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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Do you have insurance? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Regular user
Long Island, New York
182 Posts

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I have been doing children's shows for a while, but only recently thought about insurance. I have never had a problem in the past, but having liability insurance is never a bad idea.

Do you guys have insurance and if so, what company do you use?
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I have public liability insurance as a member of Equity, Some places won't let you work without it.

I think it would be stupid not to have it, if your props etc accidently injure a child it could cost you your house if your not insured. Especially in this compensation culture we live in today.

If the roaming Toddler (we discussed in another topic) wanders into the performance area and pulls your table over on top of himself and gets hurt you can bet your bottom dollar the parent who should have been watching him won't take responsibilty.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Sir T
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537 Posts

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Rule of thumb, "Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it!"

I know a guy who got burnt, for not having it, lost his house, car job everything!!! I will not work without it and make sure you have product liability as well!

As a balloon twister, make sure you do not give a balloon to a child under the age listed on your package, if you do, you are in violation of the product's warning and your insurance will not pay and you will be sued--care to know how I know that one?

Get insurance, run do not walk, but get it!

Kevin Smile
Mike Robbins
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Elite user
Anchorage, Alaska
447 Posts

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I have it and wouldn't work without it. I have the IBM's insurance, but SAM has one as well. Contact them for details.

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
magicalmischief
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Massachusetts
239 Posts

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What kind of insurance do you recommend. What's needed on the policy and what type of policy is needed?
Seems to me that death is just natures way of telling us to SLOW DOWN!
Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Regular user
Long Island, New York
182 Posts

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Thanks guys, I checked out the insurance through SAM and it seems reasonable.
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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Hi Magicalmischief, you need something that covers you for any person or object (expensive ornament etc) that may in anyway shape or form be damaged by you or your props. Remember if you use water in a trick and someone walks past after the show and slips, you are deemed responsible. If you walk into Mrs Smiths living room, bang your box accidently against the wall and damage her expensive decor, you will be liable for repairs.

Frightening isn't it?
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
ClodAppleleft
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Manchester, NH
195 Posts

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I use "Living History" http://www.livinghistory.com It is designed mostly for reenactors and such, but all of the characters that I play can be constituted as a "Living History" character. (I play a Jester, Cavalier, Wizard, etc..) The insurance is inexpensive too which is nice.
There are many different ways to cut an apple.
BryanDreyfus
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293 Posts

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I have and have had for many years a 1 million dollar coverage. If at one of your shows, someone trips over their own big feet, you can be held liable as a distraction.
I found this out in California years ago while touring. If you drive to a show in clown makeup and someone is distracted by you and have an accident, you could be held liable as the cause of the accident.
Before you call me a liar or a fool, hunt up the state patrol officer who pulled me over and told me that. It does sound weird.
So, liability, insurance is important.
If you think not, ask McDonalds if a woman who bought a cup of coffee and spilled it on herself after being served has grounds for a liability suit. Before the million dollar award I bet they would have said "no".

Bryan
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
Jerry Hornak
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Northwest Connecticut
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I have the insurance offered through the IBM.

Besides the liability benefits (which are essential), having insurance raises your professional image.

When asked if you are insured, that means it's important to the booker. An immediate, "Of course" makes you sound right on top of things.
Making Happy Memories for Children since 1980!
https://JerrysMagic.com
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

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Obviously no point in recommending anything to you in Long Island from Cheshire! - BUT, I would advise you do not delay in obtaining cover. We pay around £75 per annum (convert that to US dollars). This covers us for what we do, what we ask children to do, for any damage to venues, or for the few houseparties we do. Current exclusions are Trapeze and Fire Eating. In this world of litigation and opportunists trying to seize something from you, I'd buy a Policy tomorrow if I were you Daniel. We are not personally believers in entertainment Trades Unions and do not participate in Magical Societies, but if you are, - then these can sometimes offer cover in some form or another.

Tony.
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I read somewhere about a woman that sued McDonalds because she slipped on a drink that had been spilt on the floor, She won despite the fact that she'd thrown the drink at her boyfriend moments before. There's also the case of the woman who sued a store because she fell over a toddler that was running wildy around the store, It was her child!
I'm assured these are genuine cases and were in a list of the top 10 stupid lawsuits or something like that, but it does make you think. I have £5,000,000 worth of cover and legal assistance with Equity. It cost me a bit more that Ace, but the legal side is brilliant if you need to twist someones arm to pay up. I had 2 cases this year where a booker didn't turn up at a gig, they'd cancell the party but not me, as they didn't cancel they had to pay me, Equity got them to cough up the cash. This more than covered what I paid out in subs.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Daniel Faith
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Inner circle
Neenah, Wisconsin
1526 Posts

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You can sue for anything in California.
This society has become excessively sue crazy. Anything to get ahead I guess.
Daniel Faith
jasper
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185 Posts

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Public liabilty insurance is essential. A lot of places are up on it and won't let you perform without it. But you need it— what would happen if you levitated a kid and couldn't get him down! Smile
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
--Albert Einstein
Rupert Bair
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What insurance do you need for yourself and your props?
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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I also have public Liability Insurance and I get mine throught the SAM. With all the shows I do and the festival market I perform in, it is a necessity. Many even ask and require it of me before they would even consider using my services.

Kyle
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Wayne Hackler
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As one of those hated insurance agents, I'll offer my two cents worth. Insurance is never a bad idea. As for liability, a must. You may not need it, but rest assured you will need some if you don't have it at some point in time. Get as much as you can afford, you can always increase the amount at a later date. As for insuring your equipment, if you decide to insure your tools, go to your insurance agent and ask about what is called an inland marine poliy. He'll know what you mean, it has nothing to do with boats. As always, especially with liability insurace, talk with your local agent for particulars. But certainly don't discount the insurance sold by the magic organizations. Jst shop around and get what fits you and your wallet.
stu-di-doo
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Cumbria, UK
160 Posts

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I took out a policy with Country Mutual (formerly known as Dixon Chalmers). They do a special policy for children's entertainers - £2,000,000 public liability cover.

Cover runs from 2 september to 1 September and costs £100 each year. Unfortunately if you want covered from now until 1 September it is still £100.

PM me if you want the contact details

Regards

Stu Di Doo
Woofledust
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Connecticut
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Often overlooked is the fact that liability insurance includes the cost of defending you. A client can claim injury for all sorts of crazy incidents that might occur while you are performing at a party. Their chance of successfully collecting damages from you might be very slim. But you are still going to need a lawyer to defend youself if they press their case, and (duh!) lawyers cost a lot of money, right? If they retain an attorney it will be on a contingency basis. But you, the defendent are going to have to come up with money up front -- unless you are insured. Insurance provides you that necessary defense.

I carry auto insurance not just because I have to, but because I don't want to lose my house, my car, and my pathetically undervalued magic collection to some over zealous opportunist. The same thought process applies to performer's liabilty insurance.

No, I don't sell insurance, but I was an insurance company liabilty underwriter for many years, and you would be amazed at some of the claims that are presented!
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
11912 Posts

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The insurance may not cover you at all venues. Best to read the fine print and possibly obtain additional insurance for those occasions.

Most venues carry insurance but I assume they could throw it all on the performer.
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