You might not have thought of it yet if you’re just casually recording out of your small studio setup at home, but you may need recording studio insurance to make sure you have coverage for your instruments and gear as well as the liability of anyone recording at your studio who may incur an injury.
Do I need to insure my home music studio? If it’s a hobby and you have not made any money with your setup, then your equipment is likely covered by your home insurance policy. If you have made any money with your home recording studio, it is very likely that you need to look into recording studio insurance to cover your gear.
As much as we as musicians and engineers only want to focus on the creative aspects of the job, the sad reality is a good amount of time must be spent thinking about other factors that come with choosing this profession. If you start to consider this passion of yours in the music industry as a part-time or even full-time job, it is definitely time to start thinking about all the financial and legal responsibilities that would come with it just like any other job.
What Is Recording Studio Insurance?
Recording Studio insurance can be seen as a type of business insurance specific to recording studios. They will generally provide coverage for loss or damage of equipment, as well as protecting the studio owner against any third-party lawsuits.
For example, if you bring an artist over to record and they suffer an injury (such as tripping on a cord and breaking their leg), then you will be covered in the case that this is an accident.
The policies will range in price based on their scope and who they are catering towards. A list of coverage that can be available in a recording studio insurance policy, which I took from Emery & Webb (one of the notable music industry insurance providers), shows the wide range that a possible policy may provide.
- General liability
- Buildings and business property, equipment and instruments
- Home based business
- Cyber liability (Data breach)
- Media liability
- Errors & Omissions coverage
- Electronic Data Processing
- Inland marine – individual instruments or pieces of equipment
- Commercial Auto
- Worker’s Compensation
- Excess liability
As you can see, the policy can cover the more obvious things such as insuring your whole recording space and equipment, to insuring your equipment if you take it on a plane for touring (inland marine), to covering the cost of hiring an IT expert to recover your data should your hard drive or computer be damaged.
There are many music recording insurances that offer this services. A quick google search will yield many results. Make sure to do plenty of research and price comparisons before deciding to insure your equipment.
This is where you assess the nature of your job description in regards to your home recording setup and gather an idea of what you would need to be covered.
When Do I Need Recording Studio Insurance?
You may be downplaying the need for studio insurance since your “studio” is just a room in your house or property with a computer, microphone, some speakers, and some synths!
However, in the event that you feel like you want to get to the level of using your equipment to start an individual musical career, or if you want to start charging a small fee to allow artists to come and record at your studio, you definitely need to start looking into recording studio insurance.
Home insurance policies will generally try their best to make sure they are covering only what they say they cover using all the legal loopholes that they can. What this means is that if you once charged someone $10 to record something, or even just got paid with a 6-pack of beer to mix a song for your friend, your home recording studio can be seen as a functioning business in the eyes of the law.
Also, due to the evolution of the internet, your home insurance provider can look up your name and find a SoundCloud account, Instagram posts of you doing a small gig or just simply recording a lot, it becomes a lot easier for them to argue that anything involving your home recording setup is not covered by the home insurance policy.
This is where you decide what type of coverage you would need, and what you actually want to be covered. As someone who uses their home recording studio mainly for myself, I would probably just opt to cover my equipment and get musical equipment insurance. Although there are offer options available, this will also depend on the insurance company you decide to go with.
Assess Your Situation And Cover Your Bases
If you decide that you want to ultimately use your home recording studio to rent out for artists to record, or you want to use it to make money as a recording and mixing engineer, then you probably want to look into a more comprehensive policy that covers third-party liabilities and other things that would come with a business insurance policy.
It is also a good idea to talk to your home insurance provider to clarify any possibility that your recording setup may be covered in your home insurance policy. More likely than not, your home insurance policy will not provide coverage for your equipment if they see that it is being used for purposes of a business.
Identifying that your musical equipment is being used for a business may help to reduce some cost in your home insurance policy, since you can reduce the value of goods you want to be covered by eliminating the musical equipment and instead including it in your recording studio policy.
How Do I Insure My Home Recording Studio?
There are a variety of insurance providers that offer or even specialize in providing coverage for musical equipment and music-related business endeavors.
MusicPro Insurance is one of the more popular and easy providers of insurance if you are simply looking to insure the equipment you have in your home recording studio. The insurance payment varies based on the value of the equipment you want to be insured, but it is just about a little over $1 for every $100 worth of equipment.
Clarion is also a popular insurance provider for musical equipment coverage. Both websites offer sections that allow you to submit a quote to estimate your insurance payment, so it is an easy process to compare prices based on your needs.
The insurance provider I mentioned earlier, Emery & Webb, has a specialized music industry insurance policy that offers a more comprehensive type of insurance should you plan on insuring against liability for accidents, etc. Another insurance provider that covers this same type of insurance policy, Trusted Choice, estimates that it would cost about $400 a year to insure a basic recording studio.
I did not want to provide specific prices for each insurance provider or a general cost based on the type of coverage included in a policy. The price may change over time and each insurance companies may offer slightly different services, so it is not a fair side by side comparison. For my own purposes of just insuring my musical equipment at home and when it is on the road, I am charged about $400 a year based on the value of my equipment.
Because insurance policies are such tricky processes to ensure that you are insured for every possible circumstance that you want to be covered, it is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer, financial advisor, or insurance agent to make sure you are looking into the policy that is perfectly suited for you.
Entertainment lawyers specialize in dealing with all legal matters relating to the entertainment industry, so they would be very helpful in sorting out any legal jargon in a recording studio insurance policy that may cause problems to a potential claim.
If you feel like you cannot afford to lose your equipment due to accidental damage or incidence such as a fire, then it’s probably best to look into insurance coverage. The information we have provided above should give you a good head start on finding the correct insurance company for you, but don’t put too much faith into our article.
This is here only for a rough guide. If you need more information on insurances, such as how much it will cost or whether your equipment will be covered on your home insurance, you will need to dig further and do some more research. Each person is in a different situation.
Ultimately, thinking about insurance for your home recording studio may not be the most glamorous part of the job, but it is certainly one of the more important aspects to making sure you can feel safe and protected during your musical endeavors.
Simply remember to value the equipment you want to be insured, ensure that it is not covered by your home insurance policy, and include any and all potential scenarios you want coverage for, and you can find a more than reasonable policy to help you feel a peace of mind with your recording studio.