When it comes to insurance, some types are easier to understand than others. Arranging home or travel insurance can be a relatively straightforward job, but when it comes to insuring a profession like dance teaching, it can be difficult to get your head around the different covers on offer. While many types of insurance aren’t compulsory by law, they are important in protecting you, your students and your business against the unexpected.
Insuring your advice
One key type of insurance to understand is professional indemnity insurance, which can be instrumental in helping protect you if the worst was to happen. Professional indemnity insurance protects those who provide a professional service in exchange for a fee - for dance teachers it would be dance instructor insurance, and this includes the advice and coaching you provide to your students. It covers the costs of defending you against claims if you make a mistake or are found to have been negligent in your work. Of course, every teacher endeavours to provide the best possible service to their students - but as society increasingly turns toward a ‘blame culture’, the risks that dance tutors face when it comes to this area will only get bigger.
It might be difficult to understand when you would need professional indemnity insurance, but imagine that a student (or their parents, if you teach children) pays you for a number of lessons with the overall goal of them being accepted into a performing arts school. At the end of the series of lessons, they fail to get into the school and as a result take legal action against you to recover the fees they have paid you. Even if you have done nothing wrong and provided the best possible service, you may still have to pay a solicitor to defend yourself, and that costs money.
Insuring against accidents during dance routines
Alongside professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance is a useful cover to have especially if teach in a hired studio. Essentially, it protects against injuries suffered by third parties (like your students) that aren’t caused by wrong advice on your part. An example of what public liability insurance could cover would be if a student slipped and fell awkwardly because of an unsecured matt during a dance routine. Let’s assume their injuries are serious enough for them to need hospital treatment and they get in touch with a ‘no-win no-fee’ law firm to seek compensation. Once again, even if you’ve done nothing wrong you may have to pay a solicitor to respond to the allegations. It might sound like a worst-case scenario, but public liability insurance would be able to protect you in this situation and minimise the disruption to your business.
Insuring against damage you cause
In addition to covering accidents, public liability insurance also covers damage you cause to third party property. If you hire a hall or gym for your dance classes, the chances are the landlord will require you to have public liability insurance - this is standard practice as it gives the landlord confidence that if you damage their property it can be put right by your insurer. Although incidents where damage is caused to hired studios can be infrequent, when something does happen it can cost a lot of money to put right, so it is worthwhile having the cover in place, even if it is not a requirement by your landlord.