Guide to dance teacher insurance

Guide to dance teacher insurance

Whether you are a single dance teacher giving lessons on hired premises, or you own a dance school and employ other teachers, it is extremely risky to do so without proper insurance cover.

After all, while you may consider that the risks of any significant claims arising against you are small, there are more pitfalls for dance teachers than you might imagine.

This short guide is designed to explain, in plain English, some of the risks that dance teachers can face, as well as the role played by different insurance covers.

Public liability insurance

Protecting your business against claims for slips, trips, falls and more

Why is public liability insurance important?

Regardless of whether you teach in your own premises or rent a space for individual classes, you can still be held liable for injuries that your students, and anyone accompanying them, sustain during your classes. These can be caused by all sorts of things: from tripping over mats to slipping on water spillages, or even by a piece of your equipment breaking. Yet however injuries or damage are sustained, it is still possible for compensation claims to be made against you.

Where you own or rent your own permanent dance studio, the risks are even greater, as injury compensation claims are now routinely made for everything from slipping on icy pathways to tripping over obstacles in poor light. These claims can be expensive too, as even bruising could lead to a 'soft tissue injury' claim, while something more serious, such as a broken wrist could lead to a claim for many thousands of pounds, plus the attendant legal fees. Without public liability insurance, even a relatively minor claim can be financially crippling.

That's why public liability insurance should be considered by every dance teacher. It covers against compensation claims that are made against you following injury to a third party or damage to third party property; it also covers your legal fees, which can potentially run into thousands of pounds on their own - even when a claim against you is ultimately unsuccessful.

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Injury you cause to a third party during your business activities
  • Damage you cause to third party property during your business activities
  • Personal injury or damage to property arising from any product you have supplied

Examples of claims

  • A client slips on an unsecured mat during a dance lesson and sprains their wrist. They take legal action against you to seek compensation.
  • You accidentally knock a client's smartphone on the floor while demonstrating a move, and the phone breaks as a result. They take legal action against you for the cost of replacing the phone.

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Professional indemnity insurance

Protecting your business against claims for negligent teaching and advice

Why is professional indemnity insurance important?

While many people take dance classes simply for fun or exercise, an increasing number of teachers have students who hope to one day follow a professional career. In the first instance, these students will probably wish to pass exams set by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), or one of several other examining bodies such as the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) or International Dance Teachers' Association (IDTA). Naturally, you would hope for all of your students to be successful in their examinations; yet those who are not can sometimes blame the quality of their teacher rather than their own shortcomings, and will sometimes even seek financial redress. Allegations of an inadequate service, such as this, are covered by professional indemnity insurance.

However, professional indemnity insurance claims don't always arise from failure of students to reach their full potential. If you were to explain a dance move incorrectly, and your client subsequently injured themselves trying to perform it, they may take action against you to recover any losses they've suffered because of the injury, such as being unable to go to work.

Whatever the reasons behind a claim of this kind, they can be ruinously expensive to defend, making professional indemnity insurance a must-consider for every dance teacher or dance school. It covers the legal fees and expenses to defend your claim, as well as any compensation that might be awarded if your defence is unsuccessful. It's worth remembering that even if a claim is made against you without merit, you will incur legal costs just to defend it; so you'll be covered regardless of whether you were at fault in the alleged incident.

What does it cover?

Professional indemnity insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Professional negligence, such as giving incorrect instruction or poor advice to a client
  • Unintentional breach of confidentiality and/or copyright
  • Defamation and libel
  • Loss of documents or data
  • Loss of money or goods (for which you are responsible)

Examples of claims

  • You teach a client how to perform a dance move and they hurt their back while doing it. They hold you responsible for not explaining it properly and take legal action against you to seek compensation.
  • You teach a student that is hoping to pass their Royal Academy of Dance exams. They fail the exams, hold you responsible for not teaching them properly and take legal action against you to recover their outlay.

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Employer's liability insurance

Protecting your business against injury and illness claims by employees

Why is employer's liability insurance important?

If you are a sole owner and employee, with no other staff, you don't need to take out employer's liability insurance.

However, as soon as you employ one person, even if they are working for you on a voluntary basis, the law requires you to have a minimum of £5m worth of employer's liability insurance in place. If you don't, you could face a fine of up to £2,500 for every day that you are not insured.

An employer's liability policy ensures that you are covered against claims of injury or illness made by employees in the event that they are injured or become ill in the course of their work for you. This means that if they have a fall either at your dance studio (or another location that you have sent them to as part of their employment) or even develop an injury as a result of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), the claim would be covered by your employer's liability policy.

It's worth knowing that employer's liability insurance is underwritten on what's known as a 'claims occurring' basis. This means that your policy provides cover for claims brought by an employee for injuries and/or illness which occurred during that period of insurance, even if the policy is no longer in force (i.e. in the future).

What does it cover?

Employer's liability insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Allegations of injury suffered by your staff arising from their employment with you
  • Allegations of illness suffered by your staff arising from their employment with you

Examples of claims

  • An employee trips over a wire connected to a sound system and breaks their wrist. They are unable to work for several weeks as a result of the injury. They take legal action against you to seek compensation.
  • An employee alleges that they are partially deaf due to exposure to loud music during dance lessons. They take legal action against you to seek compensation.

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Buildings and contents insurance

Protecting your dance studio against fires, floods and other disasters

Why is buildings and contents insurance important?

Buildings insurance

It goes without saying that if you own your dance studio, you need buildings insurance. Similar to your home insurance, it covers against flood, fire and many other disasters that could damage or even destroy your workplace buildings.

If you rent your dance studio, in most cases the buildings will be covered by the landlord's buildings insurance (although you should check your lease agreement to confirm this).

Contents insurance/business equipment insurance

However, in addition to arranging buildings insurance, it's vitally important to consider contents (or business equipment) insurance. Think about how much money you have invested in dance and music equipment; in simple cases of theft, loss of your sound system and specialist dance equipment could easily cost you hundreds of pounds.However, if there was a flood or a fire on your premises, the financial implications could be much worse, particularly if you have paid for the installation of specialist fittings such as a sprung dance floor, mirrors and barres.

Our contents insurance covers a wide range of risks, from theft and accidental damage to floods and fires, to ensure that your business can get back on its feet quickly, whatever happens.

What does it cover?

Buildings and contents insurance covers your premises against accidental damage caused by:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Explosion
  • Storm

Examples of claims

  • A river breaks its banks and floods your premises, causing irreparable damage to a specially installed dance floor.
  • A fire causes structural damage to your studio and the building has to be rebuilt.

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Business interruption insurance

Protecting your business' income against unexpected events

Why is business interruption insurance important?

Even with the insurances in place that we have already discussed, dance teachers and dance schools are still vulnerable to interruptions to their business, such as those caused by fire or floods. While a contents insurance policy would, for example, cover the cost of replacing a flood-damaged dance floor, your business could still suffer enormous losses while the damage was being repaired. These losses are in the form of lost income due to an inability to operate, or increases in the cost of working (for example, through hiring another premises).

It can often take months before severely flooded premises have dried out enough for repairs to even begin, and unfortunately few businesses recognise the dangers an interruption to their trading can have.

That's why dance teachers should give serious consideration to business interruption insurance, which can cover the lost income (or additional costs in working) you might suffer if you were unable to hold classes. It can, for example, pay for temporary premises to help you keep serving your loyal students, rather than having to turn them away for months on end and run the risk of them finding another dance school.

What does it cover?

Business interruption insurance covers:

Loss of income (or increased costs of working) if you are unable to work from your usual business premises.
Example of a claim

  • A river bursts its banks and floods your premises. You are unable to hold your dance classes there while it is being repaired. Business interruption insurance can pay for the loss of income or, alternatively, the increased costs you incur in hiring another premises.

Why insure with Markel?

We insure hundreds of dance professionals, including dance teachers, ballet tutors and dance-class fitness instructors.

We offer a wide range of cover from as little as £6 a month, with the option to pay over 10 interest free instalments.

Get an online quote for dance teacher insurance now!

Business insurance from £5 a month