Public liability insurance – what it is and why you need it

Next up in our DJ insurance series we take a look at Public Liability Insurance. This is one add-on to your insurance bundle that every businessman and woman should have, whether they’re a DJ, running a pub or restaurant, working as a solo trader or running a multi-national business. In fact, any occupation that brings you into direct or indirect contact with the public puts you, the business operator, at risk of claims for compensation if an injury is attributed to your action or even your inaction. So cutting corners on your insurance cover and leaving this particular policy out of your bundle could potentially put you at real financial risk.

Public liability insurance covers the compensation payment plus any legal expense you may incur defending yourself against a claim.

Do I have to have PLI?

It isn’t compulsory, but you will find that a lot of venues will not allow DJs who don’t have PLI cover to perform at their premises. And we’re not just talking about big clubs either – if you’re a working DJ specialising in weddings and family events you may find that even some pubs, clubs and community halls won’t allow you to operate on the premises unless you have PLI. They will probably have their own PLI policy of course, but as you are a sub-contractor you may not be covered by their insurance, which could leave both you and the venue vulnerable to claims for compensation.

Just how dangerous do you think DJ-ing is?

Obviously we’re not talking ‘oil rig worker’ levels of risk here, but there are situations where members of the public or other venue staff could be injured. Loose wires can cause trips and falls, faulty electrical equipment such as speakers or microphones could be dangerous and even a speaker stack toppling off the edge of a stage and injuring a patron could all result in a claim for compensation. So even in the most seemingly safe professions, you still have to consider the consequences of a momentary lapse in concentration, a cable that hasn’t been tied down or a stack of speakers that’s maybe just an inch too close to the edge of the stage.

Public liability insurance is possibly one of the most important types of cover for any DJ. Insurance may not be the most interesting of subjects, but if you’re serious about your business then you need to be serious about your insurance too.