Whether you’re putting on a large Broadway production or a small community theater show with limited resources, the performing arts in general come with a wide range of risks to look out for. There are a number of various injuries that can befall performances including a dancer getting injured during rehearsals, a crew member tripping over wiring, stagehands being shocked by electricity, an actor having their ears blown out by speakers, or an usher being injured tripping in a darkened theater.
While production companies do their best to keep these injuries out of sight, there are not only injuries that can take place on any given night but a wide range of claims that can also be made behind the scenes.
If you run a performing arts operation of any kind, it’s important to understand the risks and claims that are present as well as how to protect your company with performing arts insurance.
Productions, while sometimes performed outside, are traditionally performed inside theaters of all shapes and sizes. Any building can undergo property issues like water pipe bursts or small fires breaking out. Understanding that each building is a character on its own, presenting unique hazards, will help to limit risks and find the right coverage.
General Liability Claims
If a patron attending a classical performance slips and falls in a bathroom or bar area, and they end up with a sprained ankle or broken arm, they can turn around and bring claims against a theater or production company. This is where performing arts insurance can help to provide coverage needed to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, and rehab expenses.
Speaking with a knowledgeable insurance professional can also protect an organization from claims related to injuries that hurt performers and crew. There are so many different ways in which a performer or crew member can receive an unfortunate injury on set, like falling lights or small fires, for example. Having the right coverage – be it General Liability or Workers Compensation – in a performing arts insurance program will cover those claims and help the show go on.
Directors and Officers Claims
Performing arts companies are heavily dependent upon donor funding to pay their performers and staff, take care of utilities, and put on shows. If a donor makes a large contribution to a theatre group and that money is used for other expenses, like trips or personal payments, the donor can file suit, and rightfully so. The damages can include return of the full contribution plus interest on top of that.
While this kind of claim is more fitted for bars and nightlife, it is possible for a theater or art gallery to be hit with a liquor liability claim. Say liquor is sold at a production or art gallery opening and a patron ends up in an accident and has alcohol in their system, alcohol which was served at the event, then they have the right to sue the art gallery sponsor or theater where they were served.