Author Topic: Freelance, Non-AEA - need insurance?  (Read 2144 times)

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Celeste_SM

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Freelance, Non-AEA - need insurance?
« on: Oct 12, 2012, 07:44 pm »
I've been a freelance stage manager for about 15 years. Sometimes I work for a company, sometimes I work for a building/venue, usually as a non-employee contractor. 

Oddly, until this year, nobody has asked me whether I carry liability insurance. This year it came up twice  - once for me, and once for my husband who is a freelance master electrician.

So what do other stage managers do? I'm working very infrequently due to having a new baby, but prior to having the child I did about 8 shows/year working for community theater companies, dance schools, regular schools, community opera, and ballet companies. Should I have had insurance all these years?

loebtmc

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Re: Freelance, Non-AEA - need insurance?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 12, 2012, 09:32 pm »
Honestly, I think it's their responsibility to insure you, not yours. When I work non-AEA (we have this 99-seat animal out here) or when I do convention work, the folks who hire me pay the insurance and are responsible shd anything untoward happen.

KMC

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Re: Freelance, Non-AEA - need insurance?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 12, 2012, 09:33 pm »
While having professional liability insurance would never be a bad thing, it doesn't seem like it's a necessity in your case, especially if you're not working frequently due to your child (congratulations, by the way!).  It would certainly be an asset, however it would increase your cost and likely necessitate a rate increase on your end. 

What you may think about doing is getting a quote or two on a short-term policy that you could consider "show-specific".  Say, a 12-16 week duration, at a specific venue (or venues), at a relatively low level of coverage - something like $25,000 per occurence / $50,000 aggregate, or 50/100 depending on the size venue, type of equipment, what your specific role is (all things that could have an impact on your financial liability in the event of an accident).  If you have a quote handy and know your cost, you'd be able to pull the trigger quickly should a future employer ask you to obtain coverage.  More importantly, you'd be prepared for negotations.  You'd know immediately the costs associated with obtaining the coverage and would be able to adjust your rates with agility and accuracy, as opposed to shooting in the dark.

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Celeste_SM

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Re: Freelance, Non-AEA - need insurance?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 17, 2012, 08:00 pm »
Thanks guys! (Sorry the thanks is so belated. Darn baby gets in the way of my internet time!)

If I go back to stage managing more frequently, I think I'll look into it. In the meantime, I'm just letting folks who want to hire me know that I do not carry my own insurance. They can decide how to handle that accordingly.

 

riotous