If the teaching of dance is your business, more than a clue about your need to cover yourself with liability insurance is contained in this very statement – that dance teaching is your business.
This entails potential risks that are no less though sometimes more than those faced by any other business under the sun. Public liability cover is all about protecting your business against claims for damages or injuries caused to your customers, members of the public, staff or literally anyone else who directly or indirectly comes in to contact with your business.
In your case, as a professional Dance Teacher, your first and foremost concern might be that of injuries suffered by your pupils under your instruction. It is probably fair to say that you might have suffered your own fair share of trips and falls, cuts and bruises, sprains and even broken bones during your years as a pupil, dancer and teacher.
It could also be argued that such injuries are part and parcel of the world of dance. Much as that might be true, today’s litigious culture promotes the opinion that when accidents happen, someone must be to blame for them.
Dance Teachers take on huge amounts of responsibility when undertaking the instruction of such a physical activity with the very young to the very old. Yet your pupils are not your sole concern; so are their accompanying persons and the premises in which you hold your dance classes.
If you own your own dance studio, your duty of care to anyone who enters your premises is exactly the same as that of any business. Your risk assessment should accordingly take in to account every imaginable worst case scenario, from a pupil slipping on your newly polished sprung dance floor to an accompanying parent tripping over a trailing scart lead whilst you are showing a dance DVD to your class.
Alternatively, you might not have fixed premises and conduct your classes in a variety of different venues, such as health clubs, school and church halls, social clubs or theatres. It is thus your responsibility to ensure that the premises you hire are fit for purpose and that the potential for damages is limited.
Equally, your hired premises might also have grounds to instigate claims against your dance business for any property damages they suffer that are attributable to your classes.
Experienced Dance Teachers are under no illusions that the profession encompasses a far greater remit than donning the fake tan and sequins. You teach a craft and a sport. If you remain uninsured, it is a highly realistic possibility that you might face a claim being brought against your business for damages or injuries that are actually par for the course of what you do for a living.
What Aspects of Public Liability Cover Are Recommended for Dance Teachers?
Just as with any other business, it is important for Dance Teachers to understand that the only aspect of liability insurance you are required to take out by law is Employers liability. This, of course, is applicable only if you employ anyone other than your direct family members to assist with the running of your dance business.
Any other public liability policy inclusions are optional rather than legally obligatory, although it is essential that you bear in mind that they exist to protect and support your dance business financially if and when claims are brought against you.
Employers Liability – Government policy dictates that you are breaking the law if, as an employer, you fail to take out Employers liability insurance. In fact, there are severe penalties in place for any business owners who are discovered to be lacking in this area. You might employ other Dance Teachers who supplement your services with different styles of dance or who simply co-opt in under your banner for your busy Saturday classes.
You are also wise not to overlook any other helpers who you might initially consider to be too casual or part time to warrant serious noteworthiness. Do you utilise the help of anyone who takes money for classes, serves breaktime refreshments, drives your minibus to dance competititons or assists you with costumes and make up? If the answer is yes, then you have a team of employees. Damages or accidents can befall any team member as they carry out your company business. If they take out successful legal action against you, your Employers liability covers you for up to £10 million in damages and expenses.
Your Dance Teachers public liability policy does much the same thing as your Employers liability, but rather than financially redressing claims by your own staff, it specifically takes care of claims made by anyone else who is non staff. Indemnity levels generally cover claims for damages and injuries made by your customers, members of the public, suppliers or any other third party concerns for £2 million, £5 million or £10 million.
You might consider additional insurance for your equipment if you own and use substantial amounts of it in your dance business. In the case of Dance Teachers, your business might own dancing apparatus, audio visual equipment and thousands of pounds worth of costumes for your dance teams.
Damages, loss or theft beyond your control would be financially devastating to your business and equipment insurance offers you the opportunity to recoup your costs if you suffer any such unforeseen misfortunes.
Is There Any Further Liability Insurance Advice for Dance Teachers?
Besides ensuring that your essentials are in place with regards to Employers liability, public liability and equipment insurance, there are other aspects of your dance business that may need due attention depending upon the specifics of your operation.
Many dance schools use their own vehicles to ferry pupils and teams to competitions and exhibitions. If you have a minibus, coach or several company vehicles, then you should bring this up whilst taking out your public liability policy. Whilst commercial vehicle or vehicle fleet insurance is not covered by liability insurance, you can sometimes secure a better all round deal by buying more for less simultaneously.
You should also not be a stranger to event insurance if you put on shows. If, for example, you stage an annual Christmas production performed in a local theatre, temporary event insurance might provide you with an ideal end to end solution.