Liability Protection 101: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Insuring Your Dance Studio
What do you need to know to properly insure your dance studio? We gathered some of the top questions that dance studio owners and teachers have when it comes to insurance for their business. Thanks to the experts at Dance Studio Insurance, we've compiled a helpful list of answers for you so you can fill your classes and focus on dance education for your students.
1. What are the basics?
- A typical policy should include coverage of legal expenses in the event of bodily injury or property damage and also cover medical and dental expenses resulting from injury to students or others on the premise. There are comprehensive programs developed to specifically cover the inherent risks involved in running a Dance Studio.
- An Accident and Liability Insurance Program is designed to help eliminate the financial and emotional burden one can incur as a result of a lawsuit or participant injury claim. Dance Studio Insurance.com offers comprehensive studio policies, providing coverage for accident benefits and liability protection.
2. Are the students covered if they have an accident?
Accident Medical insurance will pay covered medical expenses that result from a student's accident at your school or during sponsored activities on and off site with DanceStudioInsurance.com. Use of this coverage is a gesture of goodwill and may help to prevent disputes over who is responsible for medical expenses and therefore avoiding a lawsuit.
3. What can I expect to pay for my insurance premium and can I pay it off monthly?
A policy with $1 Million in liability coverage and $100,000 medical benefit is available for $450* a year with DanceStudioInsurance.com. Studio owners have the option of paying the premium in one lump sum or they can elect to finance their premium and pay it off in 6 monthly payments. *Please refer to DanceStudioInsurance.com for current pricing, subject to change.
4. Are independent contractors covered under my policy?
Please check with your insurance agent to determine if independent contractors are covered under your current policy or not. When you are purchasing insurance for your studio, be sure to ask if they are included or excluded in the policy. Some policies allow you to include them in your policy for an additional charge while others do not.
If your policy does not cover independent contractors, studio owners need to require their independent contractor instructors to have the proper insurance coverage. Also, make sure the independent contractor instructors list the studio as an additional insured to their policy. That way, your studio will be protected in the event there is a claim filed against the independent contractor while they are operating at your studio.
5. What if I have an independent contractor teach at my studio but they don't carry their own liability insurance? Or I want to bring in guest choreographers/ instructors for workshops; does my policy cover the workshops?
Consider the following scenario:
- You have an Independent Contractor (IC) teaching a class at your studio, and a student is injured during their class and decides to sue. If the IC is named in the lawsuit, your policy will not pay out to defend the IC. The IC will have to pay out of their pocket or need their own liability insurance. However, if your studio is named in the lawsuit, your policy will pay to defend and settle any claims if your studio is found negligent, but it will not pay out if the negligence is found on behalf of the independent contractor which will become your responsibility and the claim will be paid by the studio owner.
- It is highly recommended that all studios require Independent Contractors to carry their own liability insurance and name your studio as an additional insured. DanceStudioInsurance.com offers affordable coverage for independent contractors.
If you are a studio owner and hire independent contractors you have two options:
- Require all independent contractors to carry liability insurance and list your studio as an additional insured if they are excluded from your policy.
- You can purchase the insurance on behalf of the independent contractor. Either by purchasing coverage for them through your policy or purchasing an individual policy in the name of the independent contractor.
6. If I add aerial hoops (lyra), tumbling, acrobatics, yoga, Pilates, aerobics, or fitness classes in addition to the dance, how will that affect getting insured?
Before adding these activities to your current offerings, check with your insurance provider to make sure it is a covered activity. Some policies will allow beam work up to a certain height, others will not. Be clear in your description of activities include any equipment or foam pits used.
- DanceStudioInsurance.com has the unique ability to customize an insurance package to meet the specific needs of any dance studio. Whether the studio offers programs such as tumbling, acrobatics, lyra, aerobics, pole dance or fitness, we can design our dance studio policies specifically to provide adequate coverage for almost any additional activity.
- Pricing for these additional activities will depend on which programs are offered, frequency and the annual participation counts. If you decide during your policy that you want to add more activities to your studio, give your insurance agent a call first and discuss the options available for you.
7. Are birthday parties or bachelorette parties covered under my policy?
Some policies include subsidiary activities at a higher rate per participant.
With DanceStudioInsurance.com, if the birthday parties or events are an operation of your dance studio, your policy will cover your parties/events as long as the attendees were included in the number of participants at time of application.
8. Does my policy cover off-site performances and recitals?
9. What is an additional insured?
Again, please check with your policy to see if coverage extends to off-site performances or activities. With the multiple options of coverage available to dance studio owners, it is important to determine the kind of coverage for your studio to make sure you purchase adequate coverage. Some studios have off-site performances, while others do not; it's all relative to your studio's operations.
DanceStudioInsurance.com's policies will follow you wherever you go while you are operating under your studio entity at no extra charge. If you are going to host an off-site performance, most venues will require proof of insurance and/or ask you to list them as an additional insured.
10. What if there is an accusation of Student Abuse or Molestation?
An additional insured is a person or organization that enjoys the benefits of being insured under an insurance policy, in addition to whoever originally purchased the insurance policy. Most often it applies when the studio owner needs to provide insurance coverage to additional parties for recitals or off-site performances or practices, so that those venues or locations enjoy protection from a new risk that arises out of the dance studio's activities or operations.
When researching insurance for your studio, some policies include abuse and molestation coverage and others will exclude coverage abuse and molestation, but this coverage can be bought back as an optional coverage selection. In the event of an allegation, defense costs are covered up to the limit purchased.
11. Do I need property insurance?
There are multiple options for property insurance. It depends on your personal choice. If you are renting property or space, first check with the landlord and have him provide you the insurance requirements required of the tenant. The landlord usually carries insurance on the property, so you would only need to carry insurance on your business personal property / contents and any tenant improvements or betterments.
- Some property insurance covers the physical address of your building, equipment, furnishings, fixtures, inventory, computers, valuable papers, any tenant betterment and improvements (i.e. you installed a new dance floor or mirrors) and income if your studio is forced to shut down. Other policies provide protection for your business personal property only, which doesn't include any structural coverage unless it was a betterment or improvement made by you the tenant.
12. Will I have coverage for the mirrors or my new dance floor?
The accident and liability studio policy considers the mirrors as business personal property and will cover the mirrors subject to the policy deductible if property coverage is purchased.
13. Does the policy cover my employees?
14. How much insurance do I need?
Policies protect your studio against negligent acts of your employees. However, most studio policies do NOT satisfy your statutory requirement to provide Worker's Compensation or Disability.
If you are renting or leasing space, first check with your landlord to see if
they require a certain limit. Otherwise, typically studios carry either $1Mil, $2Mil, or $3Mil in coverage.
15. What does the liability insurance cover?
Commercial General Liability -- coverage which protects the insured against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of premises, operations, products and completed operations and personal and advertising injury.
Legal Liability to Participants -- coverage which offers protection against bodily injury liability claims brought by persons participating in covered activities of your dance school operations.
Professional Liability -- provides protection against claims that arise out of the rendering, or failure to render: instruction, demonstration, direction and/or advice relating to the dance activity.
Thanks to Caitlyn at DanceStudioInsurance.com for sharing this helpful information, visit their site to find out more about their comprehensive studio policies, providing coverage for accident benefits, liability protection, independent contractor coverage, property coverage, and special events.