How to Stay Safe and Insured as a Musician

Article by: Carley Varley
VQS Advice Blog | Cover Image by MIC-PATTIE


Learn how to be truly prepared as a musician!

photo by Elizeu Dias

Today I’m going to be getting into the depth of what you need to be a musician, this isn’t just skill or an instrument, this is about the behind the scenes documents and insurance that you need in order to go that extra mile as a musician.

1.  How to insure you and your valuable equipment

man sitting on guitar amplifier playing electric guitar
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

Public liability is a type of insurance for businesses of all sizes,
across a variety of industries.

This is very important when you are being booked for public events and festivals. It covers you if a client or member of the public claims they have been injured, or their property damaged, because of your business activities.

This type of insurance is designed to protect business owners against claims that result in legal proceedings. If a claim does become a legal matter, a policy will cover the cost of these expenses, including any compensation you are required to pay.

If I’m performing at a pub and someone trips over my cable…

if I have 10,000,000 PLI insurance, then I will be covered and this can be sorted. Many venues won’t take you on if you don’t have this documentation, it is easy to find if you type it into google, so I’d suggest getting the insurance for yourself.


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2. Safety precautions for your equipment

person marking check on opened book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Learn how to check the safety of your equipment.

Portable Appliance Testing is a test that checks the equipment that you are using to ensure that its safe to use. This ensures that if any safety defects are found that your equipment will then need to be fixed and you then know it can’t be used at venues because it’s unsafe. This again is simple, you get the test done and if it’s all clear you receive a certificate and you can show this to venues if they require it. It also shows your equipment to be safe and it’s definitely worth having.


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3. How truly safe are you?

quarantine girl inside house Sharon McCutcheon

A Musicians Union membership has so many perks and is fantastic for artists!

If you sign up you can pay a monthly £20 fee and you receive PLI and Instrument Insurance which is another thing you need as a musician.

MU also gives mental health support to musicians, they keep you up to date with news and they also have music industry lawyers and help for musicians too. I’d highly recommend having a membership and using this to your advantage.

4. How to get your instruments covered

a broken brown wireless guitar on black table
Photo by More Amore on Pexels.com

Instrument insurance ensures that if your musical instrument gets broken or stolen…

that you are covered and that a replacement is sent to you as soon as possible. There are many companies who can do this for you but I’d recommend Musicians Union as its included in the membership. This gives you peace of mind and it means that your instruments are covered if anything does happen.

5. How do musicians get paid?

Registering your songs is very important as it means your work is documented…

and if you are played on the radio you get royalties. It distributes money of behalf of songwriters and it means your works are copyrighted too.

This is very important if you write your own songs and have them played on radio stations or perform them at venues. I perform my songs live every weekend, so this means I can register a performed work and receive royalties for playing/performing my songs.

These are my top 5 things that you need as a musician, I’d recommend signing up for these, to ensure your instruments, songs and equipment are protected and covered.

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