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 cost you much more in the long term. Let’s look at why it’s so important to sign with an insured DJ.
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 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. 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.
Furthermore, outside of the terrible financial burden that an uninsured DJ may place on you, your venue may 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 signals that your DJ is a provider who is professional and takes their service seriously. DJs who are willing to work without insurance are demonstrating major carelessness. It’s simply unprofessional to work without insurance because of all that could happen at an event with hundreds of people. Are you willing to risk that at an event for school or work? What about for the most important day of your life?
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. 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's what you need from your insured DJ:
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 incorrect!
Because DJ work is a business, they need business liability coverage. Homeowners’ coverage won’t cover anything related to a DJ accident. So, if the certificate doesn’t include “business liability” coverage, then walk away.
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. 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.
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.
At Shane Griffin Entertainment, we recommend that everyone books a DJ with business liability insurance. This ensures that you’re personally covered — whether or not the event runs smoothly.
If you’re looking for an insured DJ for your event, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We do weddings, corporate and community events, and so much more. Get a quote here!