This article will explain the specifics of how best to make use of fire performance insurance, specific to the disciplines covered by Specialty Insurance Agency, and the process of applying your insurance to specific events. Unfortunately, having the insurance itself is not the final step in ensuring your performances are covered, and a common mistake of insured talent is to assume that purchasing the insurance alone will provide the coverage they need to perform at a venue.
Most all venues and clients want to be listed as additionally insured on your coverage. This eliminates their chances of being liable for a mistake that causes damages that was a direct result of your actions. If their information is not required on your COI, and you still opt out of obtaining a site and client specific Certificate of Insurance (COI) coverage from your insurance provider, you are still not fully covered because you have not reported your activities to the insurance company. Not reporting your activities leaves you at risk of being denied coverage and left solely responsible for any damages you may impose upon yourself, the audience or the venue’s premises.
Because of this, we recommend you protect yourself and everyone else at each event your perform by pulling an insurance certificate. To do this, you must go to the Specialty Insurance Agency website at least 48 - 72 hours prior to the performance and fill out the Performer Certificate Request Form. Once on the website, go to the “Insurance” page and click on “Performer Certificate Request” on the left menu of the page. Once there, you will see a form to fill out. Most fields are self-explanatory, but some (such as the Certificate Holder and Additionally Insured sections) can be a little confusing. Always be sure to fill out every field accurately, as a typo or omitting important information could be disastrous if you need to file a claim.
In the event you make a mistake, that’s OK! You can pull as many individualized certificates you need each year without additional fees being charged to you.
The next section is for information on the Certificate Holder. The Certificate Holder is the venue or location in which the fire performance is taking place. You must fill out a new form for every location that you perform. Many venues will require that you provide them with a copy of the COI as proof that you have taken out a policy protecting their establishment. To maintain professional credibility, it is also recommended you always offer this service to venues as some do not realize that this is an option.
LISTING ADDITIONALLY INSURED
The Additionally Insured section is typically used to extend the coverage of your policy to the hiring client. If a client hires you to perform for an event at a venue they do not own, you will need to list the client as Additionally Insured. Doing this extends policy coverage to them and their business. Otherwise, only the venue will be covered and the client and their business may be at risk for being involved in hiring you to perform if something goes wrong.
For example, if Google hires you to perform at an event they are hosting at Madison Square Garden, you would list “Madison Square Garden” as the Certificate Holder and “Google” as the Additionally Insured. Always ask the client how they should be listed on the form and try to provide as much information as possible, including the client’s name, their business name, their mailing address and contact information. This will save time and trouble if the insurance provider ever needs to investigate a claim.
You can list multiple individuals or companies in the same Additionally Insured section. If you are part of an incorporated performance company, you will also want to list the company you are performing for and with as Additionally Insured.
DBA stands for “Doing Business As” and is often used when individuals are hiring you on behalf of a parent company. It's usually referred to as you or your client’s assumed, trade, or fictitious name. Having a DBA allows you to conduct business under a name other than your own (such as a group or stage name) — your DBA is usually different from the name of the business owner, and is typically the business's legal, registered name.
YEAR LONG VENUE COVERAGE Another little known fact is that you can pull a COI to provide coverage at a single location for the entirety of your policy period. Therefore, if you perform at a venue on a regular basis throughout the year, and don’t want to pull a certificate for each time you do, you can request to be covered for the entire duration of the remainder of your policy and keep it on file. This works best if you are being hired directly by a venue.
For Example: let's say you perform regularly at Hire Me Pizza. Your paycheck comes from Hire Me Pizza. Nobody is hiring your to perform for them at their event being hosted at Hire Me Pizza. Given no other company is involved, and you are working directly for the venue, you would only need to fill out the Certificate Holder portion of the certificate request and not the Additionally Insured.
Since it often takes 48 hours to receive a COI, it is best to obtain a certificate covering you for the duration of your policy at these types of arrangements so you won’t have to worry about obtaining coverage for a last minute booking that may come your way.
Pulling a COI in advance for the entire policy is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- It saves time doing it once vs. completing the form each time you perform.
- It allows you to perform at that venue at any time without advance notice.
- You maintain professional credibility with your client.
In the final section, you will have the chance to attach any relevant certificates you have obtained, a safety plan or any additional information on the venue. You can also add the email of the venue or client so that they automatically receive a copy of your COI as soon as it has been processed, which will save you the trouble of the extra step of forwarding it to them later.
Click the Process ASAP button if you’re in a hurry! You may get lucky with a last minute certificate request, but there is no guarantee you will obtain it in time and it is definitely not worth the risk.
We hope that this has provided some clarity on this process and given you a better understanding of how to obtain COI’s. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to Specialty Insurance Agency directly. It is always best to familiarize yourself with the details of your policy and ensure that you are fully prepared for every performance.
With Love and Light,