A piano tutor teaching a young student.

Do private music tutors need business insurance?

Posted on 27th January 2023 by

If you’ve got musical talent and a drive to teach, becoming a private music tutor can be a rewarding and lucrative career. However, this profession is not without its risks. On the contrary, whether you work in the homes of students or in schools, music tutors need protection from a range of different potential risks.

So, what small business insurance protects private music teachers? And are any such policies a legal requirement? In this guide, we answer both of these questions and more as we take a closer look at the insurance needs of self-employed music tutors.

Do music teachers need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, it is recommended for self-employed music teachers. This profession may appear relatively risk free on the face of it, but one accident could be enough to cripple your business if you don’t have protection in place. Depending on your business structure, a claim against your business could even put your personal finances and assets at risk.

Public liability insurance protects you from these risks. This is to say, should an unexpected accident occur while you are teaching, that results in third party injury or property damage, this insurance will cover all legal costs and potential compensation you are ordered to pay. For example, say the parent of a student trips over a cable connecting your guitar to an amplifier. If this trip results in an injury, the parent may choose to make a claim against you. In this scenario, public liability insurance would cover all resulting legal costs. It would also protect you if you damaged a student’s property while teaching. For example, if you were to damage a student’s wallpaper with your tuba while setting up.

Having this form of insurance in place can also help you win business. Nowadays many students (and the parents of students) research prospective music tutors before hiring. If you can advertise that you are insured against third party injury and property damage, this can make your services appear more appealing than a competitor who does not have public liability insurance in place. It also makes your music business appear more professional.

Do private music teachers need professional indemnity insurance?

Another type of insurance all private music teachers should consider is professional indemnity insurance. These policies protect your business against claims of negligence. Usually, these claims take two forms:

  • Claims against negligent actions in the line of work
  • Claims against poor professional advice

A successful claim has to prove that the student experienced financial and/or emotional damage as a result.

Although you may think this cover is more suited to professions that involve more advisory or consultatory work, private music tutors can certainly benefit from this protection. Say, for example, one of your students fails a music exam. If they (or their parents) claim you have not prepared them (or their child) adequately, a negligence claim could be brought against you. This claim could attempt to recover the cost of tuition you charged. It can also claim any exam fees paid and any compensation for financial/emotional damage caused.

If a claim of this nature is brought against you, professional indemnity insurance will cover any legal costs and compensation.

Do music tutors need equipment insurance?

Just as a handyman requires their toolbox to work, a music teacher needs their musical instruments. Indeed, should your instrument become lost, stolen or damaged, you will be unable to teach. This means your business is unable to make money. Luckily, this is where specialist equipment insurance can help.

While you may assume your domestic contents insurance would cover the loss or theft of an instrument, this is not always the case. This is to say, if you take your own guitar, keyboard or violin to the home of a student or a school, if it is lost, stolen or damaged, your contents insurance will not cover the costs. Even if the incident occurs in your home, if your insurer can prove you are using the instrument for work, they may not pay out.

How to insure musical instruments

The best way to protect your musical instruments is with specialist instrument insurance. In the event an essential instrument is lost, stolen or damaged, this covers the cost of replacing or repairing it. In some cases, these policies will even cover any loss of earnings that occur during the period you are without your instrument.

Here at Caunce O’Hara, we offer specialist teachers and tutors insurance packages, ideal for music tutors. These comprehensive packages allow tutors to build their own policies. This means, different types of insurance can be combined to create one, all-encompassing policy.