurance cost for a wedding DJ?

The annual cost of insurance for a wedding DJ is between $200 and $500. The exact cost depends on the exact options you have and the value of your equipment.

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