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Let's face it. Even if you are careful, accidents will happen. Liability can be confusing and it is important to know what you really are protected for.
To shield business owners from having their personal assets tapped, the purchase of a policy providing liability insurance will provide peace of mind and eliminate having to pay an attorney in the event of an allegation of bodily injury of damaged property caused by negligence. The harmed party would be someone other than the business and is what we refer to as a 3rd party claimant.
Who needs to know you have insurance as the studio owner? Your landlord, venues for recitals and performances, other schools where an instructor may teach, competition coordinators and others.
A solid liability limit is $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $2,000,000 general aggregate. The occurrence limit provides protection for either a bodily injury or property damage incident. This could involve more than one person and is the most per occurrence that would be paid under an insurance policy. A general aggregate is the maximum a policy would pay for all claims over a 12 month period.
Assuming you have insurance, ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. Will I be covered even if I did not do anything negligent? Maybe a student is goofing off and sprains an ankle. You need to know what to do if a parent blames you or holds you at fault.
2. Will my liability insurance follow me wherever I go? You need to know about your coverage where events occur off the studio premises such as car washes, fundraising, performances in a nursing home etc.
3. Does the policy extend to my annual recital? If a parent who is attending the recital falls while walking into the theater you need to know if you will have protection under your liability insurance.
4. What if I help a friendly studio owner by teaching a class at their studio? Am I protected? This is an important question to have answered by your agent, you'll be confident to know what's covered.
5. If a student get hurts inside my studio, is there an exclusion on my policy for participants? Good chance there is. You may want to learn more about a supplemental accident insurance policy which can be great protection.