Your DJ Has no Insurance: What Could go Wrong?
You have a big event coming up — your wedding, a corporate event, or a school fundraiser — and you’re shopping around for a DJ. However, with all the details you have on your plate, there may be one key question you forget to ask.
“Do you have insurance?”
If you’re crunching the numbers, an uninsured DJ is almost guaranteed to be cheaper upfront. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong at the event, then it could cost you much more in the long run. Let’s look at why it’s so important to sign with an insured DJ company like Highland Preferred.
Why Do DJs Need Insurance?
There are two primary reasons that DJs require insurance.
A DJ who has business liability insurance protects you, your guests, and your venue in the event that any unfortunate incident should occur. DJs require insurance because they set up and utilize a lot of large, heavy, and in our case...very expensive equipment from sound systems to lighting. If anything goes wrong, for example, a piece of equipment falls and injures a guest or someone trips over a cord, then thousands of dollars in medical expenses or other damages can come into play, "this is also why we pay close attention to our look, and cord management". If your DJ isn’t insured, then you (as the host of the event) could be held liable for these damages and required to foot the bill.
By hiring a DJ who is insured, you avoid putting yourself in a situation where your guests sue you for damages, and you (in turn) sue your DJ because they were responsible for the incident. For example, we use Sparkler Fountain FX at a lot of our events. They are near harmless BUT if someone...somehow... trips and finds their eyes inches above the spark output then you best believe everyone is going to be in a better situation because we carry insurance! Obviously this is on the extreme side of what could happen, but you never know.
Furthermore, outside of the terrible financial burden that an uninsured DJ may place on you, most venues require your DJ to show proof of insurance. If your DJ arrived to set up and is turned away for lack of insurance, there’s no time for you to get a replacement. Your venue sending your DJ home over an insurance issue puts you in a bind, and that’s the last thing you want on the day of your wedding or other large event!
Having insurance shows that your DJ company is a professional and takes their service seriously. DJs who are willing to work without insurance are demonstrating major carelessness for you, your guests, the venue, and themselves. Our opinion is that every event deserves this basic level of caring.
Use insurance as a metric to help you separate the DJs who fly by the seat of their pants and those who are highly experienced in their field.
How Will an Uninsured DJ Cost You?
As the host of any event, you’re ultimately responsible for what your guests and vendors do at the venue on your big day. This is demonstrated by the clause venues have written into their contracts. Venues want to be protected against the negligence of outside vendors as they have seen a lot of the carelessness that has occurred.
So, if your DJ doesn’t have insurance and accidents happen, you’re the one on the hook for damages. That’s why it’s critical that any vendors you use, including your DJ, have liability insurance. It’s part of being a professional business as it protects its clients and their guests.
What You Need from Your Insured DJ
Have the conversation early on with your DJ about their insurance status, and don’t take their word for it! Make sure you request proof, or at minimum have them send proof to your venue in advance. This may seem like overkill now, but you don’t want to be in a position where your venue sends them home or you’re on the hook for thousands. If your DJ is truly a professional, then they’ll be happy to demonstrate proof of insurance. Here is an actual run-down of what's needed:
1. “Business liability” coverage
You want to make sure that your DJ has the correct type of insurance. Some DJs may mistakenly believe that their DJ activities are covered by their homeowners’ or renters’ policy. This is not true!
Because entertainment work is a business, they need business liability coverage. Homeowners’ coverage won’t cover anything related to a DJ accident, let alone off their home property. So, if the certificate doesn’t include “business liability” coverage, RED FLAG.
2. Coverage limits
Typical policies will cover at least $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. When venues require coverage, they typically require the same amounts. Our policy covers about 2x the norm. Check with your venue to see if they require insurance, and if they do, what amounts they require. Then, check with your DJ to make sure everything matches up. When working with Highland Preferred you have the luxury of having us pre-check with the venue so its one less thing you have to do :) It's likely that we already have a COI (certificate of insurance) on file already!
3. Expiration date
Make sure that your DJ will be insured at the time of your event. Most policies renew annually. If the current policy is set to expire before your event date, make sure your DJ follows up with you when they have renewed their insurance. You can even put it in your contract as a guarantee.
There is a LOT to worry about leading up to, and even on your special day. One of the cool things about Highland Preferred is that we are very good about putting things into perspective for you. We are very good at making the entertainment aspect of your celebration easy.
This blog is not meant to freak you out, we simply care about the success of your celebration & of course, everyone involved. You can put your mind at ease when working with us because we have this box checked thoroughly.
If you are looking for a fully insured entertainment company, Highland Preferred has your back!